The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) Will Be Returning to The Marlowe Theatre

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The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) Will Be Returning to The Marlowe Theatre

The RSC visit the Canterbury venue with As You Like It, The Taming Of The Shrew and Measure For Measure between Wednesday 29 January and Saturday 8 February. It is the first time the RSC has performed three plays in repertoire at the theatre.

The company will feature 27 actors, who will each appear in two of the three productions.

Opening the season is Shakespeare's dark comedy Measure For Measure (Wednesday 29 January to Saturday 8 February). Directed by RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran, it tells the story of a young novice nun who is compromised by a corrupt official.

Sandy Grierson, who took on the roles of Faustus and Mephistopheles in Maria Aberg's 2016 production of Dr Faustus, will play Angelo. Following his performance as Antony in Antony and Cleopatra, Antony Byrne returns to play The Duke. They are joined by Lucy Phelps in the role of Isabella.

Kimberley Sykes directs an imaginative new take on Shakespeare's comedy As You Like It (Thursday 30 January to Thursday 6 February). It tells the story of Rosalind, who is banished and wrestling with her heart and her head. With her cousin by her side, she journeys to a world of exile where barriers are broken down and all can discover their deeper selves.

Following her roles in Dido Queen of Carthage, Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra in 2017, Lucy Phelps returns to play Rosalind. She will be joined by David Ajao as Orlando. His previous productions for the RSC include The Merchant of Venice, Othello and Hecuba.

The Taming Of The Shrew (Tuesday 4 to Saturday 8 February) is the ultimate battle of the sexes turned on its head. In a reimagined 1590, England is a matriarchy and Baptista Minola is seeking to sell off her son Katherine to the highest bidder. Director Justin Audibert offers a fresh perspective on the comedy's portrayal of hierarchy and power.

Claire Price plays Petruchia and Joseph Arkley plays Katherine in a cast where women play the roles written as men, and men play those written as women.

Gregory Doran, RSC Artistic Director, said: "We have worked hard to assemble a company of actors which reflects the nation in ways it has never done before. Featuring a 50/50 gender-balanced ensemble, we have brought together talent from all corners of the United Kingdom, reflecting both the ethnic, geographical and cultural diversity of Britain today and those artists that are underrepresented on our stages. We want to create a season of work which places contemporary audiences at its heart, which speaks directly to the present moment."

Erica Whyman, RSC Deputy Artistic Director, added: "We want as many people as possible to see our work, and we really believe Shakespeare should be for everyone, so taking plays around our nation is an essential part of what we do. I'm delighted that our visit to The Marlowe Theatre will give audiences the chance to see not just one production, but our wonderful company of actors in three very different plays."

The RSC season will run from Wednesday 29 January to Saturday 8 February, with various performance dates and times. Tickets can be booked on or via the Box Office on 01227 787787.

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