ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY ANNOUNCES ARTISTIC PROGRAMME FOR SUMMER SEASON 2019
RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran announced today his ambition for a new collaborative cross-cast ensemble which reflects the nation, to play three Shakespeare productions in a newly reconfigured Royal Shakespeare Theatre next summer. All three productions will then tour in repertoire for the first time to six regional theatres in 2019.
He said today:
“This season reflects the power of storytelling in its most essential form, with the actor at the centre of the work. With Justin Audibert and Kimberley Sykes, I am creating a company which reflects the nation in terms of gender, ethnicity, regionality, and disability - 27 actors who will all appear in two out of the three plays.
“We will build on our commitment to inclusivity and create a truly shared theatrical experience. We are also making some exciting changes to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre auditorium specifically for this season by extending the audience further round the stage at the Circle levels than ever before, creating new perspectives on the action, truly exploiting the unique qualities of our thrust stage, showing our work in a completely new way. We will then tour all three shows in repertoire, something that is rarely achieved with large scale productions.
“Meanwhile in the Swan Theatre next summer, we celebrate two important anniversaries.
“To mark 25 years since the first democratic elections in South Africa, we are thrilled to be staging the world premiere of a new play by renowned South African actor, John Kani. John started to write the play when he was playing Caliban in 2009 opposite Antony Sher as Prospero in The Tempest. The resulting play - Kunene and the King - will be directed by Janice Honeyman, and features both these extraordinary South African actors.
“We also mark 250 years since David Garrick’s famous Shakespeare Jubilee in 1769, which launched Stratford-upon-Avon as the epicentre of the Shakespeare Industry.
“We are staging two plays in which David Garrick enjoyed two of his most successful roles. Both are Restoration plays, a comedy and a tragedy: The Provoked Wife, by John Vanbrugh and Venice Preserved, by Thomas Otway (regarded by Guardian theatre critic Michael Billington as one of the 101 greatest plays ever written).
“We will follow next spring’s tour of Romeo and Juliet with the first step in our Shakespeare Nation project, a major adult participation programme, which builds on our already extensive ongoing experience with amateur theatre makers, and our 2016 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream – A Play for the Nation. With funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, we will work with six partner theatres over four years to get 3000 people involved with Shakespeare for the first time.
“And we continue to look even further forward, with more exciting details to come later this year on our collaboration with Florida-based spatial computing company, Magic Leap, on how we are exploring the limitless creative opportunities of theatre and digital innovation.”
ROYAL SHAKESPEARE THEATRE
As You Like It by William Shakespeare
Directed by Kimberley Sykes
14 February – 31 August 2019
Press night: Thursday 21 February 2019, 7pm
Broadcast Live from Stratford-upon-Avon 17 April
Come into the forest; dare to change your state of mind. Rosalind is banished, wrestling with her heart and her head. With her cousin by her side, she journeys to a world of exile where barriers are broken down and all can discover their deeper selves.
Kimberley Sykes directs a fierce, exhilarating version of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy.
Her last RSC show was Dido: Queen of Carthage in the Swan Theatre in 2017.
Stephen Brimson Lewis will design the set with Bretta Gerecke designing both costumes and lighting, in a first for the RSC. Music is composed by Tim Sutton, with sound by Jonathan Ruddick and movement by Ayse Tashkiran. Fights by Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown.
The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare
Directed by Justin Audibert
8 March – 31 August 2019
Press night: Tuesday 19 March 2019, 7pm
Broadcast Live from Stratford-upon-Avon 5 June
In a reimagined 1590, England is a matriarchy. Baptista Minola is seeking to sell off her son Katherine to the highest bidder. Cue an explosive battle of the sexes in this electrically charged love story. Justin Audibert turns Shakespeare’s fierce, energetic comedy of gender and materialism on its head to offer a fresh perspective on its portrayal of hierarchy and power.
Justin’s last RSC show was the new adaptation of the Chinese classic Snow in Midsummer. He most recently directed The Box of Delights at Wilton’s Music Hall and is Artistic Director of the Unicorn Theatre.
