Casting Revealed for North American Premiere of Shakespeare in Love, Based on Hit Film

News   Casting Revealed for North American Premiere of Shakespeare in Love, Based on Hit Film Casting has been announced for The Stratford Festival's North American premiere of Shakespeare in Love, which will begin previews at the Canadian venue April 29, 2016.

Based on the screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard and adapted for the stage by Lee Hall, the production will officially open June 4 for a limited engagement through Oct. 16.

Shannon Taylor and Luke Humphrey
Shannon Taylor and Luke Humphrey Photo by Don Dixon

Directed by Declan Donnellan, Shakespeare in Love will have designs by Nick Ormerod, music by Paddy Cunneen, choreography by Jane Gibson, lighting by Neil Austin, sound by Peter Mcboyle, associate direction by Oli Rose and fight direction by Terry King.

Donnellan, who also helmed the show's West End run in 2014-15, will direct a cast led by Luke Humphrey as the young William Shakespeare and Shannon Taylor as his muse, Viola de Lesseps, with Tom McCamus as Fennyman, Stephen Ouimette as Henslowe, Karen Robinson as the Nurse and Saamer Usmani as Kit Marlowe.

Read reviews for the London production here. The production will also feature Thomas Mitchell Barnet as Sam, Brad Hodder as Ned Alleyne, Ruby Joy as Kate, Mike Nadajewski as the Boatman, Sarah Orenstein as Queen Elizabeth, Gareth Potter as Ralph, Andrew Robinson as Wabash, Steve Ross as Burbage, Tal Shulman as John Webster, Colin Simmons as Lady Capulet, Michael Spencer-Davis as Tilney and Rylan Wilkie as Wessex.

"As a long-time fan of Declan and Nick – as well as of the work of Tom and Lee – I was delighted to see they had created onstage such a joyous and affectionate love letter to Will Shakespeare," said artistic director Antoni Cimolino in a statement. "In this 400th anniversary year it seemed the perfect way to celebrate William Shakespeare. And it's an enormous pleasure for me to witness Declan's excitement at the prospect of working at the Stratford Festival with our extraordinary acting company."

"Can a play show us the very truth and nature of the world’s greatest playwright?" ask press notes. "As the Bard’s legacy is celebrated around the globe in 2016 with Shakespeare 400, the boisterous new comedy Shakespeare in Love takes a glorious stab at doing just that. But with little known of Shakespeare beyond the dates of his birth and death – both April 23 – the fun is all in the imagining."

Shakespeare in Love is presented by special arrangement with Disney Theatrical Productions and Sonia Friedman Productions.

The "Shakespeare in Love" film won seven Academy Awards, earning more than $289 million worldwide.

For additional information visit stratfordfestival.ca.

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