While Stratford-upon-Avon is the home of the RSC, we have taken our plays to many London theatres over the years.

Aldwych Theatre

This was our first London base, under the directorship of Peter Hall. The original plan was to stay there for three years, but the partnership lasted over 20. Most of the Shakespeare productions from Stratford's Shakespeare Memorial Theatre transferred to the Aldwych, as well as other notable shows, including Ondine (1961) and The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (1980).

a black and white photo of a man posing at the top of a ladder, surrounded by well-dressed men and women.
Peter Hall and the Aldwych staff in 1961.
Photo by Angus McBean © RSC Browse and license our images

Barbican

The RSC and the London Symphony Orchestra were both involved in the planning of the Barbican in the 1960s. The centre opened in 1982 with Trevor Nunn's Henry IV Parts I and II and was our main London hub into the 2000s. Our productions still regularly transfer to the Barbican theatre after playing in Stratford-upon-Avon.

This October we will return to the Barbican with three Shakespeare plays: As You Like ItThe Taming of the Shrew and Measure for MeasureWe will also be hosting onstage events, debates and an education conference for teachers, along with our first ever chilled performance at the Barbican. Find out more about the RSC at the Barbican.

Gertrude wearing a red satin evening gown is confronted by her son Hamlet, who points at her with his right hand
Jane Lapotaire as Gertrude and Kenneth Branagh as Hamlet at the Barbican (1992).
Photo by Reg Wilson © RSC Browse and license our images

Warehouse

We acquired the Warehouse (now the Donmar Warehouse) in Covent Garden from Donmar Productions in 1977, quickly converting it and preparing it ready for performance with just minutes to go before the opening of Schweik in the Second World War.

The Warehouse went on to hold original productions as well as transfers from The Other Place in Stratford-upon-Avon. Notable shows include Educating Rita (1980) with Julie Walters and Trevor Nunn's Macbeth (1977), starring Judi Dench and Ian McKellen as the central couple. In this performance, the actors all sat in a large circle around the stage, watching the action, only coming into character when they crossed into the circle.

The blocking diagram for the opening of Macbeth at the Warehouse in 1977.
The 'blocking' diagram showing the starting positions for the Macbeth company at the Warehouse in 1977.

Almeida Theatre

In the 1980s, the Almeida hosted several of our non-Shakespeare productions, particularly as part of the Not the RSC Festivals. A small theatre, with a capacity of just 325, our shows included high profile actors including Gary Oldman (Abel and Cain, 1985; The Dumb Waiter, 1986), Antony Sher (Astonish Me, 1985; Hello and Goodbye, 1988) and Niamh Cusack (The Soldier's Tale, 1986).

Cambridge Theatre

The West End home of Matilda The Musical. Our award-winning musical moved to the West End theatre after a short run in Stratford-upon-Avon's Courtyard Theatre (later remodelled to become The Other Place) in 2011 and has been playing to packed houses ever since. In April 2017, Matilda became the longest running production in the Cambridge Theatre's history.

The show has now travelled around the world, including a foreign language production in South Korea, and has been seen by more than 9 million people worldwide.

 

Four schoolchildren on swings in front of a background built of large wooden letters.
Matilda The Musical at the Cambridge Theatre (2019).
Photo by Manuel Harlan © RSC Browse and license our images

Other venues

We have taken productions to other theatres in the West End and beyond, including the Young Vic, Albery Theatre, Gate Theatre, Novello Theatre, The Roundhouse and many more. Recent London productions have included the revival of Don Quixote at the Garrick Theatre, featuring David Threlfall and Rufus Hound, and Paapa Essiedu reprising his role as Hamlet at Hackney Empire.