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STRATFORD UPON AVON: Royal Shakespeare Company (Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Swan Theatre)

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OTHELLO Royal Shakespeare Theatre 4 June – 28 August

VOLPONE - Swan Theatre: 3 July – 12 September 2015



By William Shakespeare
Directed by Iqbal Khan
Royal Shakespeare Theatre: 
4 June – 28 August 2015
Press night: Thursday 11 June, 7pm
Live from Stratford-upon-Avon: Wednesday 26 August 2015

Casting is announced for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s (RSC) summer productions of The Merchant of Venice and Othello, running in repertoire in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and broadcast worldwide ‘Live from Stratford-upon-Avon’.

Makram J Khoury, one of the most celebrated actors in Israel, makes his RSC debut to play Shylock in Polly Findlay’s production of The Merchant of Venice. The Palestinian-Israeli actor has worked on stage and screen for over 50 years; he was awarded the 2014 Jerusalem Film Festival’s Achievement Award and the Israel Prize for acting, regarded as the state’s highest honour. Makram’s credits include international films such as Fatih Akin’s The Cut, which was nominated for the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival 2014, Steven Spielberg’s Munich, Natalie Portman’s Amos Oz adaptation A Tale of Love and Darkness, and Richard Raymond’s Iran-set Desert Dancer, as well as Israeli comedy Sukaryot and Magic Men, for which he won an Israeli Film Academy award for best actor. His extensive theatre and TV credits include touring with Peter Brook’s theatre production 11 and 12 and Channel 4’s BAFTA winning drama Complicit.

Joining Makram, and also making her RSC debut in the role of Portia, is Patsy Ferran. Winner of Most Promising Newcomer at this year’s Critics’ Circle Awards, Patsy is currently playing Jim Hawkins in the National Theatre’s production of Treasure Island, also directed by Polly Findlay. Her other credits include Blithe Spirit (Gielgud Theatre West End) and The Angry Brigade (Paines Plough).

The Merchant of Venice cast also includes: Nadia Albina (Nerissa); David Ajao (Singer/Citizen of Venice); Jamie Ballard (Antonio); Scarlett Brookes (Jessica); James Corrigan (Lorenzo); Eva Feiler (Lady/Attendant); Owen Findlay (Salerio); Jacob Fortune-Lloyd (Bassanio); Guy Hughes (Singer/Citizen of Venice); Rina Mahoney (Portia’s Servant/Duke of Venice); Ken Nwosu (Gratiano/Morocco); Brian Protheroe (Aragon); Jay Saighal (Solanio) and Tim Samuels (Launcelot Gobbo/Tubal).

The Merchant of Venice set is designed by the renowned German designer Johannes Schütz; the costumes are designed by Anette Guther with lighting by Peter Mumford. The music is by Marc Tritschler with sound by Gareth Fry. Movement is by Aline David.

As previously announced Hugh Quarshie and Lucian Msamati return to the RSC to play Othello and Iago in Iqbal Khan’s production. Joining them in the role of Desdemona is Joanna Vanderham, who makes her RSC debut. Joanna, best known for playing the lead character of ‘Denise Lovett’ in BBC’s The Paradise, has also starred in feature film What Maisie Knew and BBC drama Dancing on the Edge. Joanna will next appear in Jimmy McGovern’s Banished on BBC Two in early March and as ‘Marian Maudsley’ in a new BBC adaptation of L. P. Hartley’s classic novel The Go-Between in July.

The cast for Othello also includes: Nadia Albina (Duke of Venice); David Ajao (Montano); Scarlett Brookes (Bianca); James Corrigan (Roderigo); Ayesha Dharker (Emilia); Eva Feiler (Citizen of Venice); Owen Findlay (Gentleman of Cyprus); Jacob Fortune-Lloyd (Cassio); Guy Hughes (Soldier); Rina Mahoney (Citizen of Venice); Ken Nwosu (Gentleman of Cyprus); Brian Protheroe (Brabantio); Jay Saighal (Gentleman of Cyprus) and Tim Samuels (Lodovico).

The Othello set is designed by Ciaran Bagnall with costume design by Fotini Dimou, and lighting by Ciaran Bagnall. The music is composed by Akintayo Akinbode with sound by Andrew Franks. Movement is by Diane Alison Mitchell and the fight director is Kev McCurdy.