The set is designed by Stephen Brimson Lewis with costumes designed by Hannah Clark and lighting by Matt Peel. Music is composed by Ruth Chan, sound by Claire Windsor, and movement by Lucy Cullingford. Fights are by Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown.
Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare
Directed by Gregory Doran
28 June – 29 August 2019
Press night: Thursday 4 July 2019, 7pm
Broadcast Live from Stratford-upon-Avon 31 July
"To whom should I complain?"
When a young novice nun is compromised by a corrupt official, who offers to save her brother from execution in return for sex, she has no idea where to turn for help. When she threatens to expose him, he tells her that no one would believe her.
Artistic Director, Gregory Doran, directs a play with astonishing contemporary resonance.
The set and costumes are designed by RSC Director of Design, Stephen Brimson Lewis, with lighting by Simon Spencer. Music is composed by Paul Englishby. Sound is by Steven Atkinson, and fights are by Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown.
Kunene and the King by John Kani
A Royal Shakespeare Company co-production
with The Fugard Theatre in association with Eric Abraham
Directed by Janice Honeyman
21 March – 23 April 2019
Press night: Wednesday 3 April 2019, 7pm
South Africa, 2019. 25 years since the first post-apartheid democratic elections, two men from contrasting walks of life are thrust together to reflect on a quarter century of change.
This is a moving and funny new play by the South African actor, activist and playwright John Kani (The Island, Sizwe Banzi is Dead, Black Panther). Fellow South Africans Janice Honeyman (Vice Versa; The Tempest, 2009) directs, and Antony Sher (King Lear, 2016 & 2018; Death of a Salesman 2015) performs opposite John Kani in this important world premiere.
A co-production with Cape Town’s Fugard Theatre, this two-hander provides a fitting tribute to the 25th anniversary of South Africa’s first democratic elections after apartheid. It is designed by Birrie Le Roux, with lighting by Mannie Manim and sound by Jonathan Ruddick. The show will rehearse at The Fugard Theatre and will subsequently transfer there after its run in the Swan Theatre.
The Provoked Wife by John Vanbrugh
Directed by Phillip Breen
2 May – 7 September 2019
Press night: Thursday 9 May 2019, 7pm
A Restoration comedy which genuinely tackles the realities and challenges of married life.
Lady Brute is tired of her tedious, loveless marriage and her tedious, drunk husband. When she decides to spice up her love life with a younger man, scandal threatens to ruin her. Director Phillip Breen brings his comic Midas touch to this outspoken restoration romp that shocked 17th Century society.
Phillip Breen’s last work for the RSC was Richard Bean’s The Hypocrite in 2017 in a co-production with Hull Truck as part of Hull’s UK City of Culture. His other RSC work includes The Merry Wives of Windsor in 2012 and The Shoemaker’s Holiday in 2014.
The production is designed by Mark Bailey, with lighting by Tina MacHugh, sound by Dyfan Jones and fights by Renny Krupinski.
Venice Preserved by Thomas Otway
Directed by Prasanna Puwanarajah
24 May – 7 September 2019
Press night: Thursday 30 May 2019, 7pm
Thomas Otway’s Restoration tragedy is a savage political thriller and a love story of breath -taking intensity.
Driven by love and revenge, two disaffected noblemen join a revolutionary movement to overthrow the corrupt leaders of their failed city state. But the conspirators they join are as corrupt as those in power, and their friendship is torn to pieces in the furnace of love. Prasanna Puwanarajah directs a fast-paced version of this Restoration tragedy in his RSC directorial debut.
Prasanna is a writer and actor, as well as a director. Changing career from being a doctor to an actor, he first appeared at the RSC in Gregory Doran’s Twelfth Night in 2010, and recently appeared in the National Theatre’s production of Absolute Hell and in TV’s hit shows Doctor Foster and Patrick Melrose.
The production is designed by James Cotterill.
