ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY ANNOUNCES WINTER 2020 PROGRAMME
- Tales for Winter: (Your Place or Ours) - a season of epic tales for extraordinary times performed live from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre (RST) in Stratford-upon-Avon
- Planned in-person events up until 12 December now to be live-streamed only, with audiences welcomed back to the RST from 19 December
- RSC welcomes David Walliams & Guy Chambers for the official launch of The Boy in the Dress cast album, live streamed from the RST to homes
- Troy Story directed by Artistic Director Gregory Doran: an epic re-telling of the story of the Trojan War in five parts
- Deputy Artistic Director Erica Whyman presents Festive Tales: an evening of carols, songs and festive readings from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre celebrating the spirit of Christmas and the Royal Shakespeare Community
- Unlocking Shakespeare in the classroom: on demand Schools’ Broadcast of Hamlet, Shakespeare Discovery Sessions & Teaching Shakespeare in an age of social-distancing; Live from Stratford-upon-Avon
Public booking opens Friday 20 November - online at 10am and telephone from 12noon.
Download high-res images here
The Royal Shakespeare Company has today announced details of its Winter 2020 programme which includes a newly commissioned series of Tales for Winter running from Saturday 5 December 2020 to Saturday 23 January 2021.
The full programme of events was due to be performed to a reduced-capacity, socially-distanced audience in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre with many performances being streamed to enable people further afield to take part.
Following the latest government announcement, the RSC will now offer live-stream only versions of all shows taking place between Saturday 5 and Saturday 12 December which will be available for one week after broadcast, with a view to welcoming audiences back to the theatre from Saturday 19 December. Full Covid-19 safety measures will be in place to make sure that up to 200 audience members can see events socially-distanced in a safe atmosphere, with the RSC welcome remaining as strong as ever.
The programme features contributions from David Walliams with live music by Guy Chambers and performances by the 2020 RSC Acting Company.
RSC Artistic Director, Gregory Doran, said: “Despite the latest lockdown announcements, we remain fully committed to producing our Winter programme of events and to sharing the joy of live performance with our audiences, whether that’s back in-person or online. We are keeping the situation under close review in line with government and public health guidance and look forward to welcoming visitors as soon as it is safe to do so.
“As the global pandemic continues to prevent us being with one another in ways we could never have imagined, we need stories now, more than ever before. They help us to make sense of the world around us and to bring us together as a community, to celebrate, commiserate, reflect and rebuild.
“Tales for Winter is about storytelling, the most essential act of theatre. It is a reminder of where we were when we closed our doors back in March and an opportunity to look forward with hope and optimism to the future. It explores both the epic and the intimate; the majestic poetry of ancient Greece passed down through the generations, the festive fireside tunes and tales that sustain us through the long midwinter months, the timeless plots of William Shakespeare’s plays and the quick-witted, beautifully crafted storytelling of David Walliams.
“And whilst we continue to look forward to the time when we can welcome back full-scale RSC productions to the RST, we are delighted to be opening our doors to reduced-capacity audiences once again this Winter to share in the unique magic that is live theatre”.
Royal Shakespeare Theatre – Online (and In-person from 19 December)
Running over six weekends from Saturday 5 December – Saturday 23 January (excluding Christmas and New Year), Tales for Winter (Your Place or Ours) will welcome audiences back to the RSC with a series of stripped back warm-up events, celebrating the essence of live theatre: an actor, a stage and a story.
Performed by a company of RSC Actors against the iconic backdrop of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Tales for Winter is, at its heart, a celebration: of the essential joy of storytelling and of the transformative power of live theatre.
Launching on Saturday 5 December, the opening weekend will look back on the most recent story to be brought magically to life on the RST stage, David Walliams’ The Boy in the Dress.
One year on from the opening of the RSC’s hit musical The Boy in the Dress in Stratford-upon-Avon, no. 1 best-selling children’s author David Walliams will visit the Royal Shakespeare Theatre on Saturday 5 December to read from his original book. He will be joined by songwriter and musician Guy Chambers alongside members of the original cast and creative team for the launch of the official cast album.
The Boy in the Dress official cast album will be available to pre-order on CD and iTunes from 16 November and available to purchase on CD, iTunes, Spotify and YouTube Music from 4 December.
