Rehearsals Begin for Sovereign

The two professional actors who will lead the 100-strong community company in York Theatre Royal’s production of the C. J. Sansom’s historical mystery have arrived in York to begin rehearsals.

Photo by Alex Holland

Partnering with University of York, York Theatre Royal will bring the story to life on an outdoor stage at the university’s King’s Manor – one of the key locations in the book – from 15-30 July.

The community cast and choir have already started rehearsals. Now they are joined by Fergus Rattigan, who will play disabled lawyer turned detective Matthew Shardlake, and Sam Thorpe-Spinks, who plays his sidekick Jack Barak.

The book has been adapted by York writer Mike Kenny who also adapted The Railway Children for York Theatre Royal’s hit production.

Fergus said: “The role of Matthew Shardlake is ideal for me – not only do I love and study the Tudor period but Shardlake very much has my mindset. He’s a bit of an outsider which is something I can relate to both as a disabled person in a world not designed for disabled people but as a foreigner from another country. I’m very used to that outsider nature.”

Sam Thorpe-Spinks is no stranger to York as he studied History and Politics at the University of York and appeared in student productions. He later trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Juliet Forster, Mingyu Lin and John R. Wilkinson are directing this community production which, alongside two professional actors, features a large community cast and choir, and others volunteering in backstage production roles. 

Sovereign is being staged from 15-30 July outdoors at King’s Manor in Exhibition Square in York.

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