THE RSC mark the 30th birthday of The Swan Theatre in Stratford with two plays staged when it first opened in 1986.
Blanche McIntyre directs The Two Noble Kinsmen, the 1634 tragi-comedy based on Chaucer’s A Knight’s Tale, attributed to Shakespeare and John Fletcher, while Loveday Ingram directs The Rover, an anarchic restoration comedy by the UK’s first professional female playwright Aphra Behn.
Friendship turns to rivalry in the woods of Athens in The Two Noble Kinsmen, which runs from August 17 to February 7.
Two knights at arms fall instantly in love with the same woman. The stage is set for absurd adventures and painful confusions in a study of the intoxication and strangeness of love.
James Corrigan (Othello and The Merchant of Venice at the RSC) and Jamie Wilkes (Mr Selfrige ITV; The Shoemaker’s Holiday at the RSC) play best friends turned love-rivals Palamon and Arcite in this production where chauvinist men are confronted by resilient women and love is a prize in a deadly game.
Frances McNamee returns to the RSC (Love’s Labour’s Lost / Love’s Labour’s Won) to play Emilia, the woman whose affections Palamon and Arcite fight for.
This production of The Rover, running from September 8 to February 11, takes place amid the fast and furious world of the South American carnival. Three wandering cavaliers, exiled from Cromwell’s England, meet up in a Spanish colony as carnival begins. Meanwhile three wealthy sisters escape their overbearing brother and disappear into the city in search of love. As night falls and the wine flows, chaos ensues.
Joseph Millson, who recently appeared as Major Ross in Jimmy McGovern’s recent BBC drama Banished, as well as The Last Kingdom, will play the rakish ‘rover’ Willmore.
Faye Castelow, who recently appeared in The White Devil and The Roaring Girl at the RSC, plays the object of his affections, Hellena, a young woman experiencing as much of life as possible before becoming a nun.
RSC Associate Artist Alexandra Gilbreath plays the famous courtesan Angelica. Alexandra most recently appeared on the RSC stage in Shakespeare Live! Frances McNamee plays Florinda, while Patrick Robinson, familiar as Martin ‘Ash’ Ashford in Casualty, plays her lover Colonel Belville.
Visit www.rsc.org.uk for tickets and further details.