Now is the Summers of our discontent as Harry lands title role in York Shakespeare Project’s Richard III this spring

Harry Summers: Title role in York Shakespeare Project’s Richard III this spring

REHEARSALS are under way for Richard III, the first production of York Shakespeare Project’s phase two.

Dr Daniel Roy Connelly’s cast will be led by Harry Summers in the winter-of-discontent role of Richard Duke of Gloucester/Richard III.

Further roles will go to Rosy Rowley, Duke of Buckingham; Miranda Mufema, Lady Anne;  
Emily Hansen, Queen Margaret; Andrea Mitchell, Queen Elizabeth; Frankie Hayes, Duchess of York/Sir William Catesby; Matt Simpson, Duke of Clarence, and Jack Downey, Sir Richard Ratcliffe.

Clive Lyons will play Lord Hastings; Michael Peirce, Young York/Lord Grey/Murderer;  Nell Frampton, Prince Edward/Rivers; Frank Brogan, King Edward IV/Stanley; Thomas Jennings, Sir James Tyrell; Nick Jones, Earl of Richmond; James Tyler, Archbishop, and Anna Kedge, Marquis of Dorset.

Dr Daniel Roy Connelly: Making his York Shakespeare Project debut as director of Richard III

As was the case when YSP began its 20-year mission to present all 37 of the Bard’s works with the 2002 production of Richard III at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre, so Richard III will be the opening play once more, this time at Friargate Theatre, Lower Friargate, York from April 26 to 29.

A newcomer to York, theatre director, actor, poet, professor and former British diplomat Dr Connelly is at the helm after directing in places as diverse as Shanghai, Rome, America and the Edinburgh Festival. He will refract Richard’s turbulent tale of politics, power and corruption through today’s lens. 

Richard III will be one of two YSP productions at the 2023 York International Shakespeare Festival, along with Liz Elsworth’s semi-staged version of Shakespeare’s narrative poem The Rape Of Lucrece.

YSP begins a new chapter in 2023 with a 25-year project to stage not only those plays again, but also the best works by his Elizabethan and Jacobean contemporaries.