RSC to Tour HENRY IV PART I and II this Autumn
The Royal Shakespeare Company will tour Henry IV Parts I and II, Shakespeare's celebrated history plays, to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Norwich, Salford, Bradford, Bath and Canterbury between September - November 2014. The productions will take to the road after a season at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon between March - September 2014, and before playing at the Barbican in London between November 2014 - January 2015.
Directed by RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran, the productions feature RSC Associate Artist, Antony Sher as Sir John Falstaff, Jasper Britton as Henry IV, Alex Hassell as Prince Hal and Paola Dionisotti as Mistress Quickly.
Knighted for his services for acting and writing, Antony Sher first worked for the RSC in 1982. He last appeared with the RSC in the 2009 Baxter Theatre Centre/RSC production of The Tempest. His many other roles for the company have included his award-winning performance in Richard III, as well as the title roles in Tamburlaine, Cyrano de Bergerac and Macbeth. He played Shylock in The Merchant of Venice and Iago in Othello. In 2005 he directed Fraser Grace's play Breakfast with Mugabe for the RSC. He played Disraeli in the film, Mrs Brown alongside Judi Dench. His other credits include The Captain of Kopenick, Stanley and Primo for the National Theatre. Antony Sher's books include the memoirs Woza Shakespeare: Titus Andronicus in South Africa, (co-written with his partner, Gregory Doran in 1997), Year of the King (1985) and his auto-biography Beside Myself (2002).
Jasper Britton's previous RSC work includes Petruchio in Gregory Doran's productions of The Taming of the Shrew and The Tamer Tamed (2003/4). Other recent stage appearances include Private Ear/Public Eye (national tour) and Amygdala (The Print Room). Jasper's TV credits include: The Royal and Midsomer Murders, and the film Anonymous.
Alex Hassell returns to the RSC after appearing in Cardenio, The City Madam, A Midsummer Night's Dream (2011) and Othello (2009). Screen credits include Silent Witness, Hustle and Miranda, and the films, Anonymous and Calendar Girls. In 2012 he played alongside Jonathan Pryce and Alan Cox in an international tour of The Caretaker.
Paola Dionisotti plays Mistress Quickly, following her performances as Pandulph in King John and Margaret in Richard III for the RSC in 2012.
Gregory Doran became the RSC's Artistic Director in 2012. Recent credits include Richard II (with David Tennant in the title role) and an international tour of Julius Caesar.
Talking about the forthcoming productions, Gregory Doran said: "Henry IV, Parts I and II were chosen to open the Elisabeth Scott Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1932. We presented them as part of the celebrations for the Festival of Britain in 1951, with Richard Burton as Hal; and for Shakespeare's tercentenary in 1964 directed by Peter Hall. They are great plays to celebrate a big occasion and I am delighted to be mounting them again to mark Shakespeare's 450th birthday, and taking them on the road.
"I'm thrilled to be working with a cast that includes Antony Sher as Falstaff, Jasper Britton as Henry IV, Alex Hassell as Hal and Paola Dionisotti as Mistress Quickly. With their mixture of comedy, history and pathos, Henry IV Parts I and II have always had a broad appeal. I hope audiences will join us to experience what are, arguably, two of Shakespeare's greatest plays."
Henry IV Part I cast includes: Elliot Barnes-Worrell (Prince John/Francis); Martin Bassindale (Peto); Jasper Britton (King Henry IV); Antony Byrne (Worcester); Sean Chapman (Northumberland/Earl of Douglas); Paola Dionisotti (Mistress Quickly); Jonny Glynn (Gadshill); Nia Gwynne (Lady Mortimer); Alex Hassell (Prince Hal); Jim Hooper (Sir Richard Vernon); Youssef Kerkour (Westmoreland); Sam Marks (Poins); Keith Osborn (Scroop); Leigh Quinn (Traveller); Joshua Richards (Bardolph/Glendower); Antony Sher (Sir John Falstaff); Simon Thorp (Sir Walter Blunt); Trevor White (Hotspur) and Simon Yadoo (Chamberlain).