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Today (Thursday 9 December 2021) the Royal Shakespeare Company releases two new episodes of its in-house podcast, Interval Drinks with a further two to be available for download from Thursday 6 January 2022. The series launched last Spring, bringing together members of the RSC’s 2020/21 acting company with inspirational personalities from the Company’s history.

The four new episodes include an interview with RSC Associate Artist Lucian Msamati (Othello, Pericles), children’s author Kate DiCamillo, who wrote the novel The Magician’s Elephant which inspired the stage adaptation by Nancy Harris and Marc Teitler, currently playing at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, RSC Associate Artist and star of Channel 4’s Shameless David Threlfall (The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickelby, Julius Caesar) and Artistic Director of Augmented Productions, Sophie Woolley.

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 a rare 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.

In episode one, actor Alfred Clay, who features in the company of The Comedy of Errors at the Barbican, speaks to RSC Associate Artist Lucian Msamati as he describes how it felt to see live theatre for the first time, growing up in Zimbabwe and founding the first professional multi-racial theatre company in the country. He talks about playing Iago at the RSC, and the hardships of forging an acting career. And he explains his irrational fear of camels.

Episode two features playwright Nancy Harris speaks to children’s author Kate DiCamillo about her inspiration – the “divine spark” that grew into The Magician’s Elephant and how gifting a notebook to a friend led her to create the unique cast of characters. The two writers talk about their writing processes, and Kate shares exactly how many rejection letters she received.

In the third episode, RSC Associate Artist David Threlfall speaks to Zoe Lambert, who can also currently be seen in The Comedy of Errors at the Barbican. They talk about David’s theatre career, from starting out at the RSC, to playing Tommy Cooper and Frank Gallagher in Shameless. Zoe asks David where the character of Frank came from, and David explains why he loves working, how he approaches the characters he plays and the art of creating believable characters for comedy. He also tells us who he would most like to share an interval drink with, in what would be the busiest interval we’ve had so far in the series.

Episode four features Renu Arora, who plays Madame LeVaughn in The Magician’s Elephant, in conversation with Deaf writer and performer Sophie Woolley. Both Renu and Sophie are artists who have needed to adapt their practices following acquiring disabilities. Within the discussion, the pair touch on Sophie’s past work, their experiences of the theatre industry, how their work has changed over time and what advice they would give to other disabled artists wanting to advance their career in the arts. This episode will also be available to download as a BSL interpreted Vodcast via the RSC website.

Previous episodes include conversations with Tim Minchin, John Kani, Paul Chahidi, Justin Audibert, Juliet Gilkes Romero and Adjoa Andoh. Each episode of the series is available to download for free via the RSC website, as well as multiple podcast platforms, including Spotify and Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes). There is also a vodcast episode with Charlotte Arrowsmith available via the RSC YouTube channel.

New episodes of Interval Drinks will be announced in the new year.

The music is ‘Oberon’s Theme – King of Shadow’, originally composed by Sam Kenyon for A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2016).



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For the RSC, Lucian’s credits include Othello and Pericles.Other theatre credits include Romeo & Juliet'Master Harold'...and the boysAmadeusMa Rainey's Black Bottom,The Amen CornerThe Comedy of ErrorsDeath and the King's Horseman, The OverwhelmingThe President of an Empty RoomMourning Becomes Electraall for the National Theatre; A Wolf in Snakeskin ShoesWalk HardTalk LoudFabulation and Gem of the Ocean at the Tricycle; Little RevolutionRuined and I.D at the Almeida; If You Don’t Let Us Dream, We Won’t Let You SleepBelong and Clybourne Park at the Royal Court; The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui at the Lyric Hammersmith; 1807 – The First Act at Shakespeare’s Globe; Who Killed Mr Drum? at Riverside and Twelfth Night at Sheffield Crucible.

Screen credits include: Gangs of LondonHis Dark MaterialsBlack Earth RisingKiriPhilip K Dick’s Electric DreamsTabooGeorge GentlyLutherGame of ThronesDeath in ParadiseNo.1 Ladies’ Detective AgencyDoctor WhoAshes to AshesSpooksThe Good LiarThe SeekersThe InternationalCoffinLegend of the SkyKingdomDr JujuLumumba.



