The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) announces that Mathew Baynton will play Bottom in a new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Directed by Eleanor Rhode, the show will run in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre between Tuesday 30 January and Saturday 30 March.
Mathew, known for co-creating, writing and starring as Thomas Thorne in Ghosts (BBC) and soon to be seen as Fickelgruber in the film Wonka,will be making his RSC debut next year as one of Shakespeare’s most well-known comic characters. Mathew is also known for his many roles in Horrible Histories and for co-creating, writing and starring in the BBC’s The Wrong Mans.
Following the critical acclaim of King John (2019), Eleanor Rhode returns to the RSC to direct Mathew in his first on-stage production since 2013.
Further casting to be announced.
Mathew Baynton said about the role: “I really couldn’t be more excited to be joining the cast of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the RSC. I’ve always wanted to be part of a Shakespeare production and I’ve been hoping to return to the stage for quite some time too, so to be able to combine those two ambitions in one of the great ensemble comedies is a (midsummer night’s) dream come true! Eleanor’s vision for the production sounds magical and Bottom is, of course, an absolute treat of a role, so I can’t wait to get started.”
Director, Eleanor Rhode said about the casting: “I’m thrilled to be returning to the RSC to direct A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It’s a play that made a big impact on me from a young age, and I’m excited to share it with a new generation of theatre-goers. Mathew Baynton is going to be an incredible Bottom – I’ve loved his work for years, and so it’s a real joy to be able to collaborate with him on bringing this magical play to life.”
On Midsummer’s Night, the real and fairy worlds collide. Four young lovers, faced with the prospect of unhappy marriage or worse, flee the court of Athens and stumble into an enchanted forest. Nearby, a group of amateur actors rehearse a play to celebrate an upcoming royal wedding.
As these mere mortals cross paths with a warring fairy King and Queen, chaos reigns in the natural world. The lines between reality and illusion start to blur and no-one but mischievous Puck knows what is true and what is magic.
The production will feature Design by Lucy Osborne, Illusion Direction and Design by John Bulleid, Lighting by Matt Daw, Music by Will Gregory, Sound by Pete Malkin, Movement by Annie-Lunnette Deakin-Foster, Video by Nina Dunn and Fights and Intimacy by Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown, with Casting by Matthew Dewsbury CDG.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream will run at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon from30 January 2024 – 30 March 2024.