On Saturday 12 December, online audiences are invited to join members of the RSC Acting Company on an epic journey through the twists and turns of ancient Troy with a dramatic re-telling of the history of the Trojan war in five parts, based on the Greek classics - The Iliad, The Odyssey and The Aeneid - from translations by John Dryden and Alexander Pope.
Weaving together a patchwork of sources, RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran retells the thrilling story of the Trojan War. Across one epic day, RSC Actors recount our Troy Story in five live-streamed parts, including the famous wooden horse and the mythical voyage of Odysseus. Each event will last around an hour, and there is the option to watch again online.
In-person events in December:
Looking ahead to Christmas, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre will host a weekend of music and reflection on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 December. Festive Tales will feature carols, songs and festive readings celebrating the spirit of Christmas and the Royal Shakespeare Community.
Subject to the latest government guidance, this weekend will see reduced-capacity, socially-distanced audiences return to the RST for the first time since the theatre closed its doors in March, and will also be live streamed for audiences to enjoy from home.
Alongside poetry from Maya Angelou, the programme will remember RSC productions past, with extracts from and The Christmas Truce by Phil Porter (2014), inspired by the diaries of Bruce Bairnsfather and the men of the Warwickshire Regiment, and A Christmas Carol adapted by David Edgar (2018).
Looking ahead - January 2021
In January, Tales for Winter continues with a weekly programme of online performances inspired by the work of former Children’s Laureate and best-selling author Michael Morpurgo who has joined the Royal Shakespeare Company to present a special series of preview events inspired by his new book, Tales from Shakespeare.
Readings include a one-off recording of Twelfth Night by Michael Morpurgo and a weekly programme of in-person and online events for schools and families. The programme will feature well-known Shakespeare titles including Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream performed by members of the RSC Acting Company.
Other highlights in January include a specially curated programme of Shakespeare performances by the RSC’s Next Generation ACT company and Youth Advisory Board and a new musical concert inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Full programme details to be announced in December.
See It Safely – visiting the Royal Shakespeare Theatre
The safety and enjoyment of audiences remains the Company’s number one priority. In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic and in accordance with the latest government guidance, the RSC has introduced a range of COVID-19 secure measures. These include enhanced cleaning between performances, statutory face coverings, socially distanced seating, pre-ordering of refreshments and one-way systems operating throughout key areas of the building. Only 200 audience members will be welcomed to each event in the RST, which normally seats just over 1000 people.
Visitors can choose an area of the theatre and their exact seats will be allocated by Front of House teams at the performance, depending on party sizes and current government guidance. All available seats have a clear and uninterrupted view of the stage.
The theatre building will open 1 hour before performances Festive Tales begins, with the auditorium opening 45 minutes before the start time
For full safety information, visit rsc.org.uk/your-visit/your-safety
Learning and National Partnerships:
As young people continue to adapt to new ways of learning, the RSC has been working in collaboration with teachers and RSC freelance artists to develop new courses and resources that support teachers and young people learning about Shakespeare’s plays in their classrooms or at home.
Theatre on demand
Following the success of previous years, the RSC schools’ Broadcast of Hamlet (2016) directed by Simon Godwin with Paapa Essiedu will be available on demand for schools across the UK from Monday 16 - Monday 23 November. A range of supporting resources and film content for teachers and students has been created to accompany the broadcast.
Socially distanced Shakespeare: Live from Stratford-upon-Avon
On Wednesday 25 November, the RSC will be streaming live from the Swan Theatre
f to share socially distanced drama practice with teachers and youth theatre leaders across the UK. As the RSC starts to rehearse plays adhering to social distancing guidelines, actors and directors will share how they are marking up rehearsal rooms, approaching warm-ups, tackling work on scenes and resolving staging dilemmas with drama practitioners.
This will form part of a week-long ‘Connected’ programme of learning and participation running from Monday 23 – Friday 27 November for the RSC’s Regional Partner Theatres and Associate Schools network. This specially devised week offers teachers and students the opportunity to share, connect and support each other through a time of change with daily sessions exploring playmaking, local leadership and access to the RSC’s Next Generation Talent development programmes focusing on careers in theatre, backstage and onstage.
