Geraldine James joins RSC for As You Like It

Published: 23 March 2023
Reporter: Steve Orme

RSC debut: Geraldine James

Geraldine James will make her Royal Shakespeare Company debut as Rosalind in director Omar Elerian’s production of As You Like It which runs in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford in summer 2023.

In Elerian’s new take on the play, a company of veteran actors—many of whom are likely to have a long and close association with the RSC—will come together to perform “one of Shakespeare’s most joyous tales”.

James, who has been nominated for a BAFTA television award four times, won a Drama Desk Award and was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance as Portia in The Merchant of Venice. She appeared opposite Dustin Hoffman in the 1989 Peter Hall Company production at London’s Phoenix Theatre.

She also appeared on Broadway as Gertrude in Michael Grandage’s 2009 production of Hamlet which featured Jude Law.

As You Like It will be Omar Elerian’s first production for the RSC. A graduate of the Lecoq International Theatre School, Paris, he was resident associate director at the Bush Theatre from 2012–2019 where he commissioned and directed shows.

Elerian said, “I’m really excited about starting rehearsals on this intriguing project which will explore our relation to love, freedom and the passing of time. I adore working with actors so to be able to draw on the talent, craft and experience of exquisite performers such as Geraldine James is a true privilege.”

Full casting is to be announced. Designer is Ana Inés Jabares Pita, lighting is by Jackie Shemesh and sound by Elena Peña.

As You Like It will run from Saturday 17 June until Saturday 5 August. Press night will be on Tuesday 27 June.

Meanwhile, the RSC’s permanent exhibition The Play’s The Thing will reopen in the Swan Theatre on Saturday 22 April—just in time for Shakespeare’s birthday. The exhibition includes costumes and props from the RSC’s “vast” collection and offers “unique insights into the history of theatre-making in Stratford since 1879”.

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