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All Mirth and No Matter
Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Garden Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon
Friday 23 July, 10.30am and 2.30pm
Tickets: £5,, 01789 331111

Images from a previous Next Generation Act production can be downloaded here

The Royal Shakespeare Company’s young acting company, Next Generation Act, presents All Mirth and No Matter, their own response to Shakespeare’s comedy, Much Ado About Nothing.

There will be two performances at 10.30am and 2.30pm on Friday 23 July in the RSC’s new temporary outdoor theatre, the Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Garden Theatre, located on the banks of the River Avon in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Made up of 22 young people aged 13 - 18 from RSC Associate Schools across the country, Next Generation Act is the acting strand of the RSC’s three part Next Generation programmeThis unique talent development scheme provides gifted young people from backgrounds currently under-represented in the theatre industry with the opportunity to gain experience in acting, directing or backstage roles and explore whether a career in the theatre is for them. A list of the areas the Next Generation Act company are from is at the end of the release.

A fusion of new writing and Shakespeare’s text, All Mirth and No Matter takes inspiration from the wedding of Claudio and Hero, the two young lovers in Much Ado About Nothing. Using movement, original music, spoken word, and with a semi-integrated BSL sign interpreter and moments of integrated audio description, the production will shed new light on the story of the slandered Hero.

Every year the young actors from Next Generation Act come together to rehearse and perform a play.  Owing to the pandemic, this wasn’t possible in 2020.  This year, following online rehearsals, the group will meet again in person in Stratford from 19 July to make final preparations for the performances on 23 July.

The RSC also usually hosts an annual two-day event in Stratford - Next Generation Backstage – which gives students from RSC Associate Schools the opportunity to learn about different roles available behind-the scenes. As this hasn’t been possible this year the RSC has created six short videos focussing on roles such as the Director, Set and Costume Designer, Lighting Designer and Technician, and Marketing and Press Officers.  Content includes contributions from colleagues at York Theatre Royal, The Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury, New Vic in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Hull Truck Theatre, the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford, and the Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall Nottingham. These Next Generation Introduces videos are supported by the RSC’s presenting partner Samsung.

Georgia White, Head of National Partnerships at the RSC, said, “After a year of only being able to meet online, it’s really exciting that our young company of actors can once again come together and perform their very own response to Much Ado About Nothing. The aim with this production has been to showcase the individual talents of these young actors from across the country. Their voices have been at the heart of the creative decision-making, from the design, to the music and sound, to their request to semi-integrate a BSL interpreter and embed audio description into the script. Guided by a fantastic creative team, the young people have once again shown their dedication, professionalism and creativity in their approach to rehearsals and performances. They are brilliant representatives of their home regions and will make their regional theatres, schools, families and friends very proud.”

All Mirth and No Matter is directed by Sameena Hussain, with sound design by Nicola Chang, movement by Keiren Hamilton-Amos.  Eloise Secker is the Creative Lead.

For more information please contact:
Dean Asker, Senior Media Relations Officer, RSC
0778 9937759,



The Associate Schools Programme is the RSC’s national partnership programme with schools and regional theatres across the country. The Next Generation Act company comes from Associate Schools in Birmingham, London, Stoke-on-Trent, Cornwall, Northampton, Nottingham, Middlesbrough, County Durham, Hull, York, Bradford and Kent. The Associate Schools programme is delivered in partnership with: The Grand Theatre, Blackpool, The Alhambra Theatre, Bradford; The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury; Hall for Cornwall; Hull Truck Theatre, Hull; Intermission Theatre, London; Northern Stage, Newcastle; Theatre Royal and Concert Hall, Nottingham; New Vic Theatre, Stoke on Trent; York Theatre Royal.

The RSC is supported using public funding by Arts Council England

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

RSC Next Generation is generously supported by GRoW @ Annenberg and The John S Cohen Foundation

Samsung is the Presenting Partner of Next Generation Introduces

The work of the RSC Learning and National Partnerships department is generously supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Adobe, The Clore Duffield Foundation, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, The 29th May 1961 Charitable Trust, GRoW @ Annenberg, Samsung, The Polonsky Foundation, The Schroder Foundation, The Wyfold Charitable Trust, Stratford Town Trust, The Goldsmiths’ Company Charity, The John S Cohen Foundation, Teale Charitable Trust, The Grimmitt Trust, George Fentham Birmingham Charity, and The Misses Barrie Charitable Trust.

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 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. 

Registered charity no. 212481 




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