The Royal Shakespeare Company and Playful Productions have announced the historical two-part thriller Imperium (I: Conspirator and II: Dictator) – Mike Poulton’s stage adaptation of Robert Harris’ best-selling Cicero books – will transfer for a limited season to the Gielgud Theatre from 14 June to 8 September 2018 (press day is 30 June).
Directed by RSC artistic director, Gregory Doran, the cast will be led by RSC associate artist and Olivier and Tony Award-winner Richard McCabe (The Audience) as Marcus Tullius Cicero, with the role of Cicero’s faithful servant, Tiro, who narrates their adventures played by Joseph Kloska. Many other members of the original company return for the London run.
The cast will also include: Nicholas Boulton, Guy Burgess, Daniel Burke, Jade Croot, Peter De Jersey, Joe Dixon, John Dougall, Michael Grady-Hall, Oliver Johnstone, Paul Kemp, Patrick Knowles, Hywel Morgan, David Nicolle, Siobhan Redmond, Patrick Romer, Christopher Saul, Eloise Secker and Simon Thorp. Further casting is still to be confirmed.
This theatrical event, co-produced by the RSC with Playful Productions, follows the last collaboration on RSC associate artist Poulton’s stage adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies which enjoyed success at the Aldwych Theatre after its Stratford run, and transferred to Broadway in 2015.
Imperium will be staged as six plays, presented in two performances, each with two intervals, as it did during its sold out run in the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon last year.
Told through the watchful eyes of Cicero’s loyal secretary, Imperium I: Conspirator chronicles how the great orator’s early success unwittingly paves the way for a brutal and bloody end to the Republic. With Rome in chaos at the beginning of Imperium II: Dictator, Cicero must use all his brilliance to restore the power of the Senate from the civic mob and their would-be Emperor: one Julius Caesar.
The productions are designed by Anthony Ward with lighting by Mark Henderson. Music is composed by Paul Englishby, with sound by Claire Windsor. Movement is by Anna Morrissey.