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Casting announced for UK tour of Shakespeare in Love

Bill Ward

Casting news

FULL casting has been announced for a brand new production and UK tour of the critically acclaimed West End play Shakespeare in Love.

As previously announced, the play will be directed by Phillip Breen and opens at Theatre Royal Bath on Thursday, October 4, 2018. It will then embark on a national tour to Nottingham, Malvern, Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Chichester, with further venues to be announced.

Pierro Niel-Mee will star as Will Shakespeare with Imogen Daines as Viola, Rob Edwards as Fennyman, Geraldine Alexander as the Queen, Edmund Kingsley as Kit Marlowe, Bill Ward as Wessex, Ian Hughes as Henslowe, Giles Taylor as Tilney and De Lesseps, Edward Harrison as Burbage and Philip Labey as Sam.

The cast also includes Rowan Polonski as Ned Alleyn/Catling, Kevin N Golding as Lambert/Wabash, Joshua Richards as Frees/Ralph, Jonathan Blaydon as Nol/Valentine, Richard Rowe McGhie as Adam, Rosalind Steele as Molly, Toby Webster as Peter/Robin and Jazmine Wilkinson as Webster/Mistress Quickly.

Young Will Shakespeare has writer’s block. The deadline for his new play – a comedy called Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate’s Daughter – is fast approaching and he’s struggling to finish the first line of a sonnet and is in dire need of inspiration.

Then he meets the beguiling Viola de Lesseps, the beautiful daughter of a wealthy merchant. Viola is prepared to do anything – including risking the frosty disapproval of Queen Elizabeth I – to fulfil her illicit dream of performing on the London stage and pursuing a passionate affair with the greatest playwright of the age.

Pierro Niel-Mee

Pierro Niel-Mee (Will Shakespeare) most recently starred in the RSC productions of The Hypocrite and Imperium. His previous stage credits also include Kenny (Arcola Theatre) and Wolf Hall/Bring up the Bodies (West End and Broadway). For television, his credits include Lewis, Casualty and Bouquet of Barbed Wire.

Imogen Daines (Viola) starred in Private Lives (Oxford Shakespeare Company) earlier this year, and has previously appeared in Othello (English Theatre of Hamburg), Hamlet (Flute Theatre, ETT), Trevor Nunn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (New Wolsey Theatre) and The Wars of the Roses (Rose Theatre, Kingston), Coram Boy (National Theatre). Her screen work includes Black Mirror, Chasing Shadows, The Story of Tracy Beaker and the film adaptation of On Chesil Beach.

Bill Ward (Wessex) is best known for playing James Barton in Emmerdale and Charlie Stubbs in Coronation Street with further television appearances in EastEnders, The Bill, Silent Witness and True Crime among others. On stage, he most recently starred in the national tours of Legally Blonde and Not Dead Enough, and previously in Viva Forever, Million Dollar Quartet, Spamalot (West End) and The Hairy Ape (Southwark Playhouse).

Based on the screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard and adapted by Lee Hall, Shakespeare in Love has music by Paddy Cunneen and is designed by Max Jones, with lighting by Tina MacHugh, sound by Dyfan Jones and movement direction by Ayse Tashkiran.

Read more about Shakespeare in Love.