English National Opera has revealed casting for its forthcoming production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Yeomen of the Guard.
Tony and Olivier award-winning actor Richard McCabe will make his operatic debut in the show playing the traveling jester Jack Point, the comic-baritone of the operetta.
Richard is joined by Anthony Gregory as Colonel Fairfax, Neal Davies as Sergeant Meryll of the Yeomen, Alexandra Oomens as Elsie Maynard, John Molloy as Wilfred Shadbolt, Heather Lowe as Phoebe Meryll, Steven Page as Sir Richard Cholmondeley, Susan Bickley as Dame Carruthers, Innocent Masuku as Leonard Meryll and Isabelle Peters as Kate.
Richard McCabe, who is an Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company, said: ‘I am absolutely thrilled and terrified to be taking on this iconic G&S role! I first visited the Coliseum with my school in 1974 and that evening sparked a lifelong love of opera. It is a dream come true to be treading its hallowed boards.’
Richard’s stage credits include Cicero in the RSC’s Imperium (Gielgud Theatre), Jim Hacker in Yes, Prime Minister and his Olivier and Tony winning performance as Harold Wilson in The Audience in the West End and on Broadway. TV credits include Anatomy of a Scandal (Netflix), The Pentaverate (Netflix), A Very British Scandal (BBC), Harlots (Hulu-BBC), Wallander (BBC) and Peaky Blinders (BBC). Movie credits include Eye in the Sky, Mindhorn, The Constant Gardener, Master and Commander and Notting Hill.
The Yeomen of the Guard is set within the Tower of London. There, the unjustly imprisoned Colonel Fairfax has a mutual attraction to Phoebe, the daughter of the righteous Sergeant Meryll, one of the Beefeaters. Phoebe wants Fairfax released so they can marry, and enlists the help of Jack Point and Elsie Maynard, roving entertainers. What follows is a complex caper of forbidden romances, fantastical plots and unrequited love, although not with the usual happy ending we might expect, as the stakes in this tale are far higher…
Directed by Jo Davies (Ruddigore ), this production will be set in the early Twentieth century, and features designs by Anthony Ward, lighting by Oliver Fenwick, video by Andrezj Goulding, sound design by Nick Lidster and choreography by Kay Shepherd.Chris Hopkins leads the award-winning ENO Orchestra and Chorus.
The Yeomen of the Guard runs at the London Coliseum from 3 November to 2 December 2022.