Our temporary closure this year meant we haven't been able to stage our family show this Christmas, so we've taken a look back through Christmases past...
As 2020 draws to a close we look back through ten years of family shows starting, of course, with Matilda The Musical.
Matilda opened in the Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon in 2010, with book by Dennis Kelly and original songs by Tim Minchin. The show has now been performed 7,500 times to more than 10 million audience members in 92 venues worldwide. More than 100 girls have played the role of Matilda globally.
We can’t wait to reopen Matilda The Musical in the Cambridge Theatre, London in 2021.
Our first Christmas show in the newly redeveloped Royal Shakespeare Theatre for 2011 was The Heart of Robin Hood by David Farr, a retelling of the legend that put Marion at its centre, leaving it to her to boldly protect the poor and convince Robin that he must listen to his heart if they are to save the country.
The story of a clockwork mouse and his child who are discarded by children on Christmas Day and who desperately want to get back home to the toyshop, took over the Royal Shakespeare Theatre for Christmas 2012.
Tamsin Oglesby's magical adaptation of Russell Hoban's children's book The Mouse and His Child featured Daniel Ryan and Bettrys Jones in the title roles.
For 2013 and 2015 we staged Ella Hickson's Wendy & Peter Pan adapted from the novel by JM Barrie, in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. She told the magical children's story of flying, fairies and a clock-swallowing crocodile from Wendy's perspective.
The Christmas Truce opened in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in December 2014. Inspired by real events of exactly 100 years before, our Deputy Artistic Director Erica Whyman directed Phil Porter's new play celebrating a remarkable Christmas story.
The soldiers face a world seemingly devoid of any peace or goodwill. But on Christmas Eve 1914, as the men of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment shelter in their trenches, something astonishing happens.
Christmases 2017 and 2018 brought Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol - one of the most loved short stories ever written - to Stratford-upon-Avon. The brand new adaptation by David Edgar was directed by Rachel Kavanaugh. The role of Scrooge was played by Phil Davis in 2017 and Aden Gillett in 2018.
Our Winter 2016-17 season introduced a groundbreaking version of Shakespeare's The Tempest, directed by our Artistic Director Gregory Doran and designed by Stephen Brimson Lewis.
The production, created in collaboration with Intel and in association with The Imaginarium Studios, used motion capture technology to bring digital avatars to life on stage in real time. The technology captured the actors' facial expressions as well as their movements, so their full performance could be translated into the animated character.
Shakespeare's tale of unrequited love in a late Victorian setting took turns with A Christmas Carol in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre over Christmas 2017. Directed by Christopher Luscombe, the production was designed by Simon Higlett and featured Adrian Edmondson as Malvolio and Kara Tointon as Olivia.
And so to Christmas 2019, when our brand new musical took the Royal Shakespeare Theatre by storm. The Boy in the Dress was adapted from the novel by David Walliams, with book by Mark Ravenhill and music and lyrics by Robbie Williams and Guy Chambers.
It brought joy to audiences through Christmas and into March 2020, ending its run just days before the Covid-19 pandemic brought theatre across the UK to a temporary halt.
We haven't been able to open our theatres to audiences this Christmas but we are back on stage and you can watch our live events, Tales For Winter, streamed from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.
We can't wait to open our doors to audiences again, or for next Christmas when we will have a brand new musical for all the family - The Magician’s Elephant, adapted from Kate DiCamillo's prize-winning novel, directed by Sarah Tipple and designed by Colin Richmond.