Metal Rabbit productions have announced full casting for The Prince, which will premiere at Southwark Playhouse in September 2022. This fascinating and insightful exploration of identity is delighted to have a majority trans cast.
The cast features Tianna Arnold (they/them) (Rosalind, As You Like It, Open Bar theatre. ITV series ‘Stonehouse’) as Lady Kate; Joni Ayton-Kent (she/her)(best known for playing Corporal Cheery in BBC AMERICA’s The Watch) as Sam; Mary Malone (she/her)(The Jacket a BBC arts film, Safe, a digital theatre piece by Alexis Gregory, and Theatre For Two a touring immersive theatre experience with Kilter Theatre Company) as Jen; Che Walker(he/him) (nominated for Best Play, Director, Actor and Sound Design; Off West End Awards. ‘My Old Flame’ directed by Academy Award Winner Asif Kapadia and screened on Channel 4 UK.)asNorthumberland / King Henry IV; Corey Montague Sholay (he/him) (Wendy & Peter Pan; Leeds Playhouse, The Whip and King John; Royal Shakespeare Company, This Island’s Mine; King’s Head Theatre, Henry V, Shakespeare at The Tobacco Factory; The Enchanted; The Bunker, Little Revolution and ICU; Almeida Theatre and Carpe Diem; National Theatre)asPrince Hal; Richard Rees (he/him) (Pah-La; Royal Court, The Jew of Malta, Love’s Sacrifice, Volpone, Snow in Midsummer; RSC, Love the Sinner; National Theatre)asWorcester; and Tyler Luke Cunningham ((he/him) Spider-Man: Far from Home, Boy Meets Girl. I May Destroy You) as Douglas.
This is the first play from Abigail Thorn, creator of the hugely popular web show Philosophy Tube, which she has built to more than one million subscribers since it was established in 2013.
Abigail publicly came out as a transgender woman in January 2021, with her video Identity: A Trans Coming Out Story. The Prince – which she both wrote and will star in – adds another vital layer to her already impressive voice. Joining Abigail Thorn (she/her) who appears as the lead – Hotspur are;
Trapped within the confines of Henry IV Part One, Jen and Sam know they do not belong here, or in the many Shakespeare plays they have unwillingly flitted between.
They are not like the others; they are not mere characters fated to repeat the words and actions written for them. They belong in the real world. And they are going to find their way out.
But on their quest to discover the path that leads to reality, they notice that there’s something unusual about Henry ‘Hotspur’ Percy, the son of the Earl of Northumberland. For perhaps he is more than a character too … perhaps he isn’t a nobleman … perhaps he isn’t a man at all…
Now Jen and Sam must decide; do they risk losing their way home to help someone who might just be like them – who does not yet know who they truly are?
“The Prince is a show about being trapped in bad relationships – with parents, friends, lovers, and even with yourself. The story follows a handful of characters in a Shakespeare play who start to realise they are all stuck inside a performance. Some are in denial about their sexuality and gender, others are just trying to prepare the next generation for the struggles ahead. My genius dramaturge Donnacadh O’Briain describes it as “Elizabethan sci-fi” – I tell friends it’s “Like The Matrix if it was written in 1600.” Abigail Thorn
The Prince is a sharply and passionately written story about the roles we play for other people. The script is an exciting blend of verse and prose, ducking and weaving through Henry IV Part One and other works of the Bard, with fun for both Shakespeare scholars and verse virgins. Sword fighting, lesbianism, denial, disappointed parents, and a magical doorway. All the world’s a stage…