Restoration romp and political thriller at the RSC

Published: 1 December 2018

Alexandra Gilbreath will return to the Royal Shakespeare Company in a “Restoration romp that shocked 17th century society” while Jodie McNee will appear in a “savage political thriller and a love story of breath-taking intensity” at Stratford in 2019.

Gilbreath will play Lady Brute in John Vanbrugh’s comedy The Provoked Wife. She last appeared at the RSC as feisty courtesan Angellica Bianca in the 2016 production of The Rover by Aphra Behn. Other leading roles for the RSC include Mistress Ford in The Merry Wives of Windsor in 2012.

Caroline Quentin will return to the company to play Lady Fanciful. She was last seen at the RSC as Lady Sarah Hotham in Phillip Breen’s 2017 production of The Hypocrite, a co-production with Hull Truck.

RSC associate artist Jonathan Slinger will play Sir John Brute. His numerous RSC credits include the title role in Hamlet in 2013 and Prospero in The Tempest in 2012.

Phillip Breen directs. The production is designed by Mark Bailey with lighting by Tina MacHugh, music by Paddy Cunneen, sound by Dyfan Jones, movement by Ayse Tashkiran and fights by Renny Krupinski.

The Provoked Wife runs in the Swan Theatre from Thursday 2 May until Thursday 7 September 2019. Press night will be Thursday 9 May.

Jodie McNee will play Belvidera in a new, “fast-paced” version of Thomas Otway’s restoration tragedy Venice Preserved.

Driven by love and revenge, two disaffected noblemen join a revolutionary movement to overthrow the corrupt leaders of their failed city state. But the conspirators they join are as corrupt as those in power and their friendship is torn to pieces.

Prasanna Puwanarajah makes his RSC directorial debut. The production is designed by James Cotterill with lighting design by Jack Knowles, sound by George Dennis, fights by Kate Waters and video by Nina Dunn.

Venice Preserved runs in the Swan Theatre from Wednesday 24 May until Thursday 7 September 2019. Press night will be Thursday 30 May.

Steve Orme