RSC Announce Casting for The Comedy Of Errors
Casting details are announced for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s (RSC) 2021 summer outdoor production of The Comedy of Errors which runs between 13 July – 26 September in the Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Garden Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. This specially constructed outdoor performance space is located in the Swan Theatre Gardens, flanked by the River Avon and overlooked by the Swan Theatre.
After its run in Stratford-upon-Avon, the production will then go on tour and perform indoors at The Theatre Royal, Nottingham (22-24 October), The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury (27-30 October), and the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford (2-6 November), with London plans to be confirmed. These are three of twelve regional theatres with which the RSC works in long term, year-round partnership with local schools and adult community groups.
The production, directed by Phillip Breen, was due to be part of the RSC’s 2020 season, but was postponed owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 17-strong cast includes members of the original acting company, with several roles recast. The 2021 production of The Comedy of Errors is sponsored by Darwin Escapes.
A father ends up in the wrong country on the wrong day as a government makes hasty proclamations about travel. A lonely son, while searching for his brother, loses himself. Across town a wife starts to realise her husband is not the man she thought he was (but rather likes it). Will anything ever be the same again?
Director Phillip Breen says: “When we first conceived of this Comedy of Errors back in 2019, we had no idea that the production would welcome the RSC’s audience back from a global pandemic. But this play of family reunions – people finding each other once again, people holding each other at sunset – seems entirely apt for this moment, and we can’t wait to get back to work with this fabulous company of actors; with this old play on a new stage for this very new world. I’m also delighted that later in the year we will be taking our outdoor production inside when we visit theatres in Nottingham, Canterbury and Bradford.”
Jonathan Broadbent and Greg Haiste retain their roles as, respectively, Dromio of Syracuse and Dromio of Ephesus, whilst Hedydd Dylan (Adrianna), Guy Lewis (Antipholus of Syracuse) and Rowan Polonski (Antipholus of Ephesus) join the company. Original cast member Avita Jay will now play Luciana.
Jonathan Broadbent plays Dromio of Syracuse. His previous RSC credits include The Tempest, Queen Anne and Love for Love. Other theatre credits include Henry VI Parts I,II and III, Richard III, Henry IV Parts I and II and Henry V (Shakespeare’s Globe); The Wizard of Oz (Sheffield Crucible); and My Night with Reg (Donmar Warehouse/Apollo Theatre). Jonathan’s screen credits include The Crown, Silent Witness, EastEnders, and Kenneth Branagh’s film adaptations of The Magic Flute and As You Like It.
Hedydd Dylan plays Adrianna. Previous RSC credits include Oppenheimer, The Shoemaker’s Holiday and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Other theatre credits include: Bartholomew Fair and The Merry Wives of Windsor (Shakespeare’s Globe), Mother Courage (Headlong/Manchester Royal Exchange) and The Cherry Orchard (Sherman Theatre). TV credits include: Emmerdale, Bang, Hinterland and Pobol Y Cwm.
Greg Haiste will make his RSC debut as Dromio of Ephesus. His numerous theatre credits include Quiz (Chichester Festival Theatre/Noël Coward Theatre); Richard II and Nell Gwynn (Shakespeare’s Globe/Apollo Theatre); 39 Steps (Criterion Theatre); and The Lady in the Van, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Hamlet and The Accrington Pals (West Yorkshire Playhouse). His TV credits include Pennyworth, Timewasters, Heartbeat, Jane Hall and Emmerdale, whilst film credits include The Current War, The Time of Our Lives and Starfish.
Avita Jay plays Luciana. Her previous RSC credits include The Winter’s Tale. Other theatre credits include The Lovely Bones (Birmingham Rep); Billionaire Boy (NST Theatre/UK Tour); The Secret Garden (York Theatre Royal); and The Jungle Book (National Tour). TV work includes Emmerdale, Silent Witness and Coronation Street.
Guy Lewis makes his RSC debut playing Antipholus of Syracuse. Theatre credits include: The Butterfly Lion (Minerva, Chichester Festival Theatre); Goodnight Mr Tom (Duke of York’s); Twelfth Night (Regent’s Park); A Christmas Carol (Birmingham Rep), Pygmalion, Measure for Measure and Hamlet (Clwyd Theatr, Cymru); and Hamlet and The Canterbury Tales (Northern Broadsides/New Vic). TV credits include Torchwood and Casualty.
Rowan Polonski plays Antipholus of Ephesus. Other RSC credits include The Hypocrite (RSC/Hull Truck); The Omission of the Family Coleman, Shakespeare in Love (Theatre Royal Bath); Cockamamy (Hope Theatre, Islington); Desert Rats (Arts Theatre) and Another Country (Trafalgar Studios). TV works includes Doctor Who and Otherworld.
The cast also includes: Toyin Ayedun-Alase (Courtesan), Antony Bunsee (Egeon), Alfred Clay (Dr Pinch), William Grint (2nd Merchant), Zoe Lambert (Aemilia), Dyfrig Morris (2nd Merchant Bodyguard), Baker Mukasa (Angelo), Patrick Osborne (Balthasar), Nicholas Prasad (Duke Solinus), Riad Richie (1st Merchant/Young Egeon) and Sarah Seggari (Luce/Messenger).
Phillip Breen’s previous RSC directorial credits include The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Provoked Wife and The Hypocrite. The production is designed by Max Jones with Lighting by Tina MacHugh, Music by Paddy Cunneen, Sound by Dyfan Jones, Movement by Charlotte Broom and Fights by Renny Krupinski. The 2021 production of The Comedy of Errors is sponsored by Darwin Escapes.
LYDIA & MANFRED GORVY GARDEN THEATRE, STRATFORD-UPON-AVON
Tuesday 13 July – Sunday 26 September 2021
Box Office: rsc.org.uk, 01789 331111
NOTTINGHAM THEATRE ROYAL
Friday 22 – Sunday 24 October 2021
Box Office: trch.co.uk, 0115 989 5555
MARLOWE THEATRE, CANTERBURY
Wednesday 27 – Saturday 30 October 2021
Box Office: marlowetheatre.com, 01227 787787
ALHAMBRA THEATRE, BRADFORD
Tuesday 2 – Saturday 6 November 2021
Box Office: bradford-theatres.co.uk, 01274 432000
The RSC is supported using public funding by Arts Council England
The work of the RSC is supported by the Culture Recovery Fund
The RSC is a recipient of the Weston Culture Fund