Latest Press Releases


The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) issued its latest annual review for 2018/19 at its AGM in Stratford-upon-Avon today:  The Company also welcomed new Board members at the AGM: Liz Vernon, Partner at law firm, Clintons, and Lucy Williams Head of Regulatory Compliance for HSBC UK Bank.

Reflecting on the year Gregory Doran, Artistic Director and Catherine Mallyon, Executive Director, commented:

“We believe that Shakespeare is for everyone, and we want people of all ages to develop a life-long relationship with Shakespeare and live theatre.  We aim to build a nation of Shakespeare and theatre lovers by creating opportunities for people to have amazing experiences of Shakespeare’s plays and of great theatre.

“Our productions on stage, cinema screenings, free schools’ screenings and events, UK and international tours, exhibitions and our deep-rooted education work are some of the ways in which we do this.  We worked with just over 500 actors last year, staged 28 productions and co-productions and reached 534,374 young people through our education activity across the country.

“We make amazing things happen through our partnership working, and partnerships make it possible to achieve all that we do.  Our 11 long-term partner theatres, 246 Associate Schools, and 518 young Shakespeare Ambassadors are integral to what we do.  Together we want everybody to have the opportunity to feel the transformative power of theatre and Shakespeare.

“As a charity we rely on our many funders and supporters.  We would like to thank them and our theatre and education partners across the country, our creative teams, and every one of our colleagues, for making everything the RSC achieves possible.”

During 2018 - 2019, the RSC has:

On stage

  • Produced 28 productions and co-productions
  • Staged 5 new commissions including a new musical in the Swan Theatre, Miss Littlewood about the life and times of Joan Littlewood, plus a new version of Moliere’s French Classic, Tartuffe set in the Pakistani Muslim community of Birmingham.
  • Worked with just over 500 actors.
  • Performed year-round in London including in the West End with Matilda The Musical, 14 weeks at the Barbican with Macbeth, The Merry Wives of Windsor and Romeo and Juliet, 14 weeks at the Garrick Theatre with Don Quixote and 13 weeks at the Gielgud Theatre with Imperium.
  • Enjoyed 49 weeks on tour around the UK, including Matilda The Musical UK and Ireland tour, Romeo and Juliet and First Encounters with Shakespeare: The Comedy of Errors.
  • Performed internationally including King Lear at Brooklyn Academy of Music and Hamlet at the Kennedy Center in Washington.
  • Staged an integrated British Sign Language performance at every venue for the Romeo and Juliet tour.
  • Created a ground-breaking production of Troilus and Cressida with Charlotte Arrowsmith playing Cassandra in BSL, and with music by Evelyn Glennie.
  • Produced 30 regional festivals as part of the Playmaking Festival involving 4,123 young people from 186 schools in Blackpool, Canterbury, Cornwall, County Durham, Hull, Leicester, Middlesbrough, Newcastle, Nottingham, Northampton, Stoke, Uxbridge, Warwickshire and York.
  • Performed Matilda The Musical in South Korea – the first foreign language production of the show which has now won 98 international awards and been seen by 9 million people worldwide.
  • Opened 3 productions in China using new Chinese translations of The Tempest, Twelfth Night and Hamlet as part of our pioneering Shakespeare Folio Translation Project.
  • Supported 62 independent artists with specific research and development projects including some in association with The Orange Tree and Northern Stage.