The week features sessions with children’s author Malorie Blackman (Noughts and Crosses), Professor Ayanna Thompson from Arizona university, Darren Raymond from Intermission Youth, Musician Tarek Merchant, Movement Director Ingrid Mckinnon with contributions from regional theatre partners and young people, exploring big ideas about identity, creativity and the world today.
Accompanying this will be a specially devised package of resources and courses exploring some of the big questions facing society today. Resources will be available on demand as well as through participatory sessions online. Example courses include Shakespeare’s Stories for early years children, Shakespeare and Race – an introduction to issues of identity and representation through Shakespeare’s plays, Shakespeare and Literacy – approaches to inspire and motivate children to write creatively in response to Shakespeare and Shakespeare Discovery Sessions for teachers, children and young people of all ages.
Assisted performances will also take place on selected dates in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. These include BSL interpreted performances of Festive Tales on Saturday 19 December at 7pm. This will be followed by a chilled and captioned performance of Festive Tales on Sunday 20 December at 4.30pm with further dates to be announced in January.
Flexible Bookings, Exchanges and Refunds:
For bookings made throughout 2020 for future performances, audiences can book their tickets with confidence knowing that if they are unable to attend a performance for any reason, they can exchange their tickets up to 2 hours before the performance or event start time, at no extra cost.
Tickets can be exchanged for another performance with seats at the same price or for an RSC Gift Voucher which can be used as part or full payment against future ticket purchases or memberships, ether online, in person or over the telephone. RSC Gift Vouchers are valid for 12 months from the date of issue.
Bookings can be made up until the point at which the performance begins. If a performance is cancelled, tickets can be refunded.
Tickets selected for online streamed events cannot be exchanged or refunded.
For further information, please contact:
Kate Evans email@example.com 01789 412622 or 07920 244434
For press images, please register free of charge at https://images.rsc.org.uk/
BOOKING INFORMATION: 01789 331111 or www.rsc.org.uk
Priority Booking Period
Artist Circle, Gold and Silver Patrons: Monday 16 November online at 10am, telephone from 12noon.
Bronze Patrons: Tuesday 17 November online at 10am, telephone from 12noon.
Members: Wednesday 18 November online at 10am, telephone from 12noon.
Subscribers: Thursday 19 November online at 10am, telephone from 12noon.
Public Booking: Friday 20 November at online at 10am, telephone from 12noon.
From 16th November onwards, telephone booking through the Box Office will be open from midday to 6pm, Monday to Friday.
ROYAL SHAKESPEARE THEATRE
Tales for Winter (Your Place or Ours)
Live stream tickets (The Boy in the Dress and Festive Tales): £10 per household
Troy Story live stream tickets: £50 to include all five events and option to watch again
In-person tickets for Festive Tales only: £20 (Under 26s £5)
The Boy in the Dress: a celebration
With David Walliams and Guy Chambers
Saturday 5 December 7pm
Live streamed from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre
One year after the RSC’s smash hit musical The Boy in the Dress opened in Stratford-upon-Avon, David Walliams returns to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre to read from his original, much-loved novel. A moment of musical magic – with songwriter Guy Chambers and original performers from the show – will launch the much-anticipated cast recording
You can pre-order the original cast album from the RSC Shop or from iTunes from 16 November.
The Boy in the Dress was performed in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. It was adapted from the novel by David Walliams, with book by Mark Ravenhill and music and lyrics by Robbie Williams and Guy Chambers.
Based on the Greek classics from translations by John Dryden and Alexander Pope
Directed by Gregory Doran
Saturday 12 December
Live streamed from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre
10am: The Rage of Achilles
12.30pm: The Death of Hector
3pm: The Wooden Horse
5.30pm: Cyclops and Sirens
8pm: The Hero Returns
£50 (includes access for one week after the performances)
Weaving together a patchwork of sources, RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran retells the thrilling story of the Trojan War. Across one epic day, RSC Actors recount our Troy Story in five live-streamed parts, including the famous wooden horse and the mythical voyage of Odysseus.
Each event will last around an hour, and there is the option to watch again online.
