The plays will also share one environment. According to press materials, the cycle of plays explore migration, exile and the discovery of new worlds, and the set will create a world of shipwrecks, grief, laughter, love and reunion.
According to RSC associate director David Farr, who will lead the project, "In this shipwreck trilogy we are exploring the recurrent obsessions of Shakespeare with migration, exile and the discovery of yourself through others. Amir Nizar Zuabi (directing The Comedy of Errors) and I are both keen to interrogate these in a modern context and we have chosen to use a shared design environment (by Jon Bausor) to do so. In these plays again and again Shakespeare returns to the image of man or woman as a drop in the ocean seeking another drop. He describes love and passion as being like the sea, and he sees in shipwreck the destruction and the revival of the self. For a man who appears never to have left his country he travelled far in his imagination. I look forward to continuing that journey with the wonderful cast we have with us, from great RSC actors such as Jon Slinger and Nick Day to the unique Palestinian performer Amer Hlehel."
Jonathan Slinger, who played major roles in Michael Boyd's History Cycle and the title role in Macbeth, returns to the company to play Dr Pinch in The Comedy of Errors, Malvolio in Twelfth Night and Prospero in The Tempest.
Emily Taaffe, who makes her RSC debut as Viola in Twelfth Night and Miranda in The Tempest, has appeared at the National in The Veil, The Cherry Orchard and Nation.
Amer Hlehel makes his RSC debut as Balthazar in The Comedy of Errors, coming from Palestine where he works with the ShiberHur company. He has appeared in Amir Nizar Zuabi's recent productions at the Young Vic and has also appeared in Palestinian films including "The Time That Remains," "Amreeka" and the Golden Globe award winning "Paradise Now." Also in the company are Ankur Bahl, Sarah Belcher, Amie Burns Walker, Kirsty Bushell, Nicholas Day, Sandy Grierson, Stephen Hagan, Felix Hayes, Solomon Israel, Jan Knightley, Bruce Mackinnon, Jonathan McGuinness, Kevin McMonagle, Cecilia Noble and Sargon Yelda.
The Comedy of Errors will begin performances in Stratford-upon-Avon March 16, 2012, prior to an official opening April 25 (matinee), then continuing in rep through May 14, before returning for a second run July 16, in rep through Oct. 6. It will begin performances in London June 1, prior to an official opening June 13, then continuing in rep through Oct. 6. It is directed by Amir Nizar Zuabi, founder of the Palestinian theatre company ShiberHur, for whom his productions include In The Penal Colony and I Am Yusuf And This Is My Brother, both of which were seen at the Young Vic. The production is designed by Jon Bausor with lighting by Jon Clark, music and sound by Christopher Shutt and movement by Fin Walker.
Twelfth Night and The Tempest are both directed by David Farr, with the same production team as The Comedy of Errors, except that the music for Twelfth Night is by Adem Ilhan. Twelfth Night begins performances in Stratford March 8, prior to an official opening April 25, for a run in rep through May 15, before returning July 12 for a run in rep through Oct. 6; it begins performances in London June 5, prior to an official opening June 14 (matinee), for a run in rep through July 5. The Tempest begins performances in Stratford March 30, prior to an official opening May 1 (matinee), then running in rep through May 19, before returning July 13 for a run in rep through Oct. 7; it begins performances in London June 9, prior to an official opening June 14, for a run in rep through July 5.
For further details http://www.worldshakespearefestival.org.uk