Friday 17 July, 7.15pm & Wednesday 12 August, 7.15pm – Captioned Performances
Friday 10 July, 7.15pm & Saturday 25 July, 1.15pm – Audio described performances



Made in Stratford-upon-Avon - Seen around the world


Everyone at the Royal Shakespeare Company, from actors to technicians, milliners to musicians, plays a part in creating the world you see on stage. Our work begins its life at our Stratford workshops and theatres and we share it with audiences across the world through our touring, residencies and online activity. So, wherever you experience the RSC, you experience work that is made in Shakespeare’s home town.

Shakespeare has been performed and celebrated in Stratford for centuries and the RSC has trained generations of the very best theatre makers since the Company was founded in 1961.  We pioneer contemporary approaches to Shakespeare’s plays, as well as staging the work of those who inspired him and the work of today’s playwrights.







By Ben Jonson
Directed by Trevor Nunn
Swan Theatre:
3 July – 12 September 2015
Press night: Thursday 9 July, 7pm

The final production of the Venice Season is Ben Jonson's great satirical comedy Volpone, set in Venice. Former RSC Artistic Director Trevor Nunn directs, returning to the Swan Theatre for the first time, which he created and opened in 1986. During his time running the RSC he also created The Other Place and directed most of the Shakespeare canon, alongside other diverse productions such as Nicholas Nickleby, Les Miserables and Peter Pan. He last returned to the company in 2007 to direct King Lear and The Seagull. The productions toured internationally and ran in London before King Lear was filmed in 2008. He last collaborated with Henry Goodman on the award-winning productions of The Merchant of Venice and Summerfolk at the National Theatre in 1999.

Full casting is announced for this production. Returning to the theatre he created former RSC Artistic Director Trevor Nunn directs with Henry Goodman in the title role, opening on Thursday 9 July 2015.

Henry Goodman returns to the RSC having last been with the company in 2003 with Richard III. He last collaborated with Trevor Nunn on the award-winning productions of The Merchant of Venice and Summerfolk at the National Theatre in 1999.  His recent theatre credits include Yes Prime Minister (Chichester/West End); The Holy Rosenbergs (National Theatre) and as the eponymous Arturo Ui in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Chichester/West End). Joining him in this contemporary production of Jonson’s money obsessed society is Orion Lee as Volpone’s servant Mosca. Orion’s numerous credits include the films x+y, Skyfall and Fury and in the theatre his credits include Enron (Chichester, Royal Court, West End) and Wild Swans (Young Vic). Orion is currently a series regular on Sky TV’s Critical.

The full cast includes: Andy Apollo (Bonario); Sheila Atim (Assistant to Lady Politic Would-Be); Ankur Bahl (Androgyno); Guy Burgess (Judge/Merchant); Geoffrey Freshwater (Corbaccio); Henry Goodman (Volpone); Marcus Griffiths (Commandatori); Rhiannon Handy (Celia); Simon Hedger (Judge); Julian Hoult (Castrone); Matthew Kelly (Corvino); Jonathan Key (Nano); Orion Lee (Mosca); Annette McLaughlin (Lady Politic Would-Be); Steven Pacey (Sir Politic Would-Be); Miles Richardson (Voltore); Richard Rees (Judge); Colin Ryan (Peregrine); Nav Sidhu (Notary) and Gabby Wong (Assistant to Lady Politic Would-Be).

Volpone is designed by Stephen Brimson Lewis with lighting by Tim Mitchell. The music is composed by Steven Edis with sound by Fergus O’Hare. Movement is by Lynne Page, the Fight Director is Terry King and Video by Nina Dunn.

Volpone is designed by Stephen Brimson Lewis.








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Mon 29 June – Sat 4 July 2015


Due to unprecedented demand, the record-breaking 60th anniversary tour of THE MOUSETRAP has announced a new booking period, visiting more theatres up and down the country through to November 2015 – returning to Wolverhampton Grand Theatre this summer.


The Queen of Crime - Agatha Christie’s THE MOUSETRAP will continue its record-breaking, and first ever, UK tour by returning to Wolverhampton Grand Theatre from Mon 29 June – Sat 4 July 2015. The beloved murder mystery began its record-breaking tour in September 2012 and continues to play at the St Martin’s Theatre in London’s West End.

