Latest Press Releases




This festive season, visitors to the Royal Shakespeare Company’s (RSC) production of The Fair Maid of the West in Stratford-upon-Avon can immerse themselves in the authentic atmosphere of a 1590s tavern, with pub-style seating in the Swan Theatre. Adapted and directed by Isobel McArthur after Thomas Heywood, The Fair Maid of the West is a music-filled Elizabethan comedy centered around pub landlady Liz Bridges (Amber James).   

The seating was made possible through a collaboration with Stratford’s famous The Dirty Duck pub, who donated a range of items following a recent refurbishment to reduce waste and promote environmental responsibility.  

The pub-style seating, featuring bar stools and benches, will be located on the Ground level of the Swan Theatre, in rows A, B, and C on either side of the stage and may involve some limited interaction with the acting company during the performance.  

Commenting on the approach, the show’s designer Ana Inés Jabares-Pita said:  

"Isobel and I wanted to create an immersive and unforgettable experience for the audience, transforming the Swan auditorium into a giant pub where everybody is welcome.  

“Thanks to our brilliant production manager Matt Aston, we’ve managed to recycle some of The Dirty Duck’s old furniture including bar stools, tables and chairs. The Dirty Duck is a Stratford-upon-Avon institution, much-loved by visiting acting companies and residents, so it felt absolutely right to collaborate with them on bringing a slice of authentic pub-life to the Swan Theatre this festive season.” 

Tickets can be booked online at, or via the Box Office on 01789 331111 (Monday - Friday, midday - 6pm). 

Also announced today is the release of second half of season 3 of the RSC’s podcast, Interval Drinks, featuring guests including Isobel McArthur and Gary McNair, Anyebe Godwin and Cleo Sylvestre, Amber Sylvia Edwards and Greg Hicks, and Eleanor Rhode and John Bulleid.   

Interval Drinks is an opportunity to learn more about the life of the RSC from those at the heart of the Company. The Podcast offers audiences an insight into the professional journeys of these RSC artists, as well as a chance to explore the craft of modern theatre and discuss some of the biggest issues facing the theatre industry today. 

The first two episodes are already available for download here. Episode one features British Nigerian actor Anyebe Godwin, who has recently appeared in the RSC’s The Empress and Falkland Sound, and actress Cleo Sylvestre, who was the first black woman ever to play a leading role at the National Theatre in London and was most recently in the RSC’s As You Like It at 78 years old.  

Episode two features Scottish actress Amber Sylvia Edwards who recently played one of the witches in the RSC’s 2023 production of Macbeth, and RSC associate actor Greg Hicks who originally joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1976.  

Released on Thursday 30th November, episode three features theatre director Eleanor Rhode, who directed the RSC’s 2020 production of King John is directing the RSC’s upcoming 2024 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Eleanor is joined by John Bulleid, an actor, magician and illusion designer who brought the RSC's 2021 production of The Magician's Elephant to life. 

The final week of episodes will be released on Thursday 7th December featuring Olivier award-winning actor, writer and director Isobel McArthur who is perhaps best known for her five-star production of Pride and Prejudice* (*Sort of) and is directing a new adaptation of The Fair Maid of the West, which will open in the Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon on Saturday 2nd December. Featured alongside Isobel is writer and performer Gary McNair whose 2023 production Dear Billy, is a tribute to comedian Billy Connolly.  

New episodes from the series will become available to download at 11am every Thursday from 23rd November until 7th December. 


For further enquiries, please contact Lola Stewart (Media Relations Officer), 



The Fair Maid of the West  

Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon  

Saturday 2 December 2023 - Sunday 14 January 2024 

Press Night: Tuesday 12 December, 7pm 

Audio Described, Captioned and Chilled Performances: Friday 29 Dec 2023 - 7.30pm and Saturday 6 January 2024 - 1.30pm  

Handheld Captioned Performance: Saturday 30th December 1.30pm  

Performance with Integrated BSL Interpreter: Saturday 13 January 2024 - 1.30pm 



Creative Team Talk: Monday 11 December 5.15-6pm 

Post Show Stay Late: Thursday 28 December 



The RSC is supported using public funding by Arts Council England

The work of the RSC is supported by the Culture Recovery Fund  

The RSC is generously supported by RSC America   

The Fair Maid of the West is generously supported by RSC Production Circle Member Kathleen J. Yoh and by the RSC Friends   

TikTok £10 Tickets sponsored by TikTok 

The RSC Acting Companies are generously supported by The Gatsby Charitable Foundation   

New Work at the RSC is generously supported by Hawthornden Foundation and The Drue and H.J. Heinz II Charitable Trust  

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) creates exceptional theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, London and around the world, performing plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries, as well as commissioning a wide range of original work from contemporary writers. Our purpose is to ensure that Shakespeare – and theatre as a whole – is for everyone, and we do that by unlocking the power of his plays and live performance, and with our learning and education work throughout the UK and across the world.   

Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the   

TikTok is the leading destination for short-form mobile video. Our mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy. TikTok's global headquarters are in Los Angeles and Singapore, and its offices include New York, London, Dublin, Paris, Berlin, Dubai, Jakarta, Seoul, and Tokyo.  




You might also like