Two initiatives launched as part of Shakespeare Nation, the RSC’s long-term commitment to engage with people across the country – one for adults new to theatre, and the other for young people
The RSC has a long-term commitment to specific regions of the country - through its relationship with Associate Schools, Partner Theatres and its touring programme - to give any age-group, from 3-103 the opportunity to feel the transformative power of theatre and Shakespeare.
As a result of a £492,300 grant from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the RSC is launching a new adult participation project. With this, the RSC, alongside its partner theatres, aims to reach out to communities around the country who would not normally engage with theatre and Shakespeare. The ambition is to reach over 3,000 adults via co-productions, workshops and coach trips to the theatre.
The initiative builds on the RSC’s long experience of working with schools, young people and amateur theatre makers, and 2016’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which involved 84 amateurs and 580 schoolchildren.
The first adult participation projects will take place in Blackpool, Norwich and Nottingham. The RSC will be working together with the Grand Theatre, Blackpool, the Norwich Theatre Royal, and Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham and their local communities to create their own responses to Romeo and Juliet, following the tour of Erica Whyman’s acclaimed production in Spring 2019.
The second initiative launched today is the RSC’s first Shakespeare Ambassadors programme. The aim is to develop the leadership capacity of young people across the country. Recruited from the RSC’s national network of partner schools, from Middlesbrough to Cornwall, 300 young ambassadors aged 7-17 will lead a Shakespeare inspired project in their local communities during the 2018/19 academic year. They will receive leadership training throughout the year to support their development.
The RSC’s partner theatres are:
The Grand Theatre, Blackpool
The Alhambra Theatre, Bradford
The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
Hall for Cornwall, Cornwall
Hull Truck, Hull
Intermission Theatre, London
Newcastle Theatre Royal
Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham
Norwich Theatre Royal
New Vic Theatre, Stoke on Trent
York Theatre Royal
Blackpool’s Grand Theatre said today “We are delighted to be a partner in the RSC’s new Shakespeare Nation programme. We are really looking forward to developing projects for and with adults who are new to Shakespeare, taking our inspiration from Erica Whyman’s incredible production of Romeo and Juliet which comes to the Grand in March 2019. We are really proud of the 40 members of our Young Shakespeare Council who are now RSC Shakespeare Ambassadors and part of the national programme. Our long-term partnership with the RSC enriches our programme and fulfils our ambition of being a local theatre of national significance.”
For further details on Shakespeare Nation and the RSC’s wider national engagement, click here https://www.rsc.org.uk/news/shakespeare-nation-q-and-a-with-erica-whyman
Matilda The Musical
The UK and Ireland tour of Matilda The Musical continues to play to sold out theatres across country until August 2019 with dates still to run in Manchester, Cardiff, Plymouth, Bradford, Edinburgh, Bristol, Southampton and Norwich. The West End production is still delighting audiences at the Cambridge Theatre in London, currently booking until October 2019.
The Comedy of Errors
The RSC’s First Encounters with Shakespeare production of The Comedy of Errors continues the company’s commitment to creating live theatre for young people right in the heart of local communities. The production, directed and edited by Alex Thorpe, will tour to schools, regional theatres and local communities with an exciting, immersive version of the play from 16 October – 7 December 2018.
The Other Place Studio Theatre
5 – 6.15pm
A series of panel discussions exploring the themes of our RST season plays.
- Thursday 25 April: The Taming of the Shrew
- Thursday 30 May: As You Like It
- Thursday 8 August: Measure for Measure
Permanent opportunities for low-priced tickets for new audiences, encouraging access to the RSC
Every Friday at noon, we release a range of tickets online from £10 for last-minute bookers. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis and may be for any areas of the auditoria, depending on availability.
Rush Tickets is supported by West Midlands Railway
First Time Fridays offers people who have never been to the RSC before the chance to buy £10 tickets for any Friday show, any week of the year. Up to two tickets can be bought for the show of their choice. Tickets are held for each production, with 20 tickets available for Royal Shakespeare Theatre productions, 10 for Swan Theatre productions and 6 for productions in the Studio at The Other Place. This offer is open to all those who are new to the RSC’s database.
