RSC highlights in 2012

22 December 2011

January to March

Following her acclaimed production of Julius Caesar in 2009/10, Lucy Bailey directs Shakespeare's romantic comedy exploring love, sexual politics and the art of illusion. The cast includes Lisa Dillon and David Caves as sparring lovers Katharina and Petruchio.

• Stratford-upon-Avon – from 19 January

UK Tour

• Theatre Royal, Newcastle-upon-Tyne – from 23 Feb
• Milton Keynes Theatre – from 6 March
• Theatre Royal, Nottingham – from 13 March
• Richmond Theatre, Surrey – from 20 March
• Theatre Royal, Bath – from 27 March

Helen Edmundson
(who also adapted the current West End production of Swallows and Amazons) was inspired by the life of the legendary Mexican Nun poet, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz to write her new play The Heresy of Love.

Catherine McCormack plays the central role of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. Catherine's films include the lead in Anna Campion's Loaded, Braveheart, Spy Game and Dangerous Beauty. The cast also includes Dona Croll, Marty Cruickshank and Diana Kent. Directed by Nancy Meckler.

• Stratford-upon-Avon – from 2 February

March to September – World Shakespeare Festival

RSC Associate Director, David Farr, leads What Country Friends is this? - a trilogy of plays with one company of actors set in one world of shipwreck, grief, laughter, love and reunion. They are Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors, The Tempest and Twelfth Night. Jonathan Slinger plays Malvolio in Twelfth Night and Prospero in The Tempest. (Farr directs The Tempest and Twelfth Night, and Palestinian director Amir Nizar Zuabi makes his RSC debut with The Comedy of Errors).

• Stratford-upon-Avon – The Comedy of Errors from 16 March, Twelfth Night from 8 March, and The Tempest from 30 March
• Roundhouse, London – The Comedy of Errors from 1 June, Twelfth Night from 5 June, and The Tempest from 9 June

What Country Friends is This? is supported by BP

RSC Associate Director, Roxana Silbert, leads Nations at War, three plays exploring the struggle for absolute power and the right to lead a nation, including Shakespeare's Richard III and King John as well as the world premiere of A Soldier in Every Son – An Aztec Trilogy by Luis Mario Moncada – a co-production with the National Theatre of Mexico. (Roxana Silbert directs Richard III and A Soldier in Every Son - An Aztec Trilogy and Maria Aberg directs King John).

• Stratford-upon-Avon – Richard III from 22 March, King John from 6 April and A Soldier in Every Son – An Aztec Trilogy from 29 June

Chief Associate Director, Gregory Doran, directs a brand new pan-African production of Julius Caesar, one of Shakespeare's greatest political thrillers. The cast includes Ray Fearon, Paterson Joseph, Adjoa Andoh, Jeffery Kissoon and Joseph Mydell.

• Stratford-upon-Avon – from 28 May
• Theatre Royal Newcastle – from 19 July
• Noël Coward Theatre, London – Summer 2012, the London season is supported by BP

Baghdad's Iraqi Theatre Company will create a version of Romeo and Juliet for a new generation, infused with Iraq's rich traditions of poetry, music and ritual. The play will be set on the soil of contemporary Iraq, a country where sectarian strife between Sunni and Shia, ignited and fuelled from outside, has left the population exhausted by a cycle of violence and revenge. The play will be perfomed in Arabic with English surtitles.

• Stratford-upon-Avon – from 26 April
• Riverside Studios, London (as part of LIFT) – from 28 June

From Brazil, Companhia BufoMecânica brings Two Roses for Richard III, a breathtaking production combining Shakespeare's text with circus, multimedia, visual metaphor and aerial choreography. Inspired by Shakespeare's history plays, the bloody events of War of the Roses are vividly reimagined in a glorious black carnival of villainy, corruption and seduction. This will be performed in Portugese with English surtitles.

• Stratford-upon-Avon – from 7 May
• Roundhouse, London – from 18 May

A vibrant and colourful production of Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Iqbal Kahn, will transpose Shakespeare's vivacious, and at times unsettling, comedy of love and deceit to an Indian setting. Actor, comedienne, writer and singer Meera Syal will play Beatrice.

• Stratford-upon-Avon – from 26 July
• Noël Coward Theatre, London – summer 2012, the London season is supported by BP

RSC Associate Director Rupert Goold and Elizabeth LeCompte co-direct Shakespeare's epic Trojan play about love, war and politics, Troilus and Cressida. The production will be made up of an Anglo-American company in a ground-breaking, multimedia collaboration between the RSC and The Wooster Group.

• Stratford-upon-Avon – from 3 August

Oily Cart will bring their new production of In a Pickle, taking their young audience through the landscapes of Shakespeare's imagination and the music of his language. Renowned for their 'wonderlands', Oily Cart create a total theatre experience for children aged 2-4, their families and friends. Multi-talented performers, live music, enchanting visuals, intriguing textures and delightful colours come together to create a magical introduction to the theatre.

• Stratford-upon-Avon – from 23 May
• Stratford Circus, London – from 19 June
• Northern Stage – from 27 June

As well as showcasing the best of UK and international creative talent, the World Shakespeare Festival encourages the creativity of young people, emerging artists and amateur companies. Over 260 amateur groups involving 7200 people (aged from 6 to 90) are taking part in the RSC's Open Stages, sharing skills and working with the RSC and nine partner theatres to perform their own interpretations of Shakespeare everywhere from castles, parks and village halls, to pubs, churches and a coffin works. Some of the most exciting amateur companies will perform in Stratford-upon-Avon in July 2012.

For further information on the World Shakespeare Festival, RSC productions, production dates and images please contact:

Philippa Harland on 020 7845 0512, or
Nada Zakula on 01789 412622,
Dean Asker on 01789 412660, (Midlands media enquiries and press tickets)

Twitter hashtags: #RSCHeresy, #RSCShrew, #WSF2012

Please visit for more information and images.

Notes to editors:

The World Shakespeare Festival (WSF) is a celebration of Shakespeare as the world's playwright, produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company, in an unprecedented collaboration with leading UK and international arts organisations, and with Globe to Globe, a major international programme produced by Shakespeare's Globe. It runs from 23 April to November 2012 and forms part of London 2012 Festival, which is the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad, bringing leading artists from all over the world together in a UK-wide festival in the summer of 2012.

The World Shakespeare Festival is supported by BP, as Founding Presenting Partner, and by the National Lottery through the Olympic Lottery Distributor and Arts Council England.

About BP and its cultural support in the UK
BP's support for arts and culture goes back more than 30 years and includes long-term partnerships with the British Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Royal Opera House and Tate Britain. As a Premier Partner of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival, BP is continuing its commitment to UK arts and culture.
Working with LOCOG and its arts partners, BP is helping to deliver several programmes and events that will inspire young people and provide opportunities for everyone across the UK to be part of London 2012. These include: the World Shakespeare Festival with the British Museum and Royal Shakespeare Company; BP Portrait Award: Next Generation with the National Portrait Gallery; The Olympic Journey: The Story of the Games with the Royal Opera House and The Olympic Museum; and The Tate Movie Project with Tate, Legacy Trust UK and the BBC.

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