Western heroes, wicked wizards and woodland sprites. Immerse yourself in realms of magic and fantasy on our stages this month.

Jack and Miss Lillian stand back to back in colourful cowboy outfits, holding their guns up.  
Cowbois brings all-guns-blazin' fun to the Swan Theatre until 18 November
Photo by Henri T © RSC Browse and license our images

Gun-slinging, Epic Voyages and Wizardry in Stratford



Grab your Stetson and take your last chance to join handsome bandit Jack Cannon in Cowbois, playing in the Swan Theatre this month. Romance meets revolution in playwright Charlie Josephine's rollicking Western spectacular, which concludes its limited five-week run on 18 November. 

The Empress

Also playing in the Swan, The Empress returns to Stratford-upon-Avon for its final performances. It is 1887 and 16-year-old Rani Das arrives at Tilbury Docks after a long voyage from India, to start a new life in Britain. Meanwhile, Queen Victoria celebrates her Golden Jubilee while befriending a surprising member of her household staff. Stories and fates that intertwine are weaved into the rich tapestry of Tanika Gupta's sweeping epic. Don't miss the boat, book now for performances from 1 to 18 November.

The Box of Delights

For festive magic, open The Box of Delights, all month at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Orphaned Kay Harker finds himself the guardian of a small wooden box with powers beyond his wildest dreams. Caught up in a battle between two powerful magicians, Kay fights to save not just the people he loves but also the future of Christmas itself. With best availability in early November there's no better time to kick-off your holiday season with this fantastical production.

For added behind-the-scenes magic, book for our Box of Delights pre-show Creative Team Talk on 7 November.

Find out if Kay Harker can save Christmas now the wolves are running, in The Box of Delights all through November
Voyages to new lives and new friendships make up the story of the sweeping epic The Empress
Photo by Ellie Kurttz © RSC Browse and license our images

Totoro thumbnail for feature trailer
My Neighbour Totoro returns to the Barbican on 21 November
Photo by Manuel Harlan © RSC, with Nippon TV Browse and license our images

Family love lost and found on our London stages



Our adaptation of Maggie O'Farrell's Hamnet is now playing at the Garrick Theatre in London. Directed by Erica Whyman, £25 day seats are available on each performance day, subject to availability.

We offer assisted performances of Hamnet at the Garrick Theatre, including a British Sign Language-integrated performance on 8 November, a captioned performance on 16 November and an audio-described performance on 25 November.

Book today for Lolita Chakrabarti’s "tender stage adaptation of O’Farrell’s heartbreaking novel" (Financial Times). 

My Neighbour Totoro

Our award-winning production of Studio Ghibli’s beloved classic My Neighbour Totoro makes a triumphant return to the Barbican Theatre when it begins previews on 21 November. Following one extraordinary summer in the lives of sisters Satsuki and Mei, this "utterly beguiling” (The Stage) story plays at the Barbican for only 18 weeks.

Matilda the Musical

At the Cambridge Theatre, our multi-award winning musical Matilda the Musical, inspired by the beloved book by the incomparable Roald Dahl, continues its extraordinary run. With words by Dennis Kelly and original songs by Tim Minchin, it is the story of an remarkable little girl who dares to take a stand and change her own destiny. The winner of over 100 international awards, including 24 for Best Musical, Matilda the Musical has just celebrated its 12th anniversary of delighting audiences in London’s West End.

Paapa Essiedu as Hamlet, wearing a paint-stained jacket and banging on a drum
Paapa Essiedu stars in our 2016 production of Hamlet


There's still a few days left for our Subscribers, Members and Patrons to exclusively stream our 2016 production of Hamlet starring Paapa Essiedu and directed by Simon Godwin. Available to view online on-demand until 6 November. You can book this event here throughout this time period, and you will be sent the link to watch the production.

a group of people listening to a tour guide on a theatre tour
Photo by Sara Beaumont © RSC Browse and license our images

Tea and a tour

Looking for a way to brighten up the wet November weekends? Why not book one of our Sunday guided tours and afterwards treat yourself to a delicious Afternoon Tea in our Rooftop Restaurant?

If you've always wondered how the magic of the RSC is brought to life in our theatres, our 60-minute guided tours share the stories of our unique company, and take you to secret spots not normally open to the public. Find out more here about our backstage tours.

Before you take tea, visit our free The Play's The Thing exhibition on the first floor in the Swan Wing of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre building, and let your imagination fly as you discover more than 100 years of theatre-making magic. Containing interactive displays and items from the RSC Collection, one of the most significant Shakespeare and theatre collections in the world, the exhibition offers unique insights into the history of theatre-making in Stratford-upon-Avon. Find out more about The Play's The Thing here.

Finally, take time for a well-earned rest, recharge and refuel. The Rooftop Restaurant's Afternoon Tea menu includes a selection of sandwiches, seasonal savoury and sweet offerings, and a scone with clotted cream and strawberry jam, plus lashings of tea or coffee to wash it down. 

See our sample afternoon tea menu here and book your table.

Wellbeing Walks

Every Tuesday until 21 November, join medical herbalist Katie Bushwick for a series of unique and surprising workshops focused on the themes of Shakespeare's Macbeth.  

Meet at the steps of the Swan Theatre at 10.30am and explore your connection to nature through foraging walks and group talks while you learn about the health benefits of plants. The session will finish with hot drinks and biscuits at approximately 12pm.

A Warm and Safe Space Where Everyone is Welcome

Join us at our warm hub at The Other Place every Tuesday afternoon from 7 November until 26 March for free hot drinks and snacks, arts and craft workshops for adults and after school activities for children. Books, puzzles and games will also be available to anyone using the cafe. There is also access to free WiFi.  

Children must be accompanied at all times. No need to book, please just come along. 

Photo by Sara Beaumont © RSC Browse and license our images
Photo by Sara Beaumont © RSC Browse and license our images
Photo by Sara Beaumont © RSC Browse and license our images


Finally, get a jump on the festive season's to-do list and start your shopping with our perfect gift offerings courtesy of the RSC Shop.

From books, scripts and posters to clothing, jewellery and handbags, plus games and other fun stuff for all the family, we're sure to have something for everyone on your list, even the non-Shakespeare lovers!

This year, we're proud to offer a new selection of Emma Bridgewater pottery, and our first doggy gift range, as well as all the usual Christmas trimmings.

For in-person browsing, our shop is open 7 days a week (see here for opening times) or shop Shakespeare gifts and much more from our website. 

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