Royal Mail raises the curtain on RSC stamps

12 April 2011

New set of ten stamps celebrates 50th anniversary of Royal Shakespeare Company

Royal Mail is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Royal Shakespeare Company on a new set of ten stamps issued today, 12th April.

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) stamps see six productions take centre stage, including Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet and The Tempest, amongst others. The stamps each feature a defining scene from an RSC production alongside a famous quote from each play.

The stamp issue marks 50 years since Sir Peter Hall founded the RSC. Over the last half a century the RSC has staged Shakespeare plays across the UK, and has also taken productions on tour around the UK and worldwide.

Other plays celebrated in the stamp issue include Henry VI, King Lear and A Midsummer Night's Dream. An additional four stamps complete the stamp set and are printed in a miniature sheet depicting a collage of the RSC's theatres in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Philip Parker, Royal Mail Stamps spokesperson, said: 'We wanted to mark this important anniversary by producing stamps which reflect the drama and excitement generated through Royal Shakespeare Company productions over the past five decades.'

Michael Boyd, Royal Shakespeare Company, Artistic Director, said: 'I am delighted Royal Mail has chosen to celebrate our 50th birthday with this set of stamps. It has been an almost impossible job to sift through fifty years of performances to choose images which represent the extraordinary range of work we have produced. I hope people will enjoy what they see and join us in Stratford or on tour in the future.'

This month the RSC begins a year long 50th birthday season of new productions. The first new production in the transformed Royal Shakespeare Theatre is Michael Boyd's Macbeth, which commences on 16 April.


Issued by:
Ruth Barker
Royal Mail Press Office
100 Victoria Embankment
Tel: 0207 250 2468/07587 888841

About Royal Mail Stamps

For almost 50 years, Royal Mail's Special Stamp programme has commemorated and celebrated events and anniversaries pertinent to UK heritage and life. Today, there are an estimated 2.5 million stamp collectors and gifters in the UK and millions more worldwide. Her Majesty the Queen approves all British stamp designs before they are printed.

Stamps and stamp products are available at all Post Offices, or online at and from Royal Mail Tallents House (tel. 08457 641 641), 21 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9PB.

For the latest information on all Royal Mail Special Stamps launches and news, please follow RoyalMailStamps on Twitter at: http://reddot/

Selected stamp launch information and videos can be viewed on Royal Mail Special Stamps' YouTube Channel at:

Royal Shakespeare Company stamps
Value Description
1st (46p) First class inland letter rate up to 100gm Hamlet
66p International surface letter up to 20gm The Tempest
68p Airmail Europe letter up to 20gm Henry VI
76p Airmail postcard and letter rate up to 10gm King Lear
£1.00 Airmail Europe letter up to 40 gm A Midsummer Night's Dream
£1.10 Rest of World airmail letter up to 20gm Romeo and Juliet

Stamp by stamp

1st Class – Hamlet
Hamlet played by David Tennant in 2008, directed by Gregory Doran

66p – The Tempest
Prospero played by Antony Sher in 2009, directed by Janice Honeyman, in a co-production with Baxter Theatre Centre, South Africa

68p – Henry VI
Henry VI played by Chuk Iwuji in 2006, directed by Michael Boyd

76p – King Lear
King Lear played by Paul Scofield in 1962 directed by Peter Brook

£1.00 – A Midsummer Night's Dream
The fairy queen Titania played by Sara Kestelman in 1970, directed by Peter Brook

£1.10 – Romeo and Juliet
The doomed lovers played by Ian McKellen and Francesca Annis in 1976, directed by Trevor Nunn

RSC Miniature Sheet Stamp by Stamp

Value Description
1st (46p) First class inland letter rate up to 100gm Royal Shakespeare Theatre
68p Airmail Europe letter up to 20gm Swan Theatre
76p Airmail postcard and letter up to 10gm The Courtyard Theatre
£1.00 Airmail Europe letter up to 40gm The Other Place

Stamp by stamp

1st Class – Royal Shakespeare Theatre
The 1st Class stamp shows the Royal Shakespeare Theatre with Janet Suzman as Ophelia from the 1965 production of Hamlet, directed by Peter Hall.

68p – Swan Theatre
Here the Swan Theatre is shown with Patrick Stewart in the 2006 production of Antony and Cleopatra, directed by Gregory Doran.

76p – The Courtyard Theatre
The 76p stamp shows Geoffrey Streatfeild in the 2007 production of Henry V at The Courtyard Theatre, directed by Michael Boyd.

£1.00 – The Other Place
The Other Place features Judi Dench as Lady Macbeth from the 1976 production of Macbeth, directed by Trevor Nunn.

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