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Casting announced for The Fair Maid of the West at the Swan Theatre

Casting has been announced for The Fair Maid of the West at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.

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The production from the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) will run from Saturday, 2 December 2023 – Sunday, 14 January 2024, adapted and directed by Isobel McArthur (Pride & Prejudice* (*sort of)) from the original by Thomas Heywood.

The play tells the story of Liz Bridges, a good landlady who pacifies the vexed, enlightens the perplexed, and always knows who’s next. Thomas Heywood’s Elizabethan romp will be a celebratory, music-filled, ensemble comedy about the life-saving powers of community, compromise and compassion.

Liz Bridges will be played by Amber James with Philip Labey as Spencer. They’re joined by Richard Katz with Tom Babbage, Aruhan Galieva, Marc Giro, Melissa Lowe, William Pennington, David Rankine, Emmy Stonelake, Christina Tedders and Matthew Woodyatt.

The Fair Maid of the West features design by Ana Inés Jabares-Pita, lighting by Sinéad McKenna, music by Michael John McCarthy, sound by Niamh Gaffney, movement by Emily Jane Boyle, dramaturgy by Pippa Hill, fights by Claire Llewellyn and casting by Martin Poile.

Isobel McArthur said: “One thing that excited me about staging a version of The Fair Maid of The West is how much of the action takes places in pubs. These theatres of the human condition! Where we may choose to perform or be the audience – and all of human life plays out! So often in portside public houses a carousel of remarkable eccentrics pass through the harbours and doorways, leaving lasting impressions on all those bearing witness. Of course, all are in search of something: shelter, sustenance, company, often love.”

“With this in mind, we knew we needed a cast who could bring great humour and heart, including brilliantly funny multi-rollers with keen dramaturgical minds, possessing of a great facility for both language and music. Our whole ensemble needed to be able to sing, play multiple musical instruments, move beautifully through Ana Inés Jabares Pita’s set and truly take over the Swan Theatre space with their luminescent, celebratory energy.”

For more information and tickets, visit rsc.org.uk

About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.