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

A list of new writing currently in production can be seen below.

"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

a shelf crammed full of scripts

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 The Seven Acts of Mercy by Anders Lustgarten, The Hypocrite by Richard Bean and Vice Versa by Phil Porter. 

Recent new plays produced include:

The Literary Department

As well as commissioning and developing all of our new plays and writer-led projects, we also work on edits and dramaturgy for the classical texts, research and commission translations and adaptations, and lead on all of our literary endeavours.

Members of the Literary Team standing outside a theatre with writer Tom Morton Smith
Réjane Collard-Walker, Pippa Hill, Playwright Tom Morton-Smith and Collette McCarthy at the Oppenheimer Press Night in the West End

Script Policy

We do not 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).

 

The RSC Literary Department is generously supported by THE DRUE HEINZ TRUST.

Training the Next Generation

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Current new writing

Imperium Part II: Dictator

Imperium Part II: Dictator

Until 10 February 2018

Swan 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
A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

Until 4 February 2018

Royal Shakespeare Theatre

David Edgar, one of our greatest living writers, adapts Charles Dickens’ festive tale of redemption and compassion. One of the most loved short stories ever written, in one ghostly Christmas night, cold-hearted Ebenezer Scrooge learns to pity himself and to love his neighbour – but is that enough?

Book Tickets
Imperium Part I: Conspirator

Imperium Part I: Conspirator

Until 10 February 2018

Swan 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

22 June - 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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