Kate DiCamillo is an American children's fiction author. She has published over 25 novels, including Because of Winn-DixieThe Tiger Rising, The Tale of Despereaux, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, the Mercy Watson series, Flora & Ulysses and The Magician’s Elephant, which was recently adapted for the stage by Nancy Harris and Marc Teitler for the RSC. Her books have sold 37 million copies and won various awards, including The Tale of Despereaux and Flora & Ulysses both winning the Newbery Medal, making DiCamillo one of six authors to have won two Newbery Medals. From 2014 to 2015 DiCamillo was the American National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. Her most recent novel, The Beatryce Prophecy, was published in 2021.



For the RSC, David’s credits include: The Party, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickelby, Julius Caesar, The Suicide, Cymbeline and The Merry Wives of Windsor.

Other theatre credits include: Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me at the Ambassador’s Theatre, Skellig for the Young Vic, The Entertainer at the Derby Playhouse, Tartuffe and Richard II for the National Theatre, Blue/Orange at the Duchess Theatre, Peer Gynt, Present Laughter and The Count of Monte Cristo for the Manchester Royal Exchange, Odysseus Thump at the West Yorkshire Playhouse and The Wild Duck at the Phoenix Theatre.

Screen credits include: C4’s Shameless, Tommy, Ripper Street, ITV’s Midwinter of the Spirit, Code of a Killer, What Remains, Spooks and Cutting It (all BBC), Housewife, 49 and Afterlife.



Sophie Woolley is a unique writer, performer, actor and artistic director of Augmented Productions.

In 2020 Woolley toured Augmented, a spectacular, critically acclaimed co-production with Told by an Idiot, about the future of humanity and her experience of becoming a cyborg. The tour was cut short by the Covid 19 pandemic but will be remounted.

As a theatre maker Woolley has collaborated with directors Gemma Fairlie and Rachel Bagshaw to make witty, moving stage plays with creative captioning embedded in the design. She’s performed her own work across the UK including Soho Theatre, Southbank Centre, the Lyric Hammersmith, Royal Exchange, Salisbury Playhouse, Birmingham Rep, Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Sophie also writes and acts for BBC radio and TV. In 2021 she wrote two recent episodes of EastEnders.  Her witty character-based comedies include well researched comedy dramas for radio and stage about environmental issues, including her Radio 4 play, Carbon Cleansing (starring Doon Mackichan and Joseph Kloska). Actor roles include Gabby in Cast Offs (Channel 4), Let Me Play the Lion Too (Told by an Idiot) and Best in Lockdown (Told by an Idiot/Augmented Productions) and Gloria in Veneer (Film 4) as well as a series of satirical characters on her own YouTube channel.



The Magician’s Elephant runs in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre until 1 January 2022. Box Office: 01789 331111,

The Comedy of Errors runs at the Barbican until 31 December 2021. Box Office:

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

The Magician's Elephant is a recipient of the Edgerton Foundation New Play Award

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

The Comedy of Errors is supported by RSC Season Supporter Charles Holloway

The RSC’s London production of The Comedy of Errors is kindly supported by ICBC (London)

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. 

The Royal Shakespeare Company creates world class theatre, made in Stratford-upon-Avon and shared around the world, performing plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries, as well as commissioning an exceptionally wide range of original work from contemporary writers. Our purpose is to ensure that Shakespeare is for everyone, and we do that by unlocking the power of his plays and of live performance, throughout the UK and across the world.  

We believe everybody’s life is enriched by culture and creativity. We have trained generations of the very best theatre makers and we continue to nurture the talent of the future. Our transformative Learning Programmes reach over half a million young people and adults each year, and through our Placemaking and Public Programme we create projects with and for communities who have not historically engaged with our work. We are a leader in creative immersive technologies and digital development.  
We have a proud record of innovation, diversity and excellence on stage and are determined to grasp the opportunity to become an even more inclusive, progressive, relevant and ambitious organisation.  

We are committed to being a teaching and learning theatre – in which we create world class theatre for, with and by audiences and theatre makers of all ages. We provide training for emerging and established theatre makers and arts professionals, for teachers and for young people. We share learning formally and informally. We embed training and research across our company, work and processes. 

We recognise the climate emergency and work hard to embed environmental sustainability into our operations, creative work and business practice, making a commitment to continually reduce our carbon footprint.  

Keep Your RSC supports our mission to create theatre at its best, unlocking Shakespeare and transforming lives. Thousands of generous audience members, trusts and foundations and partners supported Keep Your RSC in 2020 and, alongside a £19.4 million loan from the Culture Recovery Fund, we are thrilled to be welcoming audiences back. It will take time to recover, to reopen all our theatres, and many years to repay the loan and the support and generosity of our audiences is more important than ever. Please donate at  

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