Anthony Sher Turns Director for RSC New Work Festival

News   Anthony Sher Turns Director for RSC New Work Festival Anthony Sher is set to take the director’s chair, in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s second New Work Festival. Sher will oversee the world premiere of Breakfast with Mugabe by Fraser Grace.
Anthony Sher
Anthony Sher

The Stratford-based festival runs between Oct. 17 and 28 in the Swan Theatre and the new venue, Cox’s Yard. It will also include U.K. premieres of David Adjmi’s Elective Affinities and Brett Neveu’s Eric LaRue, and there are returns from the 2004 Festival, including Trade by Debbie Tucker Green and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown’s monologue Nowhere To Belong — Tales of an Extravagant Stranger.

Sher, best known as an actor and writer, was recently widely acclaimed for his one-man show Primo (not directed by him), which started life at the National. But it was as an RSC player that he first rose to prominence, with many successes including Richard III and Tamburlaine. He still regularly appears with the company.

Breakfast with Mugabe depicts a combative relationship between the Zimbabwean president and a white psychiatrist treating him for depression. The cast includes Joseph Mydell as Mugabe, alongside David Rintoul, Noma Dumezweni and Christopher Obi. The run opens Oct. 19.

Trade tackles the subject of contemporary female sex tourism. Directed by Sacha Wares, the cast includes Lorna Brown, Nadine Marshall and Tanya Moodie. It opens Oct. 27.

Those plays will both show at the Swan, while Elective Affinities and Eric LaRue are playing as a double-bill at Cox’s Yard. The double-bill is called Postcards From America and is designed to showcase the two American writers. It opens Oct. 19. Dominic Cooke directs casts that include Suzanne Burden, Tom Hodgkins, Barnaby Kay, Kevin Trainor, Meg Fraser and Lia Williams. Alibhai-Brown’s monologue will also play Cox’s Yard, opening Oct. 19 (for only two performances). It explores her life-long love of Shakespeare and experiences playing Juliet as a teenager in 1960’s Uganda. Gavin Marshall directs.

For more details on the plays and many discussion events around them (featuring the likes of Jon Snow, Shirley Williams, Godfrey Hodgson, John Tusa and Alibhai-Brown), visit www.rsc.org.uk or call (0)870 609 1110.