RSC Writer in Residence Mark Ravenhill responded to Voltaire's novel in this new play that was directed by Lyndsey Turner. It was performed as part of our summer season in 2013 at the Swan Theatre.

Candide is an optimist. A dreamer. He believes that everything is for the best in the best of all possible worlds. But that belief is about to be tested as Candide's comfortable life is overtaken by an endless barrage of misfortune. As his world collapses around him, the story travels across the centuries to new locations and parallel universes. How will Candide's optimism fare when it collides with life in the 21st century?

The play is structured around two parallel narratives: one tells the story of Candide's attempts to reunite with his love Cunegonde; the other follows a woman who experiences a hugely traumatic event as she attempts to find a way back to happiness.

Find out more about the 2013 production by following the links below.


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Teaching Shakespeare