£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. This programme is supported by BP.
For further information on the RSC Summer 2019 season, please contact:
Kate Evans firstname.lastname@example.org 01789 412622 or
Philippa Harland Philippa.email@example.com / 0207 8450512 / 07887 837900
For review tickets, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
For press images, please log on and sign in free of charge https://images.rsc.org.uk/
BOOKING: 01789 403493 or www.rsc.org.uk
RSC Major Supporters, Artists Circle
and Gold Patrons 24 September 2018
RSC Silver Patrons 25 September 2018
RSC Bronze Patrons 27 September 2018
RSC Members 1 October 2018
RSC Subscribers 15 October 2018
PUBLIC BOOKING Monday 22 October 2018
For on sale dates and details for ‘Live From Stratford-upon-Avon’ screenings please go to onscreen.rsc.org.uk
WITH THANKS TO OUR SUPPORTERS
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 country. www.artscouncil.org.uk
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
Live from Stratford-upon-Avon is generously supported by SIDNEY E. FRANK FOUNDATION
The work of the RSC Education Department is generously supported by PAUL HAMLYN FOUNDATION, THE ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER FOUNDATION, THE POLONSKY FOUNDATION, THE ERNEST COOK TRUST and TAK ADVISORY LIMITED
Royal Shakespeare Theatre Productions Sponsored by Darwin Escapes
The Associate Schools Programme is powered by Samsung
The Shakespeare Nation adult engagement work is generously supported by the ESMÉE FAIRBAIRN FOUNDATION
Edwardian Hotels London - Preferred Hotel Partner for Matilda The Musical in London
The restoration and redevelopment of the Costume Workshop is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, with additional support from the Garfield Weston Foundation, Lydia and Manfred Gorvy, The Foyle Foundation, The Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation and other generous supporters.
COATS Official Thread Supplier to the RSC
NOTES TO EDITORS
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.
We have trained generations of the very best theatre makers and we continue to nurture the talent of the future. We encourage everyone to enjoy a lifelong relationship with Shakespeare and live theatre. We reach 530,000 children and young people annually through our education work, transforming their experiences in the classroom, in performance and online.
Everyone at the RSC - from actors to armourers, musicians to technicians - plays a part in creating the world you see on stage. All our productions begin life at our Stratford workshops and theatres and we bring them to the widest possible audience through our touring, residencies, live broadcasts and online activity. So wherever you experience the RSC, you experience work made in Shakespeare’s home town. Registered charity no. 212481 www.rsc.org.uk
Stitch In Time Campaign
Support the restoration and redevelopment of our Costume Workshop and help us continue to create stunning costumes for audiences around the world to enjoy. Your support will help:
- Create the best facilities for costume-making, in a working environment fit for the 21st Century, including more space, more natural light and improved heating and cooling
- Care for our heritage Grade II listed buildings, including the 1887 Scene Dock
- Create new training and apprenticeships opportunities to enable costume-making skills to be passed on to future generations and to secure the future of costume-making in Stratford-upon-Avon
- Enable visitors to experience our world-class Costume Workshop for themselves on tours and online
Please visit www.rsc.org.uk/stitchintime
About Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
Esmée Fairbairn Foundation aims to improve the quality of life for people and communities throughout the UK both now and in the future. We do this by funding the charitable work of organisations who are building an inclusive, creative and sustainable society.
The Foundation is one of the largest independent grant-makers in the UK. In 2017 we made grants of £40.5 million towards a wide range of work within the arts, children and young people, the environment and social change. We also have a £45 million allocation to social investments for organisations with the aim of creating social impact.
About The Fugard Theatre
The 320-seater Fugard Theatre and the 120-seat Fugard Studio Theatre is located within the historic Sacks Futeran building in Cape Town’s District Six, with the renovated Congregational Church Hall in Caledon Street as its entrance. Construction of The Fugard Theatre was underwritten by its founding producer Eric Abraham, who continues to underwrite the operational costs.
