12th Night, Cross Cast
Posted 14 June 2007 - 01:12 PM
14 June 2007
John Lithgow, the US actor best known for his work in film and TV such as The World According to Garp and 3rd Rock from the Sun, joins the cast to play Malvolio in the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Shakespeare's dark comedy, Twelfth Night.
Neil Bartlett directs this new production which will have a cross gender cast with some female actors taking on male parts, and vice versa – as he explains:
"Twelfth Night shows a capricious disregard for the normal rules of gender. Girls disguised as boys fall in love with men, men fall in love with girls while thinking they are boys, and women marry boys who in fact turn out to be girls! In the original production of the play, this whirligig of gender mayhem would have been further compounded by the fact the girls and women, like all of Shakespeare's female characters, would have been played by young men. Taking my cue from Shakespeare's own exploration of the troubled relationship between disguise and desire, I'm looking forward to seeing what happens when this magical play is performed by a company in which gender and role are not necessarily paired as nature intended..."
This production is largely cross cast with the RSC's touring production of Nancy Meckler's The Comedy of Errors which embarks on a UK tour from October this year.
Neil Bartlett was Artistic Director of the Lyric Hammersmith theatre from 1994 –2004 where he directed thirty-seven productions including an Olivier-nominated Pericles as well as Kleist's The Prince of Homberg and Marivaux's The Dispute - both co-productions with the RSC. Most recently his acclaimed adaptation of Dickens' Oliver Twist for the American Repertory Theatre played in Boston, New York (where it won an Obie), and at the Berkeley Rep, and he has just staged his own translation of Genet's The Maids for the Brighton Festival. His latest novel, Skin Lane was published in March this year.
John Lithgow is a seasoned theatre actor in the States where he won a Tony Award for his Broadway debut in David Storey's The Changing Room in 1973. Since then he has appeared in major roles in My Fat Friend, Trelawney of the "Wells", Comedians, Anna Christie, M.Butterfly, Beyond Therapy, Bedroom Farce, The Front Page and most recently Retreat from Moscow. His musicals include Sweet Smell of Success (for which he won a second Tony award) and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. His film credits include The World According to Garp, Terms of Endearment, All That Jazz, Blow Out, Twilight Zone; the Movie, 2010, Buckaroo Banzai, Harry and the Hendersons, Raising Cain, Ricochet, Cliffhanger, Orange County, Shrek, Kinsey and most recently Dreamgirls.
His most successful TV role of Dr Dick Solomon in the comedy series 3rd Rock from the Sun ran for six years and won him a Golden Globe, two SAG awards and The American Comedy Award. His other TV credits include The Day After, Resting Place, Baby Girl Scott, My Brother's Keeper, Don Quixote and The Life and Death of Peter Sellers. He is also the author of best selling children's books.
Jason Merrells makes his RSC debut as Orsino (also playing Antipholus of Syracuse in The Comedy of Errors). Jason is perhaps best known for his regular TV appearances in Waterloo Road and Cutting It. Theatre credits include The Long, The Short and The Tall (Sheffield Theatres) and The Pleasureman (Glasgow Citizens). His real life brother Simon Merrells will play Antonio (and Antipholus of Ephesus in Comedy). Simon 's TV credits include: Family Affairs, London's Burning and Merseybeat, whilst onstage he has appeared in The Life of Galileo and Sing Yer Hearts Out For The Lads at the National Theatre.
Siobhan Redmond makes a welcome return to the RSC to play Maria as well as Adriana in The Comedy of Errors. For the RSC she has appeared in The Spanish Tragedy, and played Beatrice in Michael Boyd's Much Ado About Nothing. Siobhan's TV work includes The Smoking Room, Between The Lines and the cult comedy The High Life.
Iain McKee and Chris New make their RSC debuts as the twins Sebastian and Viola, respectively. They will also take on the role of the Dromio twins in the company's cross cast production of The Comedy of Errors. Iain's TV credits include: the Victoria Wood drama, Housewife 49, New Street Law and The Somme. Theatre work includes: Almost Blue (Riverside Studios), Under the Whaleback (Royal Court Theatre) and Masterclass (Bath Theatre Royal).
Chris, a graduate from RADA, has appeared in The Reporter (National Theatre), and played the role of Horst to great acclaim alongside Alan Cumming in Bent at the Trafalgar Studios.
Marjorie Yates will be in the unique position of playing Sir Toby Belch. Marjorie is probably best known to TV viewers as Carol in Channel 4's hit drama series Shameless. Marjorie's previous work for the RSC includes: Aline Solness in The Master Builder, The Duchess of York in Richard III and Widow Blackacre in The Plain Dealer (all 1988/9 season) and more recently a witch in Macbeth (1994). Her other theatre credits include: Honeymoon Suite for The Royal Court, Nurse in Stephen Unwin's Romeo and Juliet for ETT, Sybil in Stephen Daldry's An Inspector Calls and Linda in David Thacker's Death of a Salesman at the National Theatre.
The cast also includes Tobias Beer (Valentine), Matt Blair (Curio), Tim Chipping (Captain), James Clyde (Feste), Tom Davey (Officer/Lord/Sailor), Daniel Francis (Lord/Sailor/Officer), Stewart W Fraser (Priest),Joanna Howarth (Fabian), Annabel Leventon (Sir Andrew Aguecheek), Barnaby Power (1st Officer) Rachael Spence (Lady).
Full casting will be announced shortly.
The production is designed by Kandis Cook with music composed by Simon Deacon and lighting designed by Chris Davey.
Posted 14 June 2007 - 02:05 PM
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should
Posted 14 June 2007 - 02:21 PM
Posted 15 June 2007 - 07:53 AM
Posted 19 June 2007 - 02:00 PM
Posted 20 June 2007 - 05:11 PM
Give it a chance, kids.
Posted 20 June 2007 - 05:57 PM
Give it a chance, kids.
This is the 3rd new posting of yours "pushing your own pointless vendetta on this board".
It is getting boring ..........
And who could see that the road would twist
Posted 21 June 2007 - 06:32 AM
I agree about the Hammersmith one.
I suppose the "vendetta" comment in this thread is directed at me. It is unjustified, I have liked Neil Bartlett's work (eg Pericles) in the past. This time I see several potential problems. The cross-casting of Toby/Aguecheek looks problematic - it may work - but there is a well-known rule of comedy "A drunken old man is funny; a drunken old woman is tragic". I also think that the Courtyard space will be very very difficult to do comedy in. But as I say, let's see.
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