Jonathan Cake and Joaquina Kalukango will headline a radical new production of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra set to play engagements in England and Miami Beach, Florida before landing at the Public Theater.
Directed and revised by Choir Boy playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney, Antony and Cleopatra will begin performances at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon (November 7 through November 30) before playing Miami Beach’s Colony Theater (January 11 through February 9) and off-Broadway’s Public Theater (February 18 through March 23).
The international company is comprised of ten actors—five from the U.S. and five from the U.K. In addition to Kalukango, the U.S. is represented by Henry Stram, Ian Lassiter, Charise Castro-Smith and Chivas Michael. Joining Cake are British actors Samuel Collings, Ash Hunter, Chukwudi Iwuji and Sarah Niles.
McCraney has radically revised the classic, setting it in the late 1700s against the backdrop of Saint-Domingue on the eve of the Haitian Revolution against the French—bringing to light the historical parallels with the story of Antony and Cleopatra, the Roman general and the Egyptian Queen whose passionate love affair is set against the backdrop of the Final War of the Roman Republic.
Antony and Cleopatra features costumes and sets by Tom Piper, lighting design by Stephen Strawbridge, music composition by Michael Thurber and movement direction by Gelan Lambert.
Cake is best known for his onscreen performances in Rebecca, Mosley, Noah’s Ark, Chuck, Desperate Housewives and Empire. A longtime veteran of the Royal Shakespeare Company, his New York credits include Broadway’s The Philanthropist, Cymbeline and Medea and off-Broadway’s Much Ado About Nothing, Restoration and Parlour Song. Kalukango appeared in the Broadway revival of Godspell and off-Broadway in Hurt Village and Emotional Creature.