“Driven by love and revenge, two disaffected noblemen join a revolutionary movement to overthrow the corrupt leaders of their failed city state. But the conspirators they join are as corrupt as those in power, and their friendship is torn to pieces in the furnace of love”.
Prasanna Puwanarajah directs Thomas Otway’s ‘Venice Preserved’ at the RSC’s Swan Theatre from 24th May to 7th September 2019, with an official opening night of Thursday 30th May.
Following her roles in ‘A Life of Galileo’, ‘Written on the Heart’ and ‘Measure for Measure’, Jodie McNee will play Belvidera in Otway’s tragedy.
Les Dennis (Opportunity Knocks, The Russ Abbott Show, The Les Dennis Laughter Show and Family Fortunes) makes his RSC debut as Priuli. Dennis’ most recent work includes ‘End of the Pier‘ at the Park Theatre, for which he was nominated for the OFFIE Award for ‘Best Male in a Play’, and Uncle Fester in the UK Tour of ‘The Addams Family‘.
Further casting will include Isabel Adomakoh Young (Spinosa), Pete Ashmore (Theodore), Natalie Dew (Aquilina), Polly Edsell (Brabe), Kevin N Golding (Duke), Michael Grady-Hall (Jaffeir), Alison Halstead (Bedamar), John Hodgkinson (Antonio), Nickcolia King-N’Da (Brainveil), Steve Nicolson (Renault), Carl Prekopp (Eliot), Ben Roddy (Officers), Rosalind Steele (Aquilina’s Maid), Sarah Twomey (Waiter) and Toby Webster (Durand).
This will be Prasanna Puwanarajah’s first time directing for the company, having previously acted in Gregory Doran’s ‘Twelfth Night’ in 2010, the National Theatre’s production of ‘Absolute Hell’, and in the hit TV shows Doctor Foster and Patrick Melrose.
Puwanarajah said, “Venice Preserved has been in my head for the past 8 years and it has never felt more apposite than now; it’s a thrilling, hot shard of Restoration noir about idiots in power versus the seismic political movements and moments that pull a city – and relationships – to pieces. I’m thrilled to be directing at the RSC for the first time, and for it to be this extraordinary play, and I’m excited by the company we’ve formed; new faces of all ages will play alongside RSC veterans, making this a great opportunity to see incredible performers climb into one of the great verse tragedies”.
The production is designed by James Cotterill, with lighting design by Jack Knowles, sound by George Dennis, movement by Polly Bennett, fights by Kate Waters and video by Nina Dunn.
“A fast-paced new version of Thomas Otway’s restoration tragedy, this is a savage political thriller and a love story of breath-taking intensity”.