The Swirl

Our outdoor performance space returns, with free family-friendly theatre on weekends during the school summer holidays.

People enjoying the free games and stands outside the Royal Shakespeare Theatre
Photo by Sam Allard © RSC Browse and license our images

Free Performances

On Saturdays we host some of the most engaging family theatre from around the UK. We bring you the best of performance Story telling from the Crick Crack Club, improvised music from Peablossom Cabaret, magic and balloon shows.

On Sundays, current RSC Assistant Directors create short family shows inspired by Shakespeare's plays, created especially for the space.

Tickets

All performances are free but ticketed due to the small capacity within The Swirl. Tickets are available in advance, but we will also have tickets for each performance on the day, available from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre Box Office.
If you are unable to make the performance and have booked a ticket in advance, please let our box office team know by calling 01789 331111 to release your tickets for these very popular shows.

Activities available everyday

Alongside the performances we will be bringing the inside of the theatre outside, with free activities inspired by Shakespeare's plays and how we make theatre.

You can pretend to sell tickets at the Box Office or make sound effects and more in our specially designed interactive games. 

Available to play for free, everyday on the Bancroft Terrace, outside the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

The Swirl Performances

Clare Murphy Performance Storyteller

Clare Murphy Performance Storyteller

20 July 2019

The Swirl, Bancroft Terrace

Crick Crack Club performance storytelling presents Clare Murphy

12 noon: Weird Beings from Other Realms
In the world just beyond this one there exist all kinds of weird beings; pookas dressed as animals, giants with endless strength, fairies that will steal you away if you don't know the secret of escape. Come and hear stories from the other realms!

2pm: How Rabbit got her Tale and other How’s and Why’s
Why does the sun shine? Where does the moon go? How can a tree save your life? Stories to explain it all in a performance laced with wit and glee!

3.30pm: Crazy Lazy Jack and other Adventures
An adventure can start anywhere, but usually it begins right outside your front door. Listen to tales chock-full of strange adventures, shapeshifting, wild journeys and bizarre challenges.

Suitable for all ages, performances last 30 minutes.

Free, booking required.

Book Tickets
Give it a Swirl: Though She be but Little, She is Fierce

Give it a Swirl: Though She be but Little, She is Fierce

21 - 28 July 2019

The Swirl, Bancroft Terrace

12 noon
2pm
3.30pm

Sunday 21 and Sunday 28 July

RSC Assistant Director Emma Baggot creates a brand new family show.

Suitable for all ages, approx. 30 minutes.

Free, booking required.

Book Tickets
Period Prestidigitation by Jones and Barnard

Period Prestidigitation by Jones and Barnard

27 July 2019

The Swirl, Bancroft Terrace

12 noon
2pm
3.30pm

Enter Mr. Barnard as a beautifully attired Victorian gent with an array of amazing tricks, including orange juggling and spinning Christmas puddings. There is plenty of audience participation and a little bit of Dickens quotation in this right rib-tickler of a show.

Suitable for all ages, each show lasts 30 minutes.

Free, booking required.

Book Tickets
Ben Haggarty

Ben Haggarty

3 August 2019

The Swirl, Bancroft Terrace

Crick Crack Club performance storytelling presents Ben Haggarty

12.30pm: Maria Morevna (or How Prince Ivan got a Horse)
A full-blooded romper stomper of a Russian fairytale, complete with warrior princesses, animal helpers, rivers of fire, stolen horses and the great witch, Baba Yaga, Granny Bandy, herself.
Suitable for ages 6+, performance lasts 60 minutes.

3pm: Jack & the Twelve Dancing Princesses
A widowed king with twelve daughters has an alarming mystery on his hands and there's only one person who can solve it. Fairytale-teller extraordinaire, Ben Haggarty, tells a story of broken shoes, enchanted mirrors & magic that is stronger, stranger and more starling than you've ever heard before.
Suitable for ages 5+, performance lasts 45 minutes.

Free, booking required.

