Latest Press Releases



Book, music and lyrics by Sam Kenyon
Directed by Erica Whyman
Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon
Friday 22 June – Saturday 4 August 2018
Press night: Tuesday 3 July, 7pm

Box Office: 01789 403493,

Watch a video with Sam Kenyon talking about the show here

Full casting is announced for Miss Littlewood, a new musical about theatre director, Joan Littlewood.  Previews begin in the Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon on 22 June 2018.

With book, music and lyrics by Sam Kenyon and directed by Deputy Artistic Director, Erica Whyman, Miss Littlewood tells the story of Joan Littlewood, the anarchic revolutionary of 20th century theatre.

Born into poverty, Joan Littlewood raged her way to have lasting influence on British culture. Anti-establishment, communist, visionary, rude and glorious, Joan fired the imagination of a generation. Her unique Theatre Workshop was responsible for a raft of successes including Oh, What A Lovely War!, A Taste of Honey and The Hostage, and breathed new life into the then-derelict Theatre Royal Stratford East . This new musical of Joan's life story, told with her own uncompromising candour, reveals a mighty love story at its heart.

Clare Burt makes her RSC debut to play Joan Littlewood. Her recent theatre credits include: The Divide (Old Vic at Edinburgh International Festival), Big Fish (The Other Palace), Flowers for Mrs Harris (Sheffield Crucible, Chichester Festival Theatre Autumn 2018), London Road, The Miracle/DNA/Babygirl and Coram Boy (National Theatre), and Sunspots (Hampstead Theatre).  Clare’s film work includes Broken, Failure to Thrive, X and Y, London Road and The Levelling. On TV, Clare has recently appeared in Tina and Bobby (ITV), Cuffs (BBC) and Top Boy (Channel 4).

Aretha Ayeh, Sandy Foster, Amanda Hadingue, Dawn Hope, Emily Johnstone and Sophia Nomvete will also play the part of Joan at different stages of her life.

The cast also includes: Daisy Badger (Rosalie), Greg Barnett (Jimmie Miller/Cedric Price), Laura Elsworthy (Shelagh Delaney), Solomon Israel (Gerry Raffles), Natasha Lewis and Tam Williams (Murray Melvin).

Sam Kenyon composed music for the RSC’sViceVersa (2017),A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation (2016), andThe Christmas Truce (2014). He wrote music and lyrics for The Borrowers, which won the UK theatre award for Best Show for Children and Young People in 2013, and in 2010, with Erica Whyman, he co-directed Joan Littlewood's Oh! What a Lovely War for Northern Stage/national tour. He studied at Cambridge University and The Royal Academy of Music, and has performed in numerous stage productions including John Doyle’s productions of Sweeney Todd (2004), Amadeus (2006) and Merrily We Roll Along (2008).

Sam Kenyon said: “I’d always wondered about the imaginative moment when Fanny Brice became Funny Girl; when Gypsy Rose Lee became Gypsy; when Eva Perón became Evita. When I read Joan Littlewood’s autobiography, Joan’s Book, and she wrote that she’d quit RADA aged nineteen and walked – walked! – to Manchester, I knew immediately that I was on to something. And then I found the most searing love letters buried in the centre of the book. I’ve written this in homage to the Stockwell-born ‘illegitimate’ daughter of a teenage mother, who has inspired theatre makers worldwide and yet is barely known by her name.

Miss Littlewood is directed by Erica Whyman and designed by Tom Piper.  Lighting is by Charles Balfour, sound by Jonathan Ruddick, movement by Lucy Hind, and video by Nina Dunn.

Miss Littlewood is developed in collaboration with Theatre Royal Stratford East.

Notes to Editors

For further information, please contact 01789 412622.

For press tickets please contact 01789 412660

To book tickets call 01789 403493 or online at 

The RSC Acting Companies are generously supported by THE GATSBY CHARITABLE FOUNDATION and THE KOVNER FOUNDATION

The work of the RSC Literary Department is generously supported by THE DRUE HEINZ TRUST

BP £5 tickets and BP Shakespeare Pass for 16-25s
The BP £5 tickets and BP Shakespeare Pass for 16 – 25 year olds gives access to £5 tickets for all RSC productions whether we are performing in Stratford-upon-Avon, London or on tour. The pass enables 16-25 year olds to see five shows in Stratford-upon-Avon for £20 – the cheapest way to enjoy shows at the RSC. Tickets can be booked in advance on the phone, online or in person with some available for sale on the day of the performance.  The scheme is supported by Project Partner, BP.

The Royal Shakespeare Company creates theatre at its best, made in Stratford-upon-Avon and shared around the world.  We produce an inspirational artistic programme each year, setting Shakespeare in context, alongside the work of his contemporaries and today’s writers.  


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