Audiences will now get the chance to see two of our postponed 2020 productions: The Winter's Tale and The Comedy of Errors.

With the one-year anniversary of theatres being forced to close in sight, we're thrilled to announce that you will soon get the chance to see our postponed productions of The Winter's Tale and The Comedy of Errors.

The two shows were both scheduled to open in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in the spring of last year, but had to be put on hold with the spread of Covid-19.

The Winter's Tale

Directed by Erica Whyman, a filmed version of The Winter's Tale will be broadcast on BBC Four around Shakespeare's birthday in April, before being made available on BBC iPlayer. The production will also be streamed to Subscribers, Members and Patrons based outside the UK following the BBC broadcast. This adaptation is part of BBC Lights Up, an unprecedented season of plays for BBC TV and radio, produced in partnership with theatres across the UK and continuing BBC Arts' Culture in Quarantine initiative. 

The Winter's Tale will feature the original cast and creative team working on the production last year, but will be adapted for the television broadcast with screen direction by Bridget Caldwell. Set across a 16-year span from the 1953 coronation to the moon landings, the show imagines a world where the ghosts of fascist Europe collide with horrors reminiscent of The Handmaid’s Tale, before washing up on a joyful seashore.

Erica said: "This is the most perfect play to be rehearsing as we begin to believe in recovery. It speaks with profound insight of the abuse of power, of the need for truth and justice, of the central importance of family, and of how long it can take a nation to forgive and to heal.

"We have been working on this play for 15 months – with our own wide gaps – and we have learned so much about what the play means. It is now filled with our collective understanding of what it is to find our world suddenly stopped in its tracks, and of Shakespeare’s compassion for lives changed forever. It is a huge privilege to be bringing it back to life at last."

Two men in grey suits stand by a woman in a deep red gown.
The Winter's Tale.
Photo by Hugo Glendinning © RSC Browse and license our images

The Comedy of Errors

In the summer, we will restart live performances for in-person audiences in Stratford-upon-Avon with an outdoor production of The Comedy of Errors, directed by Phillip Breen. The show will be reconceived to open the newly created Garden Theatre, a specially constructed outdoor performance space in the Swan Gardens, flanked by the River Avon and overlooked by the Swan Theatre.

We will announce full casting and creative team details, along with more information about the performance schedule and the Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Garden Theatre, next month.