Meera Syal is to join the previously announced Richard Madden, Lily James and Derek Jacobi in the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company’s Romeo And Juliet when Shakespeare’s play runs at London’s Garrick Theatre this summer.
Acclaimed actress Syal will play The Nurse in the fifth production of the Plays at the Garrick season. It has its first performance on 12 May.
Speaking about her casting, Syal, whose most recent stage performances include Behind The Beautiful Forevers (National Theatre) and Much Ado About Nothing (Royal Shakespeare Company) said: “I'm so looking forward to joining such an exciting and prestigious company, and to be performing Shakespeare with them in this, his 400th anniversary year.”
Syal, Madden, James and Jacobi are joined in Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy by Marisa Berenson, who was famously nominated for a Golden Globe when she starred opposite Liza Minnelli in Cabaret.
The production also sees the return of cast members from the company’s inaugural production, The Winter’s Tale, among them Jack Colgrave Hirst, Matthew Hawksley, Taylor James, Ansu Kabia, Zoe Rainey, Michael Rouse and Kathryn Wilder.
The cast is completed by Tom Hanson (French Without Tears, Orange Tree Theatre), Racheal Ofori (The Merchant Of Venice, Shakespeare’s Globe), Nikki Patel (Future Conditional, Old Vic), Chris Porter (The Winter’s Tale, Shakespeare’s Globe) and Samuel Valentine, winner of the Spotlight Prize 2014.
Directed by Branagh and Rob Ashford, Romeo And Juliet tells the famous story of young lovers from feuding families battling to keep their relationship alive.
The production runs from 12 May to 13 August at the Garrick Theatre and will be broadcast live to selected cinemas on 7 July. It follows current production Red Velvet, which closes at the end of this week, and dark comedy The Painkiller, which stars Branagh alongside Rob Brydon.