The cast for the 2015 tour includes Hester Arden (Macbeth, Orange Tree Theatre) as Miss Casewell, Edward Elgood  as Christopher Wren, Mark Homer (Eastenders’ Tony Hill) as Giles Ralston, Esther McAuley (I Promise You Sex and Violence, Northern Stage) as Mollie Ralston and Jonathan Sidgwick (Hollyoaks; Coronation Street) as Mr Paravicini. William Ilkley joins from the West End production of The Mousetrap as Major Metcalf alongside Luke Jenkins and Anne Kavanagh who will reprise their roles from the record-breaking 2014 tour as Sgt Trotter and Mrs Boyle respectively.

Agatha Christie’s THE MOUSETRAP has been the world’s longest running stage production at its London home since 1958. The 60th Anniversary – and first ever - UK tour of this beloved murder mystery has been seen by over 600,000 people across more than 600 performances and breaking box office records in many of its venues.

Mousetrap Productions has also licensed 60 productions of THE MOUSETRAP world-wide to mark the 60th year, and many of these have also broken their records, from Cape Town to Philadelphia, Singapore to Sydney.  During this period the world’s longest running show has been seen in every continent, with professional productions in Australia, China, Korea, Turkey, South Africa, Russia, Czech Republic, Hungary, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Poland, Spain, Scandinavia, Venezuela, and across the United States and Canada.

The Mousetrap continues its London run, after recently celebrating its 26,000 performance at St. Martin’s Theatre, London.





Mon 29 June – Sat 4 July 2015

Evenings at 7:30pm, Wed & Sat at 2:30pm

Tickets £11.50 - £29.50












Following a successful spring season of sell-out shows, Marti Pellow is back by popular demand to continue his role as Narrator for the autumn leg of BLOOD BROTHERS, visiting Wolverhampton Grand Theatre from Mon 26 – Sat 31 October 2015.


Also returning to the show will be Maureen Nolan, who will reprise her role as the tragic Mrs Johnstone.


Marti Pellow is one of music’s most respected artists. For over 30 years he has enjoyed global success: as the lead singer of Wet Wet Wet, as a solo artist, and as one of the UK’s most acclaimed leading men of musical theatre. Starring roles include Evita, Blood Brothers, The Witches of Eastwick, Chess, Jekyll & Hyde and Chicago. As a solo-singer, recording artist and with Wet Wet Wet, Marti Pellow has enjoyed virtually unrivalled chart success, with over 25 hits and three of the UK’s biggest number one singles, including the seminal Love Is All Around. In 2013, after 20 years apart, Wet Wet Wet reunited for a sell-out arena tour. That same year, Marti released Hope, his eighth solo album, and this year he released Boulevard of Life, which saw him return to his roots as a singer-songwriter and collaborate with some of his closest friends in the industry, including Chris Difford from Squeeze, for an album of soul, country and pop.


Maureen Nolan has been singing with her sisters since she was nine years old. Together they became one of Europe’s first girl bands – The Nolans. The Nolans’ success is legendary, including phenomenal record sales worldwide, particularly in Japan where they sold more records than The Beatles! Maureen has played Mrs Johnstone in BLOOD BROTHERS in the West End and on tour to critical acclaim. She was the fourth Nolan sister to play the role, earning them entry in to the Guinness Book of Records.


Hailed as one of the best musicals of all time, BLOOD BROTHERS, written by award-winning playwright Willy Russell has triumphed across the globe. Scooping up no less than four awards for best musical in London and seven Tony Award nominations on Broadway, Blood Brothers is simply unmissable and unbeatable. This epic tale of Liverpool life ran in London’s West End for 24 years and exceeded 10,000 performances. It is one of only three musicals ever to achieve that milestone.


BLOOD BROTHERS tells the captivating and moving story of twin boys separated at birth, only to be reunited by a twist of fate and a mother’s haunting secret. The memorable score includes A Bright New Day, Marilyn Monroe and the emotionally charged hit Tell Me It’s Not True.



BLOOD BROTHERS is directed by Bob Tomson and Bill Kenwright with design by Andy WalmsleyDan Samson is the sound designer. Tom De Keyser is the musical supervisor and Kelvin Towse is the musical director.





Monday 26 – Saturday 31 October 2015

Evenings at 7.30pm, Wed and Sat matinees at 2.30pm

Tickets from £19.50 - £35.00









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