Tara Fitzgerald makes RSC debut in Stratford

By IH Friday 14 December 2012 Updated: 21/12 09:35

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TARA Fitzgerald makes her RSC debut in The Winter's Tale at Stratford in the new year.

Fitzgerald takes the role of Hermione in the production directed by Lucy Bailey which can be seen at the RST from January 24 to February 23, before touring the UK.

Fitzgerald is no newcomer to the stage with previous theatre outings including The Misanthrope, A Doll’s House, and Hamlet.

Her TV credits include Waking The Dead, Jane Eyre, and The Body Farm, and she has recently finished recording the third series of HBO’s Game of Thrones . Her film work includes Brassed Off, Sirens and The Englishman Who Went Up The Hill But Came Down A Mountain.

Shakespeare’s tale of jealousy and forgiveness will also sees the return of RSC Associate Artist, Jo Stone-Fewings in the role of Leontes and the RSC debut of Rakie Ayola as Paulina.

Stone-Fewings last appeared with the RSC as Oberon and Theseus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with other RSC credits including The City Madam, Orsino in Twelfth Night, and the Bastard in King John.

On TV he can be seen as Tom Eldridge in New Tricks, and has also appeared in Dr Who and Misfits.

Ayola, who is best known to many for her role as Kyla Tyson in Holby City, makes her RSC debut as Hermione’s faithful servant, Paulina. Her other television credits include Silent Witness, Dr Who and Stella.

Talking about the production, Bailey said: “The Winter's Tale is set in a notional Sicilia and Bohemia. Most interpretations of the play revolve around the relationship of these two worlds. When I read the play, I had two strong instincts - that Sicilia and Bohemia were one and the same place, just two different modes of being, and that the "idyll" which is often understood to be Bohemia, is actually Sicilia.

"In our version which is set in the 1860s, the play begins in Sicilia, where Leontes and his court live a sheltered, beautiful dream of a life, bathed in endless sunshine, and completely removed from the real world of work and suffering. It is in essence an Ivory Tower. At the bottom of their tower, well beyond view, is Bohemia, where the working men and women, despite their struggle, make the most out of very little. We have tried to encapsulate this in our design for the play.”

Music for the production is composed by Jon Boden, lead singer and founder member of contemporary folk band, Bellowhead.

Visit www.rsc.org.uk for tickets and further details.

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