Productions to be broadcast live from Stratford-upon-Avon

28 May 2013

Royal Shakespeare Company and Picturehouse Entertainment to broadcast productions 'Live from Stratford-upon-Avon'

Richard II  will be the first RSC production to play live this November in cinemas around the world and streamed, for free, direct into 1,000 UK schools

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) announced today that it is collaborating with Picturehouse Entertainment on 'Live from Stratford-upon-Avon', a new programme to screen its productions live from Shakespeare's home town, and will work with Ravensbourne College to stream the production straight to UK schools. 

The first live broadcast will be the Company's forthcoming production of Richard II, directed by RSC Artistic Director, Gregory Doran, with David Tennant in the title role, which opens in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre (RST) this October. The production will be filmed during the performance in the RST on 13 November 2013 and simultaneously screened into over 100 cinemas around the country and available in North America, Australia, Japan and Northern Europe. The RSC is also opening up its work behind the scenes, through a series of short films available online during the run-up to the screening and live footage on the night, before the show and during the interval.

 

The production will be filmed using multiple cameras around the stage and auditorium, with John Wyver as producer, having previously collaborated with Gregory Doran on the RSC's highly acclaimed filmed versions of Macbeth, with Antony Sher and Harriet Walter, for Channel 4 and Hamlet, with David Tennant, and the recent African Julius Caesar for the BBC.

Richard II was announced by Gregory Doran in January and plays in Stratford from 10 October to 16 November, before it transfers into the Barbican Theatre until 25 January next year.  It will be the first of three RSC Shakespeare plays to be filmed live during the next year, and is the start of an on-going programme to make the Company's work more available to a nationwide and global audience. The next two titles will be announced in September 2013.

The Company is also offering a unique opportunity to schools across the UK to experience Richard II in the classroom on 15 November 2013, building on the success of its first direct-to-the-classroom interactive stream last year. 

The production will be streamed direct into up to 1000 schools, reaching an estimated 60,000 students through a collaboration with Ravensbourne College and the Janet Network. It will be accompanied by a live studio link-up hosted by Konnie Huq, who will introduce the webcast. Members of the creative team, including Gregory Doran and David Tennant, will also be on hand to take part in a live online Q&A with participating students.  Alongside the webcast, the RSC will create an extensive package of online resources for use by teachers and students in the classroom, both in the lead up to the broadcast and for use as follow up materials afterwards.

Gregory Doran, RSC Artistic Director, said today; 'We want to bring the work we make in Stratford-upon-Avon to the widest possible audience. Taking our productions live into cinemas and direct into schools is the next logical step. We will start with Richard II

'I have enjoyed a long and creative relationship with John Wyver and his company, Illuminations, working on filmed versions of my past RSC productions of Macbeth, Hamlet and Julius Caesar, and I'm looking forward to these new broadcasts, which are part of our commitment to celebrate our 'one-room spaces' in Stratford and capture the thrill of sitting in the audience and experiencing theatre live. 

'Through a brand new partnership with Picturehouse Entertainment, who have a great track record in screening the arts live, we can share the RSC's contemporary interpretations of our house playwright across the UK and around the world, direct from Shakespeare's home town.  

'Our on-going relationship with Ravensbourne College and the Janet Network also allows us to give a thousand schools the chance to get involved and experience one of Shakespeare's greatest plays live in the classroom.' 

John Wyver, RSC Media Associate, said: 'I am delighted to continue the work begun on earlier collaborations of creating ambitious screen versions of RSC stage productions. Richard II promises to be as thrilling and engrossing an experience on cinema screens as I have no doubt it will be in the theatre.'

Marc Allenby, Head of Commercial Development at Picturehouse, said 'We have consistently been at the forefront of new developments in Alternative Content and are really excited to be part of this project. We are looking forward to working with the RSC to bring their renowned Shakespearian productions to cinemas around the world.'

James Morris, Subject Leader for Web Media at Ravensbourne, said 'Ravensbourne is extremely excited about working with the Royal Shakespeare Company and Janet again. Our previous project together broke new ground and was an extremely beneficial experience for the Ravensbourne students involved. We're relishing the chance to bring Shakespeare to thousands of UK schoolchildren in a new and engaging way.'

 

Ends

 

For cinema listings and booking visit http://onscreen.rsc.org.uk/ to sign up for updates and follow the creation of the production online in the run up to the screening.

Schools wanting to sign up for streaming direct to the classroom should also visit http://onscreen.rsc.org.uk/

To ask about availability for theatre performances in Stratford-upon-Avon call 0844 800 1110 and to book for performances at the Barbican Theatre visit www.barbican.org.uk  or call  020 7638 8891

For further information, please contact philippa.harland@rsc.org.uk  0207 245 0512

Notes to Editors

Richard II Casting update: Nigel Lindsay makes his RSC debut as Bolingbroke and joins David Tennant in the title role, Michael Pennington as John of Gaunt and Oliver Ford Davies as the Duke of York. Further casting to be announced.

An image from Richard II can be downloaded via www.rsc.org.uk/about-us/press/requests-images.aspx 

Richard II runs in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre from 10 October – 16 November 2013 (Press night: 17 October 2013). It then transfers to the Barbican Theatre from 7 December 2013 – 25 January 2014 (London press night: 12 December 2013).

Made in Stratford-upon-Avon - Seen around the world

Everyone at the Royal Shakespeare Company, from actors to technicians, milliners to musicians, plays a part in creating the world you see on stage. Our work begins its life at our Stratford workshops and theatres and we share it with audiences across the world through our touring, residencies and online activity. So, wherever you experience the RSC, you experience work that is made in Shakespeare's home town.

Shakespeare has been performed and celebrated in Stratford for centuries and the RSC has trained generations of the very best theatre makers since the Company was founded in 1961.  We pioneer contemporary approaches to Shakespeare's plays, as well as staging the work of those who inspired him and the work of today's playwrights.

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About Picturehouse Cinemas / Picturehouse Entertainment

Picturehouse Entertainment is the distribution arm of Picturehouse Cinemas, the owner and operator of 21 Picturehouse Cinemas and programming agent for a further 49 venues around the country.

Formed in 1989 to challenge the multiplex model, Picturehouse Cinemas are Britain's largest circuit of independent cinemas, located in city centres and offering diverse programmes that encompass quality mainstream, family, art-house, independent, foreign-language and documentary films.

Picturehouse Cinemas have been at the forefront of digital cinema and pioneered live satellite broadcasts, bringing non-film content such as director Q&As, concerts, the New York Met Opera and the Royal Ballet to community cinema screens.

Sister company Picturehouse Entertainment launched in 2010. Its theatrical releases to date include: Jean Becker's My Afternoons with Margueritte; the record-breaking Werner Herzog 3D documentary, Cave of Forgotten Dreams; Miranda July's The Future; Jean-Pierre Améris' Romantics Anonymous; Rebecca Thomas's Electrick Children; and BAFTA winner The Imposter. Forthcoming releases in 2013 include Shane Meadows' The Stone Roses: Made of Stone (5 June) and Ben Wheatley's A Field in England (5 July). Picturehouse Entertainment also distributes a wide variety of non-film content to cinemas around the country. These include live satellite transmissions of seasons from world-class arts organisations such as the Bolshoi Ballet and the National Theatre, and special one-off events such as Stephen Fry's talk, The Fry Chronicles, and Jamie Cullum live at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival.

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