Greg Hicks Is RSC's New King Lear; Kathryn Hunter Is His Fool

News   Greg Hicks Is RSC's New King Lear; Kathryn Hunter Is His Fool
 
Greg Hicks is to play the title role of King Lear in a new production for the Royal Shakespeare Company, beginning performances at Stratford-upon-Avon's Courtyard Theatre Feb. 18, prior to an official opening March 2, for a run through Aug. 26. The cast will also include Kathryn Hunter as The Fool.

RSC associate director David Farr directs. Hicks is currently playing Leontes in Farr's production of The Winter's Tale and the title role of Julius Caesar, and will return to the Stratford repertoire in the summer of 2010. Hicks has also previously worked with the RSC playing the title roles of Coriolanus (also directed by Farr) and Macbeth (directed by Dominic Cook), and Agamemnon in Tantalus and the Ghost of Old Hamlet in Hamlet.

In a press statement, Farr has commented, "I have worked with Greg Hicks on Coriolanus, Tamburlaine and The Winter's Tale. I have a particular relationship with Greg, a rare understanding. He is an actor of immense bravery and skill."

Hunter, who is an RSC associate artist, joined the ensemble in the summer of 2009 and has performed in two new plays for the company – The Grain Store by Natali'a Vorozhbit in Stratford and Juliet in Ben Power's A Tender Thing, a re-imagining of Romeo and Juliet which premiered in Newcastle in the autumn. She will also play Cleopatra in Michael Boyd's forthcoming production of Antony and Cleopatra.

In a press statement, Farr has commented, "Kathryn is a unique theatrical performer. She can bring emotional truth and physical ingenuity to anything from monkeys to kings. She has a strange purity that I was looking for in casting the Fool — a kind of holiness."

The cast also includes Charles Aitken as Edgar and Tunji Kasim as his brother Edmund, with Lear's daughters played by Kelly Hunter (Goneril), Katy Stephens (Regan) and Samantha Young (Cordelia). Geoffrey Freshwater, who has played over 70 roles for the RSC over 4 decades, will play the Duke of Gloucester and Darrell D'Silva will play the Duke of Kent. The company is completed by Adam Burton (Third Knight and Messenger), Brian Doherty (King of France), Phillip Edgerley (Cornwall's Servant), James Gale (Kent's Gentleman), Paul Hamilton (Doctor), Ansu Kabia, John Mackay (Albany), Sandy Neilson (Old Man), Peter Shorey (Curan), Clarence Smith (Cornwall), Larrington Walker (Servant), Sophie Russell (Singer) and Hannah Young. The production is designed by John Bausor, with Jon Clark (lighting), Keith Clouston (composer), Ann Yee (movement director) and Kate Waters (fight director) completing the creative team.

To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 800 1110, or visit www.rsc.org.uk.

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