Saturday 22 April – Saturday 27 May 2023

Today (Monday 6 March 2023), the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) announce full casting for the upcoming production of Cymbeline, directed by RSC Artistic Director Emeritus Gregory Doran, which will run in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre from Saturday 22 April to Saturday 27 May 2023, with press night on Wednesday 3 May.

This production of Cymbeline marks Gregory’s 50th show that he has directed for the Royal Shakespeare Company, and will be his last as RSC Artistic Director Emeritus. Cymbeline is also the last play in Shakespeare’s First Folio, which this year celebrates 400 years since it was first published.

Reflecting on his time as the Artistic Director of the RSC, Doran is also releasing a memoir charting his personal and professional journey. My Shakespeare: A Director’s Journey Through the First Folio (Methuen Drama) presents a detailed account of Doran’s experiences either directing or producing each of Shakespeare’s plays in the First Folio and is publishing on 20 April.

Gregory Doran, RSC Artistic Director Emeritus, said:

“2023 is the 400th anniversary of the publication of Shakespeare’s First Folio. Without the Folio we would not have half of Shakespeare’s plays today, including many of his most famous and loved works. This year we are doing five of them. We opened the year with the first play to appear in that miraculous book, The Tempest, and I am directing the last one in it, Cymbeline

It happens to be my 50th production of the RSC, and I am delighted to be working on it with some long time collaborators: designer Stephen Brimson-Lewis, composer Paul Englishby, and movement director Síân Williams, as well as some familiar faces in the cast, many of whom I have had the privilege of working with on previous productions.

I have often wondered why Cymbeline is the last play in the Folio. It is listed under the tragedies, but it could just as easily have been placed in the comedies or even the histories as it is set Ancient Britain at the time of the Romans. Though its thrilling story threatens to end in tragedy, its astonishing denouement is full of joy. I think the compilers of the Folio put Cymbeline at the end of the book because it defies categories and won’t be pinned down- that is what makes it so exciting.

I am honoured to be opening Cymbeline as this year’s birthday play on Shakespeare’s birthday weekend, which coincides with the publication of a book. My Shakespeare: a director’s journey through the First Folio concludes with an epilogue as I set out on rehearsals for Cymbeline. When we open, I shall be able to say I have worked on every single play in that amazing life manual, Shakespeare’s First Folio.”

The company includes; Peter De Jersey as Cymbeline. Peter’s previous RSC credits include The TempestImperium Parts 1 and 2 (West End), Antony and Cleopatra, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Odyssey, As You Like It, Troilus and Cressida, King Lear, A New Way to Please You, Last Days of Don Juan, Sejanus, Believe What You Will, Hamlet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Other theatre credits include The Threepenny Opera at the National Theatre, Coriolanus at the Donmar Warehouse, Sixty-Six Books at The Bush Theatre, Vernon God Little at the Young Vic and House of Games at the Almeida. Screen credits include Netflix’s The Sandman, Amazon Prime’s Wheel of Time, BBC One’s Line of Duty and ITV’s Broadchurch.

Alexandra Gilbreath will play The Queen. Alexandra is an Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company, where her credits include; The Provoked Wife, The Rover, Shakespeare Live!, A Midsummer Night’s Dreaming, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Twelfth Night for which she received an Olivier award nomination-for Best Supporting Actress, Merry Wives – The Musical, The Taming of the Shrew, The Tamer Tamed, As You Like It, Romeo and Juliet, The Winter’s Tale, Cyrano de Bergerac, Ghosts, The Country Wife, Love’s Labour’s Lost. Other theatre includes; The Sugar Syndrome at the Orange Tree; The Fever SyndromeMother Christmas at Hampstead Theatre Downstairs; The Lie at Menier Chocolate Factory; Dessertat Southwark Playhouse; The Wars of the Roses, Hayfever at the Rose Kingston; The Invisibles at the Bush;A Midsummer Night’s Dreamfor Hong Kong Philharmonic; The Village Bike, Disappeared at the Royal Court; Shallow Slumber, God’s Diceat Soho Theatre; Othelloat Sheffield Crucible; and Playhouse Creatures at Chichester Festival Theatre. Screen creditsinclude;Becoming Elizabeth, EastEnders, Father Brown, Casualty, WPC56, In Search of Shakespeare, Rites of Passage, Inspector George Gently, The Commander, The Waltz King, Happiness, The Project, Trial and Retribution, Midsomer Murders, Absolute Power, Life Begins, The Bill, Monarch of the Glen, Out of Hours, A Wing and a Prayer, The Art of Love, Lair, Warhol,Dead Babies, The All Together, A Hundred Streets and Tulip Fever

Conor Glean will playCloten. Conor was last seen at the RSC in Gregory Doran’s production of Richard III. Previous RSC credits include Henry VI War of the Roses and Rebellion. Other theatre credits include While the Sun Shines at the Orange Tree Theatre, After Life at the National Theatre and One Night in Miami at Nottingham Playhouse. Screen credits include ITV’s Coronation Street.