Athol Fugard is one of South Africa’s most significant and internationally acclaimed playwright. For over fifty years he has written soul-searing plays with roles for all South Africans which have moved audiences in South Africa and around the world to laughter and tears as they reflected the racism, barbarity and inhumanity of apartheid. Working with John Kani, the late Zakes Mokae and many others he created iconic black characters whose narratives profoundly changed the way millions of people viewed apartheid. In his over thirty plays Athol Fugard champions truth and a fundamental universal humanity. In 2011 he received the ultimate recognition from one of the world’s most prestigious theatre communities - a Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theatre.
The Fugard Theatre is proud to bear his name and will honour him by providing a crucible of creativity and beacon of humanity for all South Africans regardless of race, colour, gender or creed. The Fugard Theatre is proud too to be located in District 6 and honours the history and memory of that vibrant community which was so savagely uprooted during the apartheid era.
About Trafalgar Releasing
Launching in 2010, Trafalgar Releasing (formerly operating as Picturehouse Entertainment) quickly established itself as a passionate, award-winning, market leader in global event distribution, working in partnership to unite audiences with entertainment and the arts.
Trafalgar Releasing distributes a total of more than 70 special events and films a year, around the world.
We work across music, theatre, high arts and feature films including Rammstein: Paris, directed by Jonas Åkerlund, Monty Python Live (mostly), The Rocky Horror Show Live, Roger Waters The Wall and Almeida Live: Richard III starring Ralph Fiennes and Vanessa Redgrave. We have worked with Nick Cave on two feature films; 20,000 Days on Earth (dir. Jane Pollard & Iain Forsyth)and One More Time With Feeling (dir. Andrew Dominik) as well as distributing award winning feature films like Paul Verhoeven’s Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner, Elle, starring Isabelle Huppert, BAFTA winner, The Imposter, The Lobster, starring Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz and Green Room with Patrick Stewart. www.trafalgar-releasing.com
About Darwin Escapes
Darwin Escapes currently operate 1 golf retreat and 21 luxurious holiday locations across the UK offering holiday breaks and holiday home ownership. A wide variety of holiday styles are accommodated, ranging from romantic boutique escapes to luxury lodge retreats and traditional family focused holiday parks, all of which boast state-of-the-art and diverse accommodation and on-site facilities including spas, gyms, restaurants and activities.
The company strives to raise the standards of the UK holiday park industry and to ultimately provide the best possible experience for holiday makers and holiday home owners by creating brand new destinations in stunning UK locations with accommodation and resort facilities that rival those of 5 star hotels.
For further information about Darwin Escapes and its numerous holiday destinations and facilities visit www.darwinescapes.co.uk or follow them on Twitter or Facebook: @DarwinEscapes
About West Midlands Trains
West Midlands Trains operate both West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway services.
London Northwestern Railway services operate between Liverpool and Birmingham, and on the West Coast mainline to and from London Euston.
West Midlands Railway services operate to destinations across the West Midlands via Birmingham New Street.
For more information on these services visit westmidlandsrailway.co.uk or londonnorthwesternrailway.co.uk
The West Midlands Trains franchise started on 10 December 2017 and will run until 2025/26.
West Midlands Trains operate 1,300 services a day, manage 150 stations and provide over 70 million passenger journeys a year. Over the course of the franchise, West Midlands Trains will be investing £1 billion into the rail network to deliver new trains, improved routes and station upgrades. This will include 400 new train carriages across the network and space for an extra 85,000 passengers into Birmingham and London at peak times.
The franchise is a joint venture between Abellio (70.1% share) and East Japan Railway Company / Mitsui & Co., Ltd (29.9% share in a 50:50 split). Abellio is the international passenger transport subsidiary of the Dutch national railway company, Nederlandse Spoorwegen. In the UK, Abellio operate ScotRail and Greater Anglia train services, Merseyrail services in a joint venture with Serco and buses through Abellio London. For more information visit www.abellio.com