Regent's lecturer Kwong Loke cast in new play at the Royal Shakespeare Company

Regent's lecturer Kwong Loke will appear in a new production by RSC and Good Chance, the world premiere of Kyoto – a major new production which places audiences at the heart of the historic 1997 Kyoto climate summit.

Premiering in The Swan Theatre from 18 June through 13 July 2024, this fast-paced political thriller reunites the creative team behind the multi award-winning hit The Jungle; which began life in the refugee camps of Calais in 2015 and went on to become a sell-out hit in the UK and internationally.  

RSC Co-Artistic Directors, Daniel Evans and Tamara Harvey said; “In building our inaugural season at the RSC, we set ourselves the challenge of reaching across borders, to seek out the most exciting writers, directors and actors of our times and asking them which stories they feel a passionate need to tell. To be working with Good Chance and their long-term collaborators Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin on this powerful and urgent new play is a particularly thrilling example; one which speaks directly to how the RSC can be in conversation with the world.”

Written by Good Chance co-founders, Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson and directed by Stephen Daldry (Stranger Things The First Shadow, Billy Elliot, The Inheritance) and Justin Martin (Stranger Things The First Shadow, Prima Facie), this breathless and gripping tale recounts the fateful hours of tense negotiation which lead up to the historic signing of the UN’s landmark climate conference in December 1997.

Global in scale and yet personal at heart, big oil, big money and big egos clash in the battle to secure the world’s first legally binding emissions targets…and to make the impossible, for the first time, seem possible.

Making his RSC debut in the role of American oil lobbyist and master strategist is Tony award-nominated actor Stephen Kunken.

Joining Stephen are Jenna Augen (Shirley Pearlman), Jorge Bosch who plays Argentinian ambassador Raul Estrada Oyuela, Vincent Franklin (Fred Singer), Dale Rapley (Bert Bolin) and Olivia Barrowclough (Secretariat).

Regent's lecturer Kwong Loke will join the cast as character Prof. Shukong Zhong, a role which represents China in the on-stage National Delegations. 

Alongside him are Andrea Gatchalian as Kiribati / AOSIS, Raad Rawi as Mohammad Al Sabban / OPEC, Nancy Crane as USA/Wirth/Eisenstat, Ingrid Oliver as Angela Merkel / Germany, Jude Akuwudike as Prof. Mark Mwandosya / Tanzania, Ferdy Roberts as UK/Prescott/Houghton and Togo Igawa as Hiroshi Ohki / Japan.

Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson said:

“Good Chance began nine years ago in the Calais Jungle refugee camp, where thousands of people from dozens of countries lived side by side. Together with camp residents we built a theatre, and for eight months made art of all kinds and cultures. Since then, we have created work that celebrates and interrogates our differences and our common human experience, always asking – how can we live together?  

Kyoto is a play about how to agree, in a world awash with disagreement. In many ways, the Kyoto Protocol should never have happened. How could 176 countries find consensus on a subject as complex and important as climate change, especially as powerful forces worked to undermine the process at every stage? And yet, against all the odds, they did. We’re thrilled and honoured to be creating Kyoto with the RSC as part of Daniel and Tamara’s first season.”

Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin added:

“This play marks our first time directing for the RSC, an exciting moment for us both to take part in a new chapter in the RSC’s story. Kyoto is a play which speaks directly and urgently to the world we live in and the ecological crisis in which we find ourselves. In the spirit of the 1997 climate summit, we are blessed to be working with a truly international company of artists; all of whom bring their own unique perspectives, cultures and experience”.

Book tickets here.

Plus - read a recent four star review of Kyoto on The Guardian's website.