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Stars to shine in RSC blockbusters

Coriolanus and Dido, Queen of Carthage, Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the Swan Theatre, from September 15.

The Royal Shakespeare Company has announced the leading players for two of its autumn blockbusters, which both begin their run at Stratford on the same day, September 15.

Sope Dirisu stars as Coriolanus in the final production of the RSC's Rome season, directed by Angus Jackson. Recently seen on television in ITV's The Halcyon, Dirisu is joined by Haydn Gwynne, who returns to the RSC after 11 years to play his mother, Volumnia. Also returning to the Stratford stage in Coriolanus is Associate Artist Paul Jesson, who plays Menenius and was last seen as Cardinal Wolsey in Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies at the Swan Theatre.

Coriolanus has been cross cast with Julius Caesar, Antony & Cleopatra and Titus Andronicus, already in production with the RSC, and all four transfer to London's Barbican Theatre from 6 November.

The lead role in Christopher Marlowe's dark tale of sacrifice and passion, Dido, Queen of Carthage, is taken by Chipo Chung (right), whose most recent stage role was Portia

in the Sheffield Crucible's production of Julius Caesar. Sandy Grierson returns to the RSC, following the 2016 production of Doctor Faustus, to play Aeneas, the refugee from Troy with whom Dido falls madly in love.

Director Kimberley Sykes said, "Dido is a play about a successful woman, powerful, in control, independent and foreign. She was a threat to the future of Rome, and the West, so she had to be destroyed, erased from history. It's an extraordinary story, rarely told, and in our current climate of shutting down borders, fear of 'the other' and distrust of people in power, I want to explore the play's potent themes of human behaviour and political agendas."

To book tickets call 01789 403493 or go online at

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