Saturday 19 December 7pm (streamed live; BSL interpreted)
Sunday 20 December 4.30pm (chilled and captioned performance)
£20 (Under 26s £5) in person
£10 live stream
A weekend of music and reflection as we welcome the festive season and connect with our Royal Shakespeare Community. We celebrate the spirit of Christmas with an eclectic programme of carols, songs and festive readings. Alongside poetry by Maya Angelou, we remember past productions, with extracts from The Christmas Truce by Phil Porter (2014) and Dickens’ A Christmas Carol adapted by David Edgar (2018).
Ticket buyers will be able to select from one of the following areas of the RST auditorium when making their bookings;
STALLS - CENTRE FRONT, STALLS - CENTRE REAR, STALLS – LEFT, STALLS – RIGHT, CIRCLE – CENTRE, CIRCLE – LEFT, CIRCLE – RIGHT
Whilst individual seat numbers won’t be confirmed at the time of booking, ticket buyers will be able to select their preferred area of the auditorium before their seats are allocated safely, at socially distanced locations in the auditorium, on arrival at the theatre. This will allow constant liaising between the Theatre Manager and Senior Sales and Ticketing Manager in order to flexibly maximise capacity throughout the on sale and leading up to the event start time.
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 is supported using public funding by Arts Council England.
The RSC is generously supported by RSC America
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 and H.J. Heinz II Charitable Trust
Charles Holloway Season Supporter, The Winter's Tale and The Comedy of Errors
Royal Shakespeare Theatre productions sponsored by Darwin Escapes
The Winter’s Tale is supported by RSC Production Circle members Mark Thompson and Jane Blumberg-Thompson
The Boy in the Dress was supported by RSC Production Circle members Elizabeth Boissevain and Andrew Jeffreys, Charles Holloway, Ms Teresa Tsai and Kathleen J. Yoh
The work of the RSC Education Department is generously supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Adobe, The Clore Duffield Foundation, GRoW @ Annenberg, The Allan and Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust, The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, Samsung, The Polonsky Foundation, The Schroder Foundation, The 29th May 1961 Charitable Trust, The Wyfold Charitable Trust, Teale Charitable Trust, The Grimmitt Trust, The Misses Barrie Charitable Trust, TAK Advisory Limited and Stratford Town Trust.
The Associate Schools programme is supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation, The Allan and Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust, The Schroder Foundation, The 29th May 1961 Charitable Trust, Teale Charitable Trust, The Grimmitt Trust, and is powered by Samsung as part of its commitment to inspire learning through technology.
RSC Teacher Resources are presented by Adobe
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.
We recognise the climate emergency and work hard to embed environmental sustainability into our operations, creative work and business practice and have made a commitment to reduce continually our Carbon Footprint. We have measures already in place from green electricity to replace energy consuming equipment with high efficiency, using low carbon equipment, and delivering programmes to raise environmental awareness across the RSC. We acknowledge that sharing our work with audiences across the world will involve travel and that we need to mitigate the impact of that on our carbon footprint.
Registered charity no. 212481 rsc.org.uk
Darwin Escapes currently operate 21 luxurious holiday resorts and 3 golf courses 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 provide the best possible holiday experience for holiday makers and holiday home owners with resorts in stunning UK locations with accommodation and 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
Samsung and the RSC
Since 2015, Samsung UK and the RSC have worked together closely to inspire a new generation and bring Shakespeare’s plays to life through technology. The RSC Playmaking Creative Challenge, powered by Samsung, builds on the success of previous joint initiatives, most recently the award-winning Romeo and Juliet takeover at Welcome Hills School*.
This partnership forms a part of Samsung’s commitment to Enabling People by empowering future generations to achieve their full potential through education. Through a number of educational programmes worldwide, Samsung’s mission is to create more inclusive, quality learning experiences for young people across society, enabling them to become pioneers of positive social change. To find out more about Samsung’s UK initiatives, please visit: http://csr.samsung.com/en-gb/localMain.do
*Welcombe Hills Collaboration: https://news.samsung.com/uk/award-winning-rsc-samsung-and-welcombe-hills-school-collaboration-wins-top-education-prize?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=direct