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Gina McKee joins Richard III cast

First Published 7 May 2014, Last Updated 28 May 2014

Olivier Award nominated actress Gina McKee will star alongside The Hobbit’s Martin Freeman in Jamie Lloyd’s much-anticipated production of Richard III this summer.

Opening the much in demand director’s second Trafalgar Transformed season, following its inaugural season’s high-profile Macbeth, The Hot House and The Pride, Richard III will play from 1 July to 27 September with an accomplished company gathered to present Shakespeare’s devastating tale of a tyrannical monarch.

Notting Hill star McKee, who will play Queen Elizabeth alongside Freeman in the demanding titular role, was most recently seen on stage in Hampstead Theatre’s Di And Viv And Rose. She reunites with Lloyd following 2008’s West End hit The Lover and The Collection.

McKee and Freeman will be joined in the cast by Lauren O’Neil, Philip Cumbus, Gerald Kyd, Paul McEwan, Forbes Masson, Simon Coombs, Paul Leonard, Mark Meadows, Maggie Steed and Jo Stone-Fewings.

While the supporting cast may not be as instantly familiar to the public as their screen star fellow cast members, Lloyd’s company boasts an impressive array of theatrical credits between them including work with the country’s most esteemed Shakespearean institutions.

Masson, who appeared in Macbeth as part of Lloyd’s inaugural season, leads the charge with an extensive list of Royal Shakespeare Company credits including As You Like It, Romeo & Juliet, Morte D’Arthur and A Tender Thing. He is joined by RSC credit-rivalling Stone-Fewings (The Winter’s Tale, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, King John, The Taming Of The Shrew), fellow RSC actors Coombs and Leonard, who previously appeared in a version of Richard III for the company, and Steed (The War Plays, Crimes In Hot Countries, Much Ado About Nothing).

Being Human star O’Neil follows a high-profile role in Chichester Festival Theatre’s Broadway hit King Lear to appear in Lloyd’s production, while Cumbus boasts numerous credits at Shakespeare’s Globe including The Lighting Child, Macbeth and Much Ado About Nothing.

Completing the cast are Meadows, who recently appeared in Lloyd’s St James Theatre hit Urinetown The Musical, National Theatre actor Kyd (Children Of The Sun and The Cherry Orchard) and fringe regular McEwan.

Tickets for the high-profile production go on public sale next Tuesday at 10:00. Continuing Lloyd’s accessible vision and desire to attract new theatregoers, all tickets for Monday performances across the second season including the as yet announced shows will be £15. The shows will also be accompanied by a programme of Traf Extras, with fiery debates, post show Q&As and rehearsed readings all on the menu.

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