Chester's new Storyhouse has revealed the 31-strong repertory company which will perform in its inaugural season of plays.
The £37m theatre, cinema and library complex is due to open its doors on Thursday, May 11 with the Beggar's Opera.
The season of shows also includes Alice in Wonderland, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Julius Caesar.
With 26 actors, two trainees and three musicians, Storyhouse bosses say the new rep company will be the largest outside the RSC. The Liverpool Everyman repertory company is 14 actors. And half the Chester contingent are already on site, preparing for the opening show - a new version of Kurt Weill's take on John Gay's Threepenny Opera, penned by Wirral playwright Glyn Maxwell and directed by Storyhouse artistic director Alex Clifton. Maxwell has also brought his talents to bear on a new version of Lewis Carroll's classic, which will play in rep with The Beggar's Opera.
Meanwhile Alice in Wonderland, and the two Shakespeare productions, will also be staged at the popular Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre as well as at Storyhouse.
The repertory company includes Adam Keast, Tom Connor, Daniel Goode and Stephanie Hockley.
Alex Clifton says: "Chester is becoming a major centre for culture in the UK, and casting this season has been a joy.
"Our beautiful city and its new cultural centre have acted as a magnet to what will be our strongest and most dynamic and diverse company ever."
For more on the full Storyhouse season, visit the website www.storyhouse.com