  • Issued 1.7 million tickets worldwide.
  • Received over 1 million visits to the RSC’s Stratford theatres.
  • Reached 534,374 young people aged 3 – 25 through RSC Education.
  • 9% of audiences who saw Romeo and Juliet on tour were new to theatre, 10% new to Shakespeare and 30% new to the RSC.
  • Broadcast 4 productions globally including Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, The Merry Wives of Windsor and Troilus and Cressida to a combined audience of 117,794, including to audiences in China.
  • 37,366 tickets were issued to Audiences in Norwich, Newcastle, Bradford, Nottingham, Blackpool, Cardiff and Glasgow for Romeo and Juliet on tour.
  • 8,079 BP £5 tickets issued to young people aged 16 - 25.
  • Welcomed 19,000 people who visited Inside Out, an outdoor summer installation including a range of free events and activities.
  • Seen audiences travel over 100 miles to one of the free open-air summer performances in The Dell.
  • Worked with 121 young people from across the country who participated in Next Generation ACT and Backstage – the RSC’s talent development programme.
  • Continued our long-term partnerships with 11 partner theatres and 246 Associate Schools around the country, the majority of which are in areas of socio-economic disadvantage.
  • Recruited 545 young Shakespeare Ambassadors working in their community to lead Shakespeare inspired projects in their local communities and undertake leadership training to support them.
  • Formed the first RSC Youth Advisory Board involving 30 young people aged 9 – 18.
  • 7,720 under 18s saw our First Encounters with Shakespeare tour of The Comedy of Errors in their school or local theatre. 11,902 tickets were issued for the tour which is co-created with RSC partner theatres and local schools.
  • Heard from 6,000 young people in our Time To Listen study about the importance of arts and culture in their school lives, working in partnership with Tate and the University of Nottingham.
  • Saw 150,000 students and teachers from 170 countries visit our new online Shakespeare Learning Zone in its first eight months.
  • 96% of teachers rated our professional development work as excellent.
  • Enjoyed record numbers tuning in for the free Schools Broadcasts of Macbeth (83,952) and Romeo and Juliet (66,514).
  • 25,000 young people joined the RSC Live Lessons – a nationwide classroom sharing with young people how creative choices are made in the rehearsal room.
  • Began the restoration and redevelopment of the Costume Workshop.When completed visitors will be able to go inside for the first time. Over 30,000 people supported the Stitch In Time fundraising campaign helping to raise £3 million towards the project.


  • The charity’s total income was £86.44m
  • Self-generated income was 83% from Box Office sales, commercial trading and fundraising.
  • Box Office revenue totalled £53.3m (62% of income) and trading income was £10.4m
  • Annual fundraising income increased to £4.17m, and in addition the Company’s Stitch In Time fundraising campaign to raise £3.44 million towards the restoration and redevelopment of the RSC’s renowned Costume Workshop was achieved.
  • Arts Council England investment was reduced by 3%, as previously confirmed, to £14.9m.
  • Royalties and other income totalled £3.4m (4%)
  • After expenditure of £82.9m a surplus of £3.45m was mainly related to capital fundraising and the Matilda The Musical UK and Ireland Tour.It will be used to support the RSC meet its strategic objectives, including capital projects.

The continued priority and key challenge is to maintain a balanced financial position, in the light of static Arts Council Grant funding and declining royalties.



For further information, please contact 01789 412668, or 07920 244434

For images, please register at

Notes to editors:


Liz Vernon qualified as a solicitor in 1989 and became a partner at Mishcon de Reya in 1998, before moving to Clintons and leading the firm’s Family practice, with over 23 years’ experience in dealing with both financial cases (including pre and post-nuptial agreements) and work relating to children. Liz acts for clients from all walks of life, with a particular expertise in dealing with high net worth complex financial cases involving businesses and trusts, often with an international dimension.

Liz was part of the original team that acted for Diana, Princess of Wales in her divorce. She has an established reputation for dealing with high profile clients from the sports, entertainment and media fields and their spouses. Liz also acted for both Karen Parlour in respect of the widely reported landmark case, and for Slavica Ecclestone.

Liz is a collaboratively trained lawyer and member of the Central London Collaborative Forum. She has a wide range of alternative dispute resolution skills to assist in the resolution of difficult family disputes without involving the courts. Liz is also a fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

Lucy Williams is the Executive Committee member and Head of Regulatory Compliance for HSBC UK Bank, responsible for overseeing the commercial, retail, wealth and private banking operations of HSBC in the UK.  In that role, she was the first senior executive to relocate from London to Birmingham in 2015, ahead of the opening of the bank’s new head office there.  She still lives locally with her family and is a strong advocate for the region.

Lucy joined HSBC in June 2013 from Prudential plc where she was the Director of Group Compliance. Prior to that, she was Head of Compliance at Aviva Life UK. Her earlier career included a range of roles over some years at the Financial Services Authority, in the Markets Division and Retail Supervision, and managing ABN AMRO’s Government Affairs team in Brussels. 

