There’s always a new or different way to do things, no matter how ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ London-based commentators get, and so the news of Europe’s first ever pop-up Shakespearean Theatre – SHAKESPEARE’S ROSE THEATRE – feels like a good thing to me. Taking up residence in York this summer, the Rose looks set to replicate something of the Globe experience, groundlings and all, for a whole new audience.
The 10-week season will consist of four plays, performed in repertory by two companies of actors
- A tragedy – Macbeth
- A comedy – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
- A tragic love story – Romeo and Juliet
- A history – Richard III
Romeo and Juliet and Richard III will be directed by the award-winning Lindsay Posner, while York Theatre Royal’s Olivier Award-winning Artistic Director Damian Cruden will direct Macbeth, and Associate Director Juliet Forster will be putting her stamp on A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
And particularly pleasing to see is that even in this setting which might be perceived as traditional as it gets, there’s a playfulness to the approach to the plays (from Cruden and Forster at least). Antony Bunsee and Amanda Ryan play Theseus and Hippolyta but in a bit of a switch, will also play Titania and Oberon respectively. There’s a female Puck too, plus Amy Lennox as Hermia which leaves me in no doubt as to which of these will be my priority to see!
Making up the York company are Gareth Aled (Lennox/Starveling), Leandra Ashton (Lady Macbeth/Peaseblossom), Antony Bunsee (Siward/Theseus & Titania), Clare Corbett (Witch 3/Puck), Fine Time Fontayne (Duncan/Egeus), Maria Gray (Witch 2/1st Fairy), Paul Hawkyard (Macduff/Bottom), Mark Holgate (Banquo/Demetrius), Emilio Iannucci (Malcolm/Flute), Amy Lennox (Mentieth/Hermia), Rina Mahoney (Lady Macduff/Quince), Olivia Onyehara (Angus/Helena), Jordan Peters (Ross/Lysander), Amanda Ryan (Hecate/Hippolyta & Oberon), Robin Simpson (Witch 1/Snout) and Richard Standing (Macbeth/Snug).
The York company creative team will be led by directors Damian Cruden (Macbeth) and Juliet Forster (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) with designer Sara Perks, choreographer Philippa Vafadari, composer Chris Madin, fight director Jonathan Holby, and voice coach Yvonne Morley.
Making up the London company are Emma Darlow (Dorset/Balthazar), Alexandra Dowling (Lady Anne/Juliet), Dyfan Dwyfor (Richard III/Sampson), Gabriel Fleary (Brackenbury/Escalus), David Fleeshman (Stanley/Friar Laurence), Charlyne Francis (Second Murderer/Gregory), Robert Gwilym (Hastings/Capulet), Julie Legrand (Margaret/Nurse), Tom Lorcan (Rivers/Benvolio), Joey Phillips (Lovell/Abram), Shanaya Rafaat (Buckingham/Mercutio), Dale Rapley (Lord Mayor/Lord Montague), Emily Raymond (Queen Elizabeth/Lady Capulet), Edward Sayer (Tyrell/Tybalt), Julia Swift (Duchess of York/Lady Montague), Richard Teverson (Clarence/Paris) and Alexander Vlahos (Catesby/Romeo).
The London company creative team will be led by director Lindsay Posner and associate director Martha Geelan, with choreographer Mike Ashcroft, designer Lee Newby, costume designer Sue Willmington, composer Olly Fox, fight director Kate Waters and voice coach Yvonne Morley.
Casting for SHAKESPEARE’S ROSE THEATRE is by Ginny Schiller, lighting design by Paul Pyant and sound design by Harry Johnson.