Chung to play Dido in RSC Marlowe production

Steve Orme

Chipo Chung is to take the title role in the Royal Shakespeare Company production of Dido, Queen of Carthage, Christopher Marlowe’s dark tale of sacrifice and passion.

Chung was Portia and Octavius in Robert Hastie’s 2017 production of Julius Caesar at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield. She played Isabelle in Melissa Bubnic’s Boys will be Boys for Headlong Theatre at Bush Hall in 2016 and Theodora in Anthony Neilson’s adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s novel The Haunting of Hill House at Liverpool Everyman in 2015.

Sandy Grierson returns to the RSC after appearing in the 2016 production of Marlowe’s The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus in which he played both Faustus and Mephistophilis. In Dido Queen of Carthage he will play Aeneas.

Kimberley Sykes who directs said, “Dido is a play about a successful woman, powerful, in control, independent and foreign. She was a threat to the future of Rome so she had to be destroyed.

“It’s an extraordinary story rarely told. In our current climate of shutting down borders and distrust of people in power, I want to explore the play’s potent themes of human behaviour and political agendas.”

The cast also includes Ellie Beaven (Venus), ;Will Bliss (Hermes), Andro Cowperthwaite (Ganymede), ;Nicholas Day (Jupiter), Waleed Elgadi (Sergestus), Ben Goffe (Cupid), Kim Hartman (nurse), Amber James (Anna), Laura Kirman (Dido’s train), Tom Lorcan (Illioneus), Tom McCall (Achates), Miles Mitchell (Trojan), Lucy Phelps (Cloanthus), Bridgitta Roy (Juno), Johnson Willis (Lord / Carthaginian / Dido’s train) and Daniel York (Iarbus).

Design is by Ti Green with lighting by Ciaran Bagnall. Music is by Mike Fletcher and sound by Claire Windsor. Movement is by Ayse Tashkiran.

Dido, Queen of Carthage runs in the Swan Theatre from 15 September until Saturday 28 October. The press performance is on Thursday 21 September as part of a double press day with Coriolanus, marking the culmination of the RSC’s Rome season in Stratford.