Summer at the RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon

19 April 2011

Coming to the RSC now means much more than 'seeing Shakespeare'

Experience a different kind of Theatre

This summer the newly transformed Royal Shakespeare Theatre (RST) and Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon play host to more than just productions. With dozens more events, exhibitions and activities in and around the buildings than ever before, coming to the RSC now means much more than 'seeing Shakespeare'. See below for just a taster of what is in store if you visit us this Summer.

Eating and Drinking

Whether it is a cup of coffee, a mid morning snack, an early evening drink or a full three course dinner, new in-house catering at the RSC offers something for everyone – including the Rooftop Restaurant and Bar, wrapped around the third floor of the RST with spectacular views overlooking the Bancroft gardens and river; or the Riverside Cafe with an outdoor terrace for waterside eating and drinking. For further information go to


Theatre Tours – go behind the scenes to discover more about the theatre making process and learn about the history of the RSC. Theatre tours last up to an hour and run from 9.15am (10.15am on Sundays and Bank Holidays). Tickets: £6.50 per person; under 18s and people with disabilities £3. For further information go to

The Tower – The new 36 metre high Tower offers a panoramic view of Shakespeare's home town from its 32 metre high viewing platform, where on a clear day you can see over three counties. Tickets: £2.50 per person; under 18s, £1.25, and £1 for RSC Members and people with disabilities. For further information go to

Outdoor Events

Spilling out from the building over the summer will be a variety of theatre, performance and special events, including:

RSC Open Day, Sunday 12 June 2011
The RSC throws open its doors to give a unique insight into how its productions are made, from casting to prop-making, lighting design to stage fighting – a packed programme of practical workshops, discussions and events for all ages (full programme to be announced later this spring).

The Dell, June – August (Saturdays and Sundays) Come and watch as our open-air stage by the river is taken over by community groups, drama schools, colleges and universities from around the country to perform free theatre inspired by Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Full details to be announced.

Family Events and activities
There is also an extensive programme of events for families, children and young people throughout the summer including workshops, story-telling sessions, summer skills master classes, director talks and debates. For further information go to

There are also a number of activities that people can take part in at any time:
The Play Cart comes out to help children and families discover Shakespeare's plays. Make a mask, create a costume or sketch a scene. Weekends and school holidays in the Riverside Café.

The Family Trail is a different way for children and families to explore the theatres together. With interesting facts, things to find and questions to answer, the trail leads you around the building in a fun and informative way. Pick up a leaflet in the foyer.

The Insult Chair and The Love Seat (situated in the front of house areas) are two novel ways of enjoying some of Shakespeare's language. Those sitting on The Insult Chair will hear one of Shakespeare's most pointed put-downs; The Love Seat promises a more tender experience, with those resting their weary legs hearing some of Shakespeare's romantic verse.

The RST and Swan play host to a unique and surprising mix of history and contemporary exhibitions for all the family, including:

Folio*, an exhibition of prints from the Royal College of Art, supported by Jaguar, in the PACCAR Room (until 1 October 2011)

Sweet Celebrations*, which sees artist Shane Waltener transform the Swan Room into a large birthday cake! (until 24 April 2011)

A History of the RSC in 50 Objects*, which tells the story of the RSC's 50 years through costumes, posters and other theatrical memorabilia (until 31 December).

Curious: Fourteen Lines Of Love
Summer 2011 is the Summer of Love in Stratford as artists Helen Paris and Leslie Hill invite the town to share stories of the people, places and things in their lives that they love. Working with acclaimed photographer Hugo Glendinning and sound artist Graeme Miller, Curious will create an installation in the Swan Room (from early August, dates TBC) incorporating fourteen portraits inspired by these stories and by the Shakespearean Sonnet form. In August (dates TBC) audiences will have the opportunity to step aboard a unique river cruise to experience soundscape, text, film and live performance in an evocative journey along the Avon.

*Separate press releases available on request.

For further information go to

50th Birthday Events
To celebrate the RSC's 50th Birthday the RSC will open up its back catalogue of landmark plays. Events will include rehearsed readings of key plays the RSC has commissioned and premiered over the last 50 years, provocative debates and workshops. For further information go to
For full information and photographs, please contact:

Dean Asker, RSC Press Office
01789 412660,

Notes to editors
This year Jaguar celebrates the 50th anniversary of the E-Type, one of the most famous sports cars of all time. With the RSC celebrating its 50th birthday, the partnership between the two iconic British companies is a natural one and showcases British talent. Jaguar is pleased to support Folio as part of those birthday celebrations.

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