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Six Nottinghamshire women including city councillor in RSC’s Julius Caesar at Theatre Royal

Six local women will take to the stage of the Theatre Royal, Nottingham, between Tuesday 23 to Saturday 27 May 2023 as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s forthcoming production of the political thriller, Julius Caesar.

The group includes a Nottingham City Councillor, a theatre producer, a primary school teacher, a senior Educator at the National Holocaust Centre and Museum, a sustainability and building health facilitator, and a trustee for Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature.  They will act as a Community Chorus, appearing alongside the show’s professional acting company.

 

The group is made up of local community leaders who advocate for diversity, inclusion, equality and sustainability, reflecting the diversity of the city in age and ethnicity.

They encourage communities to engage in the creative arts, to expand their knowledge and learn new skills, and to embed mental health, well-being and sustainability into their lives and workplaces.  They lead and support a variety of local groups and causes, including support for those experiencing domestic abuse, mental health issues, and homelessness, as well as empowering others through performing arts and creative writing projects. 

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As well as gaining experience in performance, it is hoped that the group will learn from and share their individual skills, too, enriching the experience of everyone involved and taking that learning back to their respective community groups.

 

Directed by Atri Banerjee, this production of Julius Caesar will explore questions such as gender in leadership and power, and the Chorus will represent identities that have been marginalised, either at different points in history or in our world today.

The Chorus will be integrated into various musical elements of the production, and appear as an otherworldly presence alongside a number of the characters in the play, such as the Soothsayer, who famously warns Caesar to ‘beware the Ides of March’.  They will also serve to heighten the play’s status as a tragedy as well as a political thriller.

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The Theatre Royal’s Director of Programming, Jonathan Saville, is delighted to have the opportunity to bring such a diverse and influential group of local people together; “These six women are all community leaders, experts in their respective fields, and together they combine to create a remarkable and inspiring group. Key themes in this production are to explore what makes a leader and to ask questions about gender and power.

“Who better to take part than women who can share what they learn from this experience with the people they work with in the local community and the organisations they lead?  We look forward to building their theatre-making and performance skills over the rehearsal period, and learning from them, too. It will be so rewarding to see them play a key role in Julius Caesar live on our stage in May.”

 

The group is currently meeting weekly with Rachel Parkes, who is acting as the local Musical Director for the show at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham, and the theatre’s participation practitioner, Rebecca Morris, to explore how to use their voices to express emotion, try out different vocal techniques, and learn more about the world of the play. The show’s Associate Director, Lucy Waterhouse and Associate Music Director, Helen Washington, will visit the group at some point during their rehearsals. The show’s composer, Jasmin Kent Rodgman and Music Director, Lindsey Miller are also closely involved in shaping the role of the Chorus.

 

When the RSC arrives at the Theatre Royal, the group will rehearse with the professional actors and wider creative team, integrating the group into the production.

 

The Community Chorus comprises: Khaya Job, Emily Kelsey, Orla O’Connor, Shuguftah Quddoos, Laura Thurman, and Becky Valentine.

 

The Theatre Royal, Nottingham, is one of the RSC’s partner theatres. Working with schools and members of the community in the Nottinghamshire area, the two organisations are committed to making Shakespeare and theatre as accessible as possible to everyone.  This opportunity to perform with the RSC comes after other local people took part in a production of Henry VI: Rebellion in 2022 in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.

 

LISTINGS INFORMATION

RSC Julius Caesar

Tuesday 23 – Saturday 27 May 2023

Theatre Royal Nottingham

Tue-Sat 7.30pm, Thu & Sat matinees 2pm

Sign Language Interpreted: 26 May 2023 7.30pm

Audio Described: 27 May 2023 2pm

Captioned: 27 May 2023 2pm

£12.50 – £38.50 plus discounts for Royal Members*, 14-25 year olds, Schools, and Groups

www.trch.co.uk Box Office 0115 989 5555

 

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