Scott Gutteridge will make his RSC debut as Guiderius. Scott’s previous theatre credits include Under Milk Wood at the National Theatre and Curtain Up at Theatr Clwyd. Screen credits include Kenneth Branagh’s feature length film Belfast.

Mark Hadfield will play Pisanio. Mark’s RSC credits include Henry VI: Open Rehearsal Project, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Talk of the City, The Seagull, Twelfth Night, The Canterbury Tales, Tamburlaine, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Hamlet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Other theatre credits include; Sydney and The Old Girl and The Weatherman at The Park Theatre, Vanya and Masha and Sonya and Spike at the Theatre Royal, Bath, Pinocchio, Therese Raquin and The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other at the National Theatre, Road at the Royal Court, The Libertine at the Haymarket Theatre, and Richard III at the Almeida. Screen credits include Belfast, Outlander, Maigret, From the Cradle to the Grave, Trollied, Wallander, People Like Us, The Vice, Headless and Foyle’s War.

Amber James will play Imogen. Amber’s previous RSC credits include Troilus and Cressida, Antony and Cleopatra, Dido, Queen of Carthage and Titus Andronicus. Other theatre credits include Wendy and Peter Pan at Leeds Playhouse, Snowflake at the Kiln Theatre, A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Regents Park Open Air Theatre, Vassa at the Almeida, A Streetcar Named Desire for English Touring Theatre. Screen credits include Dodger, Vera, Ransom and Doc Martin.

Christian Patterson will play Belarius. Previous RSC credits include The Secret Garden. Other theatre credits include; The American Clock at the Old Vic, Peggy’s Song for National Theatre Wales; St Nicholas, Blackbird, The Dying of Today, Blasted at The Other Room; Oliver!at Theatre Royal Drury Lane; Journey’s End in the West End / UK Tour; Ying Tong in the West End, The Gondoliers, The Merchant of Venice, The Water Babies at Chichester Festival Theatre, Christian is an Associate Artist of Theatr Clwyd where his credits include Twelfth Night, Under Milk Wood, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Insignificance, All My Sons, Aristocrats, Rape of the Fair Country, Glengarry Glen Ross and As You Like It, My Country at the National Theatre, The Way of the Worldat the Donmar Warehouse, One Man, Two Guv’nors at the Torch Theatre. Christian is a founder member of Grand Ambition at Swansea Grand Theatre. Screen credits include; My Lady Jane(Amazon), The Pact(BBC), The English, Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?, Industry, In My Skin(BBC), The Accident (Channel 4), My Country (BBC), Mr Selfridge (ITV), Mickey 17 and Pride.

Ed Sayer makes his RSC debut as Posthumus. Ed’s previous theatre credits include Uncle Vanya at Theatre de Fontainebleau, Richard III and Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare’s Rose, York, Dear Brutus at Southwark Playhouse, The Winter’s Tale for Cheek by Jowl, Suppliant Women for Actors Touring Company and First Light at Chichester Festival Theatre. Screen credits include a recurring role in Netflix’s The Crown.

Daf Thomas will make his RSC debut as Arviragus. Previous theatre credits include Sid in For Once (Theatre Clwyd). Screen credits include; Swn(Swnllyd), Y Goleudy (S4C), The Undeclared War(Channel 4), Casualty(BBC 1). 

Jamie Wilkes will play Iachimo. Jamie’s previous RSC credits include All’s Well That Ends Well, Richard III, The Two Noble Kinsmen, The Rover, Oppenheimer, The Shoemaker’s Holiday and Wendy and Peter Pan. Other theatre credits include; The Wind of Heaven at Finborough Theatre, The Edit on National Tour, The Diary of a Teenage Girl at Southwark Playhouse, The Comedy of Errors and Titus Andronicus at Shakespeare’s Globe. Screen credits include; ITV’s Finding Alice, Vanity Fair and Mr Selfridge, BBC Homefront and His Dark Materials, Chanel 4’s Catch 22 and Electric Dreams: Human Is.

The full company comprises; Jeff Alexander (Soothsayer), Adam Baker (Roman), Iwan Bond (Roman), Tom Chapman (Second Lord), Peter De Jersey (Cymbeline), Alexandra Gilbreath (The Queen), Conor Glean (Cloten), Scott Gutteridge (Guiderius), Mark Hadfield (Pisanio), Amber James (Imogen), Marcia Lecky (1st Gent/Lady/Mother), Jake Mann (Cornelius), Theo Ogundipe (Caius Lucius), Keith Osborn (Philario/Sicilius), Christian Patterson (Belarius), Ed Sayer (Posthumus), Daf Thomas (Arviragus), Barnaby Tobias (First Lord), Cat White (2nd Gent/Helen) and Jamie Wilkes (Iachimo).

Directed by Gregory DoranCymbeline has Design by Stephen Brimson-Lewis, Lighting by Matt Daw, Music by Paul Englishby, Sound by Jonathan Ruddick, Movement and Intimacy by Siân Williams, Puppetry Direction by Rachel Leonard, Music Direction by Ben McQuigg, Text and Voice Work by Emma Woodvine. Casting is by Helena Palmer CDG.