Joan to play Duchess of Malfi in Stratford

Steve Orme

Joan Iyiola will play the title role in John Webster’s tragedy The Duchess of Malfi as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s spring and summer 2018 season.

She returns to the RSC after performing in The Roaring Girls season in 2014 and A World Elsewhere season in 2013. Earlier in 2017 she played Alonna in Boudica by Tristan Bernays at Shakespeare’s Globe.

Alexander Cobb plays her twin brother Ferdinand. Chris New returns to the RSC to play their brother The Cardinal. In 2007 he played Viola in Neil Bartlett’s production of Twelfth Night. His other credits include Quinn in Paul Auster's City of Glass, a 59 Productions, HOME and Lyric Hammersmith co-production in 2017, and Tom in Tennessee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie at Nottingham Playhouse.

Sophie Stanton plays Mrs Rich. She was Marina in The Knot of the Heart by David Elderidge in 2011, a Scottish governess and widow Lin in Caryl Churchill’s Cloud Nine in 2007 and Margarita in Dying For It, Moira Buffini’s adaptation of Nikolai Erdman's The Suicide, also in 2007, all at the Almeida Theatre.

The rest of the cast comprises Jeff Alexander (doctor), Aretha Ayeh (Julia), Greg Barnett (Delio), Graeme Brookes (officer), Will Brown (Roderigo), Ashley Gayle (Silvio), Francis Gush (counter tenor), Amanda Hadingue (Cariola), Richard Hurst (Grisolan), Solomon Israel (officer), Nicolas Tennant (Bosola) and Paul Woodson (Antonio).

The Duchess of Malfi is directed by Maria Aberg and designed by Naomi Dawson with lighting by Natasha Chivers. Music is by Orlando Gough with sound by Claire Windsor and movement by Ayse Tashkiran. It runs in the Swan Theatre from Thursday 1 March until Friday 3 August (press night Thursday 8 March).

Casting has also been announced for The Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich by Mary Pix. The cast comprises Jeff Alexander (coachman), Aretha Ayeh (Lucinda), Daisy Badger (Lady Landsworth), Greg Barnett (Belvoir), Graeme Brookes (footman), Will Brown (Jack), Hayley Considine (governess), Laura Elsworthy (Betty), Sandy Foster (Mrs Trickwell), Ashley Gayle (footman), Amanda Hadingue (Toni), Richard Hurst (footman), Solomon Israel (younger Clerimont), Emily Johnstone (maid), Susan Salmon (Lady la Basset), Sadie Shimmin (Mrs Fidget), Michael Simkins (Mr Rich), Sophie Stanton (Mrs Rich), Jessica Turner (Mrs Clerimont), Tam Williams (Sir John Roverhead) and Leo Ringer (Elder Clerimont).

The Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich is directed by Jo Davies and designed by Colin Richmond, with lighting by Anna Watson. Music is by Grant Olding with sound by Carolyn Downing and movement by Coral Messam. It runs in the Swan Theatre from Friday 23 March until Thursday 14 June (press night Tuesday 3 April).