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Rufus Hound and Les Dennis join RSC at Stratford

Published: 23 February 2019

Rufus Hound is to return to the Royal Shakespeare Company and Les Dennis will make his RSC debut in Phillip Breen’s new production of John Vanbrugh's restoration comedy The Provoked Wife.

Hound last appeared at the RSC as Sancho Panza in the 2016 production of Don Quixote, adapted by James Fenton from the novel by Miguel de Cervantes, in the Swan Theatre, Stratford which transferred to the Garrick Theatre in 2018. Before that he played Francis Henshall in One Man, Two Guvnors by Richard Bean which played at the National Theatre before touring in 2013. In The Provoked Wife he will play Constant.

Les Dennis will take the role of Colonel Bully in The Provoked Wife and will also play Priuli in Prasanna Puwanarajah's new Stratford production of Thomas Otway's Venice Preserved.

He played Bobby in Danny Robins’s End of the Pier at the Park Theatre in 2018 and Victor Smiley in Peter James’s thriller The Perfect Murder on tour in 2014.

Hound and Dennis join the previously announced Alexandra Gilbreath (Lady Brute), Caroline Quentin (Lady Fancyfull) and Jonathan Slinger (Sir John Brute) in the restoration romp that shocked 17th century society.

Breen said, “I’m incredibly excited to be working with the RSC once again and with this talented ensemble of actors. This company brings together a first-class line-up of established comic talent with some of the most exciting young actors I’ve seen making their professional debut on the RSC stage.

The Provoked Wife is a unique comedy. With echoes of Harold Pinter's Consent and Noel Coward's Private Lives, John Vanbrugh's outspoken and at times scandalous comedy of marriage is hilarious, sharp and disturbing in equal measure.”

The Provoked Wife plays in repertoire in the Swan Theatre, Stratford from Thursday 2 May. Press night will be Thursday 9 May. Venice Preserved runs from Friday 24 May. Press night will be Thursday 30 May. Both end on Saturday 7 September.

Steve Orme