Geraldine James to star in RSC’s As You Like It

Acclaimed British stage and screen actress Geraldine James is set to make her Royal Shakespeare Company debut this summer 2023, as Rosalind in Shakespeare’s As You Like It.

As You Like It will run in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon from 17 June to 5 August 2023.  

Directed by Olivier Award nominated director Omar Elerian (The Chairs  – Complicité at the Almeida), this playful and provocative new take on the play will see a company of veteran actors, many of whom have a long association with the RSC, come together to perform one of Shakespeare’s most joyous tales.

The stage will be transformed into a simple rehearsal room, with the actors gathering to conjure up the memory of a long gone show and celebrate the magic of theatre and its unique power to make our imagination soar.

Geraldine James’s most recent credits include The Beast Must Die (Britbox), Back to Life (BBC1/Showtime) and Anne with an E (Netflix), for which she won the 2019 Canadian Screen Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Series. Geraldine will next be seen in the television series Silo (Apple TV) and Steven Knight’s This Town (BBC).

Geraldine’s impressive film career includes 45 Years, Benediction, Beast, Daphne, for which she was nominated for an Evening Standard British Film Award, Downton Abbey, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Made in Dagenham, Calendar Girls, Gandhi and Sir Peter Hall’s She’s Been Away, for which she won the Coppa Volpi Award for Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival.

She has been BAFTA-nominated four times for her TV work, in Dummy, for which she also won a Critics’ Association Award for Best Actress, The Jewel in The Crown, Band of Gold and Sins.  Other TV credits include Utopia, The Five, Black Work, Legacy, 13 Steps Down, Little Britain and Blott on the Landscape. 

On stage, Geraldine has won a Drama Desk Award, and was nominated for a Tony Award, for her performance as Portia in The Merchant of Venice, opposite Dustin Hoffman. She also starred on Broadway as Gertrude in Michael Grandage’s production of Hamlet, with Jude Law.

Her other UK theatre credits include Lawrence After Arabia (Hampstead Theatre), 13 (National Theatre), The Seagull (Arcola Theatre, Victory (Arcola Theatre), The UN Inspector (National Theatre), and Sir Peter Hall’s productions of Lysistrata (Old Vic and West End) and Cymbeline (National Theatre).

Further casting for the show is to be announced.

Joining Elerian on the creative team are Ana Inés Jabares Pita (Designer), Jackie Shemesh(Lighting) and Elena Peña (Sound).

Omar Elerian said in a press statement: “I am really excited about starting rehearsals on this intriguing project, which will explore our relation to love, freedom, and the passing of time. I adore working with actors, so to be able to draw on the talent, craft and experience of such exquisite performers such as Geraldine James is a true privilege.”

In other RSC news this week, the company announced that its forthcoming world premiere production of Hamnet, based on Maggie O’Farrell’s acclaimed novel, is transferring to the Garrick Theatre in London. The show is already sold out in Stratford-upon-Avon, and will play the Garrick in the West End from 30 September 2023 to 6 January 2024.

📷 Main photo: Geraldine James

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