Trevor Nunn to direct The Wars of the Roses at Kingston’s Rose
Trevor Nunn is to direct The Wars of the Roses, an adaptation of four Shakespeare plays not seen together for 50 years, at the Rose Theatre Kingston.
The Wars of the Roses is made up of Henry VI Parts I, II and III, and Richard III. It has not been produced since it was first staged at the Royal Shakespeare Company by Peter Hall and John Barton in 1963.
The production adapts Shakespeare’s works into a trilogy – here titled Henry VI, Edward IV and Richard III. The trilogy will run in repertory with a cast of more than 20 actors and a community ensemble, making it the largest company to ever to perform on the Rose’s stage.
“It’s about as exciting as anything I have come across in the last couple of decades,” Nunn told The Stage.
“Of course, doing a great big saga is thrilling in itself, but doing it at the Rose is even more extraordinary. The Rose Bankside [of which the Rose in Kingston is a replica] is where Henry VI and Richard III were first performed in Shakespeare’s lifetime,” he said.
Nunn said it was “high time” the production was remounted, 50 years after the original.
He described the production as “very inclusive in a number of ways”.
“First of all, the event will surround the audience and come through the audience and it cries out for that wonderful communal experience, but it’s also going to be communal as well in that some students and local people will also be involved in the battle scenes. There will be a community ingredient,” he said.
The Wars of the Roses will run from September 16 to October 31, with press performances on October 3. On Saturdays all three plays will be performed in sequence to create what Nunn describes as “the complete experience of this thrilling epic”.
Rose Theatre chief executive Robert O’Dowd said: “We are thrilled to welcome Trevor Nunn and his brilliant team to the Rose to create The Wars of the Roses, in our biggest and most ambitious project to date. It’s a major event to stage this production, 50 years on from the original incarnation.”
The production will be designed by John Napier and Mark Friend, with costume by Mark Bouman, lighting by Paul Pyant and sound by Fergus O’Hare.
Music for the show will be by Guy Woolfenden.
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