REHEARSALS have begun this week for York Theatre Royal’s spring production of William Shakespeare’s comedy of cross-dressing and mistaken identity, Twelfth Night (or What You Will).

Directed by associate director Juliet Forster, the cast will feature Sam Hazeldine, soon to be seen as Horatio in the Universal Pictures movie The Wolf Man, in the role of Duke Orsino; Danielle King as the heroine, Viola; Dick Bradnum as the yellow-gartered Malvolio; and York actor Blair Plant as Sir Toby Belch.

Plant has a long association with the Theatre Royal, including playing theatre director Lloyd Dallas in Michael Frayn’s comedy Noises Off in July 1999 and appearing in John Steinbeck’s Of Mice And Men in March 2002.

Jade Anouka will play Olivia; Jack Ashton, Sebastian; Colm Gormley, court jester Feste; Ian Harris, Fabian; Jacqueline Wood, Maria; Paul Westwood, Sir Andrew Aguecheek; Dan Willis, Curio; and Mark Theodore, Valentine.

Forster is joined in the production team by designer Dawn Allsopp, composer Christopher Madin and lighting designer Richard G Jones for the play’s run from April 25 to May 16.

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