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Imperium Part II: Dictator in Stratford-upon-Avon (Photo: Ikin Yum/RSC)

Imperium Part II: Dictator in Stratford-upon-Avon (Photo: Ikin Yum/RSC)

RSC’s Imperium comes to conquer West End

Robin Johnson

By Robin Johnson Published 13 March 2018

The Royal Shakespeare Company’s two-part historical thriller Imperium will transfer to London’s Gielgud Theatre this summer.

Told in two plays – I: Conspirator, and II: Dictator – Imperium is based on Robert Harris’ best-selling Cicero trilogy. Making its West End debut, Mike Poulton’s adaptation for the stage is performed as six one-act plays across two performances, each with two intervals.

Imperium I: Conspirator chronicles the journey of great orator Cicero, from great early success to a brutal and bloody end to the Republic, from the eyes of his loyal secretary. Part II: Dictator subsequently follows his efforts to wrest power from would-be Emperor Julius Caesar, and restore order and justice in Rome through empowering the Senate.

Imperium Part I: Conspirator in Stratford-upon-Avon (Photo: Ikin Yum/RSC)

Imperium Part I: Conspirator (Photo: Ikin Yum/RSC)

The epic thriller is directed by the RSC Artistic Director, Gregory Doran, and recently played a sell-out run at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon.

The cast of Imperium will be led by Richard McCabe (Olivier and Tony Award-winner for The Audience, and star of BBC’s Collateral) as Cicero, and Joseph Kloska (The Crown, Netflix) as Tiro.

The company also includes 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.

Imperium Part II: Dictator (Photo: Ikin Yum/RSC)

Imperium Part II: Dictator (Photo: Ikin Yum/RSC)

The theatrical event reunites the RSC with Playful Productions, following their last collaboration on Mike Poulton’s stage adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies. Both enjoyed huge success at the Aldwych Theatre, and went on to transfer across the Atlantic to Broadway in 2015.

London previews of Imperium begin on 14 June, playing at the Gielgud Theatre until 8 September 2018.

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Tagged:
conspirator dictator gielgud theatre gregory doran imperium joseph kloska mike poulton playful productions richard mccabe royal shakespeare company show announcement

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