Play by Ben Jonson. Directed Gregory Doran with designs by Robert Jones, lighting by Wayne Dowdeswell and movement by Michael Ashcroft.
"Blush not, Sejanus, thou great aid of Rome,
Let us not force thy simple modesty
With off’ring at thy praise."
Act I Sc iii
The Emperor Tiberius raises a statue to honour Sejanus, unaware that his right hand man is ruthlessly working his way to the top, destroying everyone in his path. No one can stop him, but his fall is inevitable.
This play was published in 1605, the year of the Gunpowder Plot. Ben Jonson was no stranger to controversy in both his life and his work. Sejanus was performed two years earlier, and Jonson was called before the Privy Council to answer charges of treason. It is not known what was removed before the play was published. A theory is that the play was too 'popish' as Jonson was a Catholic.
This political thriller will be the first time the RSC has staged a tragedy by Ben Jonson.
The cast includes William Houston in the title role of 'Sejanus' along with Barry Aird 'Laco', Ishia Bennison 'Agrippina', Nigel Betts 'Eudemus/Lepidus', Peter Bramhill 'Rufus', Miranda Colchester 'Livia', Nigel Cooke 'Arruntius', Ewen Cummins 'Varro', Peter De Jersey 'Macro', Ian Drysdale 'Latiaris', Jon Foster 'Caligula', Geoffrey Freshwater 'Silius', Kevin Harvey 'Afer/Pomponius', James Hayes 'Sabinus', Michael Jenn 'Satrius', Jonjo O’Neill 'Nero', Keith Osborn 'Terrentius/Cordlus', Vinette Robinson 'Lady', Matt Ryan 'Prince Drusas', Barry Stanton 'Tiberius', Tim Treloar 'Natta'.
This production was previously seen at The Swan Theatre in Stratford: Previewed 20 July, Opened 26 July 2005, Closed 5 November 2005
RSC's Associate Director Gregory Doran previous productions for the RSC include Othello with Antony Sher (Swan Theatre, Stratford 2004, Trafalgar Studios (Whitehall Theatre), London 2004), All's Well That Ends Well with Judi Dench (Swan Theatre, Stratford 2003, Gielgud Theatre, London 2004), The Taming of The Shrew (Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford 2003, Queen's Theatre, London 2004), The Tamer Tamed (Swan Theatre, Stratford 2003, Queen's Theatre, London 2004), The Island Princess (Swan Theatre, Stratford 2002, Gielgud Theatre, London 2002), Jubilee (Swan Theatre, Stratford 2001), King John (Swan Theatre, Stratford 2001, Barbican Pit Theatre, London 2001), As You Like It (Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford 2000, Barbican Pit Theatre, London 2001), Macbeth with Antony Sher (Swan Theatre, Stratford 1999, Young Vic Theatre, London 2000) and The Merchant of Venice (Stratford 1997, Barbican Theatre, London 1998). In London's West End he has also directed Mahler's Conversion with Antony Sher (Aldwych Theatre 2001) and Black Comedy/The Real Inspector Hound (Comedy Theatre 1998). Gregory Doran also directs A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare in this year's season at The Royal Shakespeare Theatre.
The Gunpowder Season at The Trafalgar Studio 2 (at The Whitehall Theatre) is overseen by RSC Associate Director Gregory Doran who has assembled a selection of work to mark the 400th anniversary of the infamous Gunpowder Plot of 1605. The mixture of politics and black comedy examines the relevance for our own times of the themes and issues that dominated that period of history.
Opened: 17 January 2006
Booking until: 28 January 2006
Running time: 2hrs 45mins
Prices: £ - £
Author / playwright: Ben Jonson
Director: Gregory Doran