Entertainment & Arts

Royal Shakespeare Company shows to transfer to West End

Meera Syal
Image caption Meera Syal stars as Beatrice in Iqbal Khan's production of Much Ado About Nothing

Two Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) productions are to transfer to the West End next summer.

Gregory Doran's Julius Caesar and Iqbal Khan's Much Ado About Nothing will run back to back at the Noel Coward Theatre from late August until October.

Both productions will premiere first in Stratford-upon-Avon in May and July respectively as part of the World Shakespeare Festival.

They will then transfer to the West End for the London 2012 Festival.

The RSC said Doran's Julius Caesar "finds dark contemporary echoes in modern Africa", and features a cast that includes Coronation Street's Ray Fearon and Peep Show's Paterson Joseph as Brutus.

While Khan's RSC directorial debut transposes Shakespeare's unsettling comedy of love and deceit to an Indian setting with comedian Meera Syal in the leading role of Beatrice.

Vikki Heywood, RSC executive director, said: "I am delighted that the RSC is able to bring these two productions to the West End during the summer of 2012."

The theatre company last performed at the Noel Coward theatre in 2004 with a Tragedies season which included a production of Hecuba starring Vanessa Redgrave.

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