2011 Newcastle season

25 January 2011

Michael Boyd, Artistic Director of the RSC, today announced that the company will not be bringing a full season of plays to Newcastle upon Tyne this year, but plans to resume the long-standing relationship with the city in 2012.

'The RSC is proud of its relationship with Newcastle and the North East, and we very much regret that we are unable to bring a full season of plays to the City this autumn because of pressures on our funding. We are planning a national tour to large scale theatres and a Young People's Shakespeare tour and hope to bring both these to Newcastle in this financial year 2011/12. Our education and events departments are also exploring other ways of programming work in the region during 2011 and we are applying to the Arts Council to support a return with full productions from 2012 onwards.

'As a result of the demands placed on us by the opening of the newly transformed Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres and the need to absorb a 6.9% cut in funding for 2011/12, we have taken the decision to concentrate on our work in Stratford-upon-Avon this year, where there will be a full repertoire of plays performed by two new companies of actors. The season will run from 14 April to 5 November 2011 and includes Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Marat/Sade.

'Meanwhile, in the summer, our current ensemble who played to Newcastle audiences in the autumn of 2010 will be taking these productions to New York. We look forward to 2012 when we will join Newcastle audiences in celebrating the World Shakespeare Festival as part of the Cultural Olympiad.'

Since 1977 the Newcastle Season has generally been considered one of the cornerstones in the RSC annual calendar, and a crucial part of the company's aim to make its work geographically accessible to all parts of the British public.

Philip Bernays, Chief Executive of the Theatre Royal, said: 'It is a great shame that we will not be presenting the RSC season this year, but we also understand the pressure of budgetary cuts right now and the necessity to make some compromises in the short term.

'We know how important the RSC season is to our audiences in the North East (and further afield), as the northern 'home' of the RSC, and we eagerly look forward to the exciting performances the company are bringing here in 2012 and beyond.'

For additional information please contact Marianne Quayle , Press & Communications Officer for the Theatre Royal on 0191 244 2518 or email marianne.quayle@theatreroyal.co.uk


For the RSC, Nada Zakula at the RSC press office on 01789 412622 or 07831 766086, nada.zakula@rsc.org.uk

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