John Douglas Thompson-Led Othello, Sanaz Toossi's English, More in Upcoming Royal Shakespeare Company Season | Playbill

International News John Douglas Thompson-Led Othello, Sanaz Toossi's English, More in Upcoming Royal Shakespeare Company Season

The U.K. theatre has revealed the inaugural season programmed by new Co-Artistic Directors Daniel Evans and Tamara Harvey.

John Douglas Thompson Vi Dang

Royal Shakespeare Company has revealed the first season programmed by newly appointed Co-Artistic Directors Daniel Evans and Tamara Harvey, a roster that includes eight Shakespeare revivals and a number of premieres, including the European premiere of Sanaz Toossi's Pulitzer-winning English.

The work, which made its world premiere Off-Broadway at Atlantic Theater Company in 2022, follows a group of adults in Iran preparing for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) in an "English Only" classroom. RSC's production, being produced in association with Kiln Theatre, is set for the company's Other Place venue, with Diyan Zora directing a cast including Nadia Albina, Sara Hazemi, Lanna Joffrey, and Serena Manteghi. Performances will run May 9-June 1, with opening night set for May 15. A run at Kiln will follow June 5-29, with that opening night set for June 6.

The production will feature design by Anisha Fields, sound by George Dennis, and movement by Maria Tarokh. Casting is by Lotte Hines.

English will also make a Broadway bow via Roundabout Theatre Company in its upcoming season.

Broadway favorite John Douglas Thompson will make his RSC debut playing the title role in Shakespeare's Othello in the latter half of the upcoming season, with dates to be announced. Thompson will co-star alongside Will Keen as Iago and Juliet Rylance as Desdemona, with Tim Carroll at the helm.

Other upcoming Shakespeare productions include Love's Labour's Lost, running April 11-May 18 and starring Bridgerton's Luke Thompson; The Merry Wives of Windsor, directed by Blanche McIntyre, June 5-September 7; Pericles, directed by Harvey (in her RSC directorial debut), July 26-September 21; As You Like It, directed by Brendan O'Hea, July 18-September 1; The Two Gentlemen of Verona, featuring the Next Generation Act young company, August 22-24; King Lear, presented in collaboration with Ukraine's Uzhhorod Theatre Company, June 15; Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet, presented by Northern Balley, September 19-28; and,  in the undated further season, Twelfth Night, directed by Prasanna Puwanarajah, and Hamlet, directed by Rupert Goold and starring Luke Thallon.

Non-Shakespeare offerings include The Buddha of Suburbia, a co-production with Wise Children running April 18-June 1 and officially opening April 30. The 1990 novel has been adapted by Emma Rice and original author Hanif Kureishi, with Dee Ahluwalia set to star as Karim and Ankur Bahl as Haroon. Directed by Rice, the production will feature set design by Rachana Jadhav, costume design by Vicki Mortimer, sound and video design by Simon Baker, lighting by Jai Morjaria, music by Niraj Chag, choreography by Etta Murfitt, fight choreography by Kev McCurdy, and casting by Matthew Dewsbury.

Co-produced by Good Chance, Kyoto will play the Swan Theatre June 18-July 13 with opening night set for June 25. The new work comes from the creators of The Jungle, with Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin directing. The play puts audiences in the center of the 1997 Kyoto climate summit.

Also in the season are the world premiere of David Edgar's new political play The New Real, presented in association with Headlong with Holly Race Roughan at the helm; a new version of the classic fairy tale The Red Shoes, adapted by Nancy Harris and featuring direction by Kimberley Rampersad; and a Daniel Raggett-helmed revival of Christopher Marlowe's Edward II starring RSC Co-Artistic Director Evans.

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