We commission and develop brand new plays, to be performed alongside the works of Shakespeare and his contemporaries.

"Shakespeare was once a new writer. His work was shocking, thrilling, bold. We want to nurture, provoke and present the work of writers who are doing the same thing today. We are living through fascinating times – there's a great deal to say and an appetite for big questions and rich ideas.

Our job is to connect contemporary writers and audiences to the spirit of Shakespeare. He and his contemporaries had a strong sense of the world in which they were living and how it was changing. That's something we inherit directly from them. By including writers and new plays we keep our work new and daring, just as Shakespeare's work was in his own time."

 Erica Whyman, Deputy Artistic Director

Caroline Quentin and Mark Addy
Caroline Quentin and Mark Addy in The Hypocrite by Richard Bean (2017)
Pete Le May © RSC Browse and license our images

Making new plays and working with writers

Our new writers explore anything from questions about feminism, race or religion to the birth of the free press or the end of war as we know it. This can be brand new plays, large scale musicals, new translations and adaptations and ambitious work for families and for young people.

Season by season we are interested in provoking new thinking about key ideas or moments in our history so we may offer a writer a theme, but we are also open to wholly surprising ideas.

In return for their commitment and ambition we give them the time and resources to write at their fingertips. We individually tailor the play development process to fit the writer and project.

Recent, current and future projects

New plays in production include a new adaptation of A Christmas Carol by David Edgar and our new musical, Miss Littlewood, with book, music and lyrics by Sam Kenyon.

Every year we showcase new work in two Mischief Festivals at The Other Place, Stratford-upon-Avon. 

Other recent new plays produced include:

Script Policy

We don't accept unsolicited scripts, instead we identify writers we are interested in working with by closely monitoring new work across the UK. If you have a play reading, workshop sharing, or show coming up and you would like to invite us, you can email us at literary@rsc.org.uk (giving us as much notice as possible).

Current new writing

IMPERIUM II: DICTATOR

IMPERIUM II: DICTATOR

Until 8 September 2018

Gielgud Theatre

Mike Poulton turns his pen to the thrilling world of power politics in the ancient Rome of Robert Harris’ best-selling Cicero trilogy. Gregory Doran directs Richard McCabe in the epic title role.

Book Tickets
Matilda The Musical

Matilda The Musical

Until 31 March 2019

Cambridge Theatre

Matilda The Musical is the multi-award winning musical inspired by the beloved book by the incomparable Roald Dahl. With book by Dennis Kelly and original songs by Tim Minchin, Matilda The Musical tells the tale of an extraordinary girl who is determined to change her own story, even if it means being a little bit naughty...
Winner of over 85 international awards, including 16 for Best Musical, Matilda The Musical continues to delight audiences in London. Matilda began its first UK & Ireland Tour in March 2018.

Book Tickets
IMPERIUM I: CONSPIRATOR

IMPERIUM I: CONSPIRATOR

Until 8 September 2018

Gielgud Theatre

Mike Poulton turns his pen to the thrilling world of power politics in the ancient Rome of Robert Harris’ best-selling Cicero trilogy. Gregory Doran directs Richard McCabe in the epic title role.

Book Tickets
Miss Littlewood

Miss Littlewood

Until 4 August 2018

Swan Theatre

Joan Littlewood was the anarchic revolutionary of 20th century theatre. Born into poverty, she raged her way to have a lasting influence on British culture. This new musical of Joan Littlewood’s life story, told with her own uncompromising candour, reveals a mighty love story at its heart.

Book Tickets

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