Book Tickets
Give it a Swirl: As You Vibe It

Give it a Swirl: As You Vibe It

4 - 18 August 2019

The Swirl, Bancroft Terrace

12 noon
2pm
3.30pm

Sunday 4 and Sunday 18 August

RSC Assistant Director Noa Wagner creates a brand new family show re-telling the story of As You Like It through spoken word and music.

Suitable for all ages, approx. 25 minutes.

Free, booking required.

Book Tickets
Peablossom Cabaret

Peablossom Cabaret

10 August 2019

The Swirl, Bancroft Terrace

12 noon
2pm
3.30pm

Extraordinary improvised cabaret. Mr Pea and Miss Blossom perform brand-new musical show based on you, the audience. Be their guests as they improvise lyrics on the spot about your hobbies, your grandma, your cat... anything at all!

Suitable for all ages, each show lasts 30 minutes.

Free, booking required.

Book Tickets
Give it a Swirl: Bottom's Up!

Give it a Swirl: Bottom's Up!

11 - 25 August 2019

The Swirl, Bancroft Terrace

12 noon
2pm
3.30pm

Sunday 11 and Sunday 25 August

DJ Bottom has a tale to tell. And he is going to tell anyone who will listen (and those who won’t). But his band has abandoned him, and he needs your help to create a musical version of a dream he had about a Queen and her fairies. RSC Assistant Director Rosie Jones creates a brand new family show inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Suitable for all ages, approx. 25 minutes.

Free, booking required.

Book Tickets
Daniel Morden Performance Storyteller

Daniel Morden Performance Storyteller

17 August 2019

The Swirl, Bancroft Terrace

Crick Crack Club performance storytelling presents Daniel Morden

12 noon: Happily Ever Laughter
With a repertoire of timeless tales, Daniel Morden is like a human Netflix, he will select a tale to amaze, amuse, delight or confuse! Suitable for all ages.

2pm: Family Tales
Who doesn't love a good once-upon-a-time story? Magical tales from long ago, suitable for all ages.
3.30pm: The Fool of the World
Expect mysterious strangers, dark forests, impossible tasks, high drama & low comedy! Suitable for ages 7+.

Performances last 30 minutes.

Free, booking required.

Book Tickets
Jan Blake Performance Storyteller

Jan Blake Performance Storyteller

24 August 2019

The Swirl, Bancroft Terrace

Crick Crack Club performance storytelling presents Jan Blake

12 noon: The Cat’s Tale
A clever cat finds the very best place to live, a family of diligent cats reward their human helper, and a greedy cat eats everything and everyone it sees...up to a certain point!

2pm: The Calabash Children
A woman prays to be a mother, a little sister refuses to do as she’s told, and a wicked godmother tries to get rid of her goddaughter, these are bold tales of stubborn sisters and beautiful friendships.
3.30pm: The Children of Wax
Ngwabi, his brothers and sisters aren't like other children; they're special; they're different and this difference makes them stranger than the rest. The Queen of Afro-Caribbean storytelling, Jan Blake, tells the tale of a family who make the best of what they have.

Suitable for ages all ages.
Performances last 30 minutes.

Free, booking required.

Book Tickets
The Bonkers Balloon Show by Balloonatic

The Bonkers Balloon Show by Balloonatic

31 August 2019

The Swirl, Bancroft Terrace

12 noon
3.30pm

A completely off the wall, unique show filled with comedy, circus fun, music, magic and lots and lots of balloons. A simple balloon gets turned into an alien, a helicopter and an air guitar, audience members are transformed into balloon creatures in front of your very eyes, and a magic trick makes a balloon appear from nowhere.

Suitable for all ages, each show lasts 30 minutes.

Free, booking required.

Book Tickets
Weirdo Sister

Weirdo Sister

1 September 2019

The Swirl, Bancroft Terrace

12 noon
2pm
3.30pm

The three witches are gathering, the cauldron is bubbling and something wicked is on its way. But aren’t they forgetting someone? Meet the friendly fourth witch as she tries to prove her powers, join her sisters and lead Macbeth to his doom.
Performed by Lucy Green. Directed by Nel Crouch, originally devised with Lotte Tickner.

Suitable for all ages, each show lasts 25 minutes.

Free, booking required.

Book Tickets