She has been a Trustee of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra since May 2016 and serves on their audit and finance committee.  She is an outgoing Trustee of the Institute of Business Ethics, having served on its Board since 2015.

Lucy has been a committed attendee at the RSC since childhood – something she now passionately shares with her own family – and has been a Full Member since 2013 and an Associate Member from 2005. Lucy is joining the RSC Board, having been a governor since 2017.  She will also serve on the Audit Committee.

Live From Stratford-upon-Avon, Schools’ Broadcasts, Live Lessons and the RSC Access programme are supported by Virgin Media as part of its commitment to transform lives through digital technology, ensuring everyone has access to theatre.

The work of the RSC Education Department is generously supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Adobe, The Allan and Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust, The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, Samsung, The Schroder Foundation, The Polonsky Foundation, GRoW @ Annenberg, The Goldsmiths’ Company Charity, The Kusuma Trust UK, The Ernest Cook Trust and TAK Advisory Limited.

The Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich and Miss Littlewood and their Directors were generously supported by Miranda Curtis

The work of the RSC Literary Department is generously supported by The Drue and H.J. Heinz II Charitable Trust

Edwardian Hotels London - Preferred Hotel Partner for Matilda The Musical in London

The RSC’s London production of Romeo and Juliet was kindly supported by ICBC (London).

Imperium: Part I Conspirator and Imperium: Part II Dictator were recipients of an Edgerton Foundation New Plays Award

J.P. Morgan was the Lead Sponsor of King Lear USA

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

The Playmaking Festival is supported by RSC Friends

The restoration and redevelopment of the Costume Workshop is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, and The Government’s Local Growth Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, with additional support from the Garfield Weston Foundation, Lydia and Manfred Gorvy, The Foyle Foundation, Coats – Official Thread Supplier to the RSC, The Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation, The Wolfson Foundation and other generous supporters.

The Associate Schools programme is supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation, The Allan and Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust, The Schroder Foundation, The Ernest Cook Trust and is powered by Samsung as part of its commitment to inspire learning through technology.

RSC Next Generation is generously supported by The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, GRoW @ Annenberg and The Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation.

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.  

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.  

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 over 530,000 children and young people annually through our education work, transforming their experiences in the classroom, in performance and online.  Registered charity no. 212481

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.

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies. The company is redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, cameras, digital appliances, medical equipment, network systems, and semiconductor and LED solutions. For the latest news, please visit Samsung Newsroom at

ICBC (London) Established in 2003 in the City of London, ICBC (London) plc has provided professional solutions to various clients’ needs. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited London Branch was authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority in 2014, and together with its 100% wholly-owned subsidiary, ICBC (London) plc (collectively referred to as the “Bank”), provides a range of regulated financial products and banking services to its UK, Chinese and international clients, including corporate customers, individual customers and financial institutions. The Bank has specialized teams focusing on Commercial Real Estate, Commodities and Structured Finance, Global Loan Syndications, Trade Finance, Project and Infrastructure Finance and Treasury solutions by way of offering hedging solutions for currency and interest rate exposure via Foreign Exchange products and Interest Rate Derivatives.

‘Integrity Leads to Prosperity’ is the core value behind ICBC’s long-term development, including integrity and diligence, prudence and compliance, innovation and excellence, endurance and dedication.

To learn more about ICBC, please visit our website

About J.P. Morgan’s Corporate & Investment Bank J.P. Morgan’s Corporate & Investment Bank is a global leader across banking, markets and investor services. The world’s most important corporations, governments and institutions entrust us with their business in more than 100 countries. With $22.7 trillion of assets under custody and $421.6 billion in deposits, the Corporate & Investment Bank provides strategic advice, raises capital, manages risk and extends liquidity in markets around the world. Further information about J.P. Morgan is available at

BP support for UK Arts & Culture:  In the UK, BP is a major supporter of the arts with a programme that spans over 50 years. BP’s investment in long term partnerships with the British Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Opera House, and the Royal Shakespeare Company represent one of the most significant long-term corporate investments in UK arts and culture

You might also like