Arthur Hughes as Richard III

First Look: Arthur Hughes as Richard III in the new RSC production

The Royal Shakespeare Company has revealed a first look of Arthur Hughes as Richard III, in their brand new production of Richard III coming to Stratford upon Avon in June.

Running from 23 June to 8 October 2022, Richard III is directed by Gregory Doran, outgoing Artistic Director of the RSC.

Watch the Richard III trailer starring Arthur Hughes

Other cast include Rosie Sheehy as Anne, who last performed at the RSC in 2019 playing the title role in King John; also Minnie Gale, Ashley D Gayle and Ben Hall who will reprise their roles as Margaret, Edward and Clarence respectively following Henry VI: Rebellion and War of the Roses at the RSC; and Conor Glean returning to play the Murderer, having played Dick and Young Clifford in Rebellion and The Wars of the Roses.

They are joined by Nicholas Armfield (Richmond), Micah Balfour (Hastings), Claire Benedict (Duchess of York), Kirsty Bushell (Elizabeth), Callum Coates (Brackenbury), Oscar Batterham (Rivers), Sophie Cartman (Keeper), Matthew Duckett (Catesby) Will Edgerton (Tyrell) Olivia Onyehara (Dorset/Citizen 2), Thom Petty (Ratcliffe), Joeravar Sangha (Murderer), Simon Coates (Stanley), Eloise Secker (Mistress Shore/Citizen 1) and Jamie Wilkes (Buckingham).

Arthur Hughes had his RSC debut in Wars of the Roses this Spring in Stratford, where he garnered some impress reviews, including a performance of “hypnotic, snarling intensity” from The Telegraph) and a “brilliance of intensifying evil’ from The Observer.

Arthur’s previous stage credits include La Cage Aux Folles (Park Theatre), Our Town (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, London) The Solid Life of Sugar Water (NT/Graeae Theatre Company), Saint Joan (Donmar Warehouse), Vassa (Almeida), Julius Caesar and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Sheffield Crucible).

Richard III – Cast headshots

On screen he is best known for his roles as Ryan McDaniel in supernatural Netflix series The Innocents and as Ruairi Donovan in the hit BBC Radio 4 series The Archers. Most recently, Arthur appeared Jack Thorne’s Channel 4 care-home drama Help with Jodie Comer and Stephen Graham and played the co-lead in the ground-breaking BBC civil-rights drama Then Barbara Met Alan (2022) alongside Ruth Madeley, also directed by Jack Thorne, with script by award-winning actor-turned-writer Genevieve Barr. The film tells the story of two disabled cabaret performers, Alan Holdsworth (Arthur) and Barbara Lisicki (Ruth Madeley) who met at a gig in 1989 and would go on to become the driving force behind DAN – the Direct-Action Network, whose fearless and coordinated protests pushed the campaign for disabled rights into the spotlight.

Richard III features Set and Costume design by Stephen Brimson Lewis with Lighting by Matt Daw. Music is by Paul Englishby and Sound Design by Claire Windsor. Movement is by Sian Williams with Fights by Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown. The Associate Director is Aaron Parsons.

Gregory Doran said in a press statement: “It’s a real thrill to be back in the rehearsal room at last working with this fantastic company of actors which includes several familiar faces from current double-bill of Henry VI Rebellion and The Wars of the Roses alongside returning company members from across the years and those making their debut with the RSC this Summer. Richard III has a quartet of extraordinary women’s roles and I am delighted that we have enticed RSC veteran Claire Benedict back, (having taken a few years out) to play The Duchess of York; Kristy Bushell (The White Devil) to play Queen Elizabeth; Rosie Sheehy (King John) to play Lady Anne, and of course Mariah Gale returning in the role of Queen Margaret. Richard III completes the bloody cycle of plays covering the War of the Roses, one of the most turbulent periods in English history. It’s the story of Richard, Duke of Gloucester’s unscrupulous climb to power and I’m delighted to be working with Arthur Hughes, whose own particular lived experience will, I’m sure, bring a new urgent and unexpected perspective to the role of Richard. Past productions of Richard III at the RSC have included many memorable performances of this role, from Ian Holm to Jonathan Slinger and of course, Antony Sher. Nearly 40 years on from his celebrated performance as Shakespeare’s ‘bottled spider’, I’m delighted to be putting disabled talent centre stage in this savage analysis of tyranny and the dangers of letting it go unchecked.”

📷 Main photo: Arthur Hughes as Richard III

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