The double-bill was a big hit at the company’s Stratford base, and Shrew had similarly good reviews at the Queen’s Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue. The productions are directed by RSC mainstay Gregory Doran. He’ll also see his even-more successful production of All’s Well That Ends Well, starring Judi Dench, open at the nearby Gielgud Theatre on Feb. 19. Tamer stars Jasper Britton and Alexandra Gilbreath, and is produced in London by Bill Kenwright and Thelma Holt (it was Kenwright who brought Doran’s award-winning 2002 Jacobean Season to the Gielgud). Designs are by Stephen Brimson Lewis.
After these three comedies, the RSC’s Shakespearean output turns more to the tragedies as 2004 wears on, with productions of all the four "great" tragedies. RSC chief Michael Boyd will direct Hamlet (with Toby Stephens), Antony Sher and Sello Maake ka Ncube will star in Othello (directed by Doran), Corin Redgrave will play King Lear (directed by Bill Alexander) and Greg Hicks is Macbeth (directed by Dominic Cooke).