RSC announces cast for Charlie Josephine’s Cowbois at Swan Theatre

Casting has been announced for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s forthcoming production of Charlie Josephine’s new play Cowbois.

The production runs from 14 October – 18 November 2023 at the Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

On the cast, Bridgette Amofah plays Mary, Lee Braithwaite plays Lucy/Lou, Shaun Dingwall plays Frank/Tommy, Michael Elcock plays George, Colm Gormley plays John, Vinnie Heaven plays Jack, Paul Hunter plays Sheriff Roger Jones, Lucy McCormick plays Jayne, Sophie Melville plays Miss Lillian, Julian Moore-Cook plays James, Emma Pallant plays Sally-Ann, and LJ Parkinson plays Charley Parkhurst.

The role of Kid will be shared by Robert Addi, Aiden Cole and Alastair Ngwenya.

In a sleepy town in the Wild West, the women drift through their days like tumbleweed. Their husbands, swept up in the goldrush, have been missing for almost a year and show no sign of returning. In fact, the town is almost cut off from outsiders entirely, with only one drunken sheriff for protection. That is until handsome bandit Jack Cannon, a trans masc cowboy, swaggers up to the town’s saloon, inspiring a gender revolution.

The production is co-directed by Charlie Josephine and Sean Holmes with design by Grace Smart, lighting design by Simeon Miller, music by Jim Fortune, sound and soundscape by Mwen, movement by Jennifer Jackson, fights and intimacy direction by Bethan Clark, dramaturg by Rebecca Latham, casting by Martin Poile and children’s casting by Charlie Metcalf.

Josephine said: “Cowbois a big queer cowboy show. It’s full of everything you’d expect from a western, but our lone ranger – Jack Cannon – is a gender outlaw who fights patriarchy and inspires a revolution in a town full of women. It’s an exploration of honest desire in bodies assigned female at birth, when they’re free from the male gaze and given the chance to be their authentic selves.

“I love cowboys, and wanted to be one growing up. There’s something about the iconic gesture and pose of a cowboy, the sexiness, the swagger that I used as the inspiration for the character of Jack. I also wanted to disrupt the Hollywood version of cowboys: the white cis straight men who are often misogynistic and racist. Instead I wanted to write about sexy trans masculine cowboys and queer working class women.

“There’s not enough theatre by, for and about working-class women and queer people. I hope people coming to watch this show feel empowered seeing these characters on this stage. I hope people have some interesting chats about patriarchy, gender and freedom after seeing it. And of course I hope that everyone will have a great night out!

Cowbois is an exploration of masculinity, power and freedom. But moreover, it’s a love letter to the trans masculine people in history whose stories have been ignored or erased.”

For more information and tickets, visit

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.


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