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SPRING MISCHIEF FESTIVAL, The Other Place, Stratford-upon-Avon: 24 May – 17 June

The Royal Shakespeare Company announces the full details for The Other Place Spring Mischief Festival. This month-long new work festival features two new plays, exploring questions of responsibility and endeavour in our society, plus a series of talks and an opportunity to see our research and development works in progress. Led by Deputy Artistic Director Erica Whyman, the festival will include:

  • Two new plays, The Earthworks by Tom Morton-Smith, directed by Erica Whyman. And Myth by Matt Hartley and Kirsty Housley. From an original idea by Kirsty Housley and directed by Kirsty Housley.
  • Two Research & Development Work-in progress sharings: Busking It and #WeAreArrested
  • Two conversations providing a deeper investigation into the themes of the festival: Our Climate Crisis and Power Play
  • Post show talks and writer and director talks

Erica Whyman said: "I am delighted we are announcing the next festival at The Other Place, and although the new building is only a year old it has already established itself as a central and much loved part of RSC life.


The two plays at the centre of the festival feel both urgent and profound but their seductive charm lies in the seeming simplicity of their settings; a hotel bar late at night, dinner with friends in a new flat.  Below their surfaces lie dark, fascinating and sometimes furious questions about how to be alive. It is a real treat to be directing Tom Morton-Smith's wonderful writing and Matt Hartley and Kirsty Housley are terrific collaborators and embody perfectly the spirit of Radical Mischief, of experiment, enquiry and playfulness which is at the heart of The Other Place"


Tom Morton-Smith’s one act play, The Earthworks, is set on the eve of the activation of the Large Hadron Collider, when two strangers – a journalist and a scientist – share their experiences of loss, hope and the universal emotion of grief. Tom’s last commission for the RSC was the critically acclaimed Oppenheimer, which transferred to the West End. The Earthworks is directed by Erica Whyman and designed by Rosanna Vize.


Matt Hartley and Kirsty Housley’s Myth takes place on one wine-fuelled evening where two couples debate their materialistic lifestyle. As their dinner party descends into chaos their friendship and their lives are irreparably changed. This theatrical experiment exposes those things we don’t want to see or say. Myth is directed by Kirsty Housley and designed by Rosanna Vize.

Kirsty Housley has been the recipient of the Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust award and the Title Pending award for innovation at Northern Stage. She is an Associate of Complicite, and with them she recently co-directed The Encounter (EIF/WAC/BOV/The Barbican).Matt Hartley’s recent work includes Here I Belong (Pentabus) and Deposit (Hampstead).  His play Sixty Five Miles (Paines Plough/Hull Truck Theatre) won the Bruntwood Award, and Burning Cars was the winner of Best Foreign Play at the French Theatre Awards in 2013.

The two plays have a shared cast including; Fehinti Balogun (King Lear, Old Vic), Rebecca Humphries (Wild Honey, Hampstead Theatre), Lena Kaur (RSC Winter 2016 Swan Season) and Thomas Magnussen (Testamentet-The Testament, The Royal Danish Theatre).

The R&D work in progress sharings are a chance to see inside the creative engine room of The Other Place where the RSC explores new ideas and exciting theatrical opportunities. Our sharings for the festival include #WeAreArrested written by journalist Can Dündar. This is his enthralling account of his arrest and subsequent exile from Turkey following his newspaper’s decision to publish photographic evidence of covert arms dealing to Islamic fundamentalists in Syria. Can Dündar is one of the best-known figures in Turkish Media. Together with Erdem Gül, he was awarded in 2016 the Prize for the Freedom and Future of the Media by the Leipzig Media Foundation.This ground-breaking performance brings to life the words he wrote from prison.

The other sharing of the festival Busking It, shares a busker's experiences from nearly 10 years singing on the London tube. This one-woman show features original live music, poetry, spoken word, and an eclectic mix of the people you meet on the London Underground. Written and performed by Danusia Samal (RSC Winter 2016 Swan Season).


Bright Smoke – Friday 19 May, 7.30pm
A new monthly spoken word event, in collaboration with Apples & Snakes, with guest poets performing their own poetry on the theme of climate change.
Free Event

Writer and Director Talk – Friday 26 May, 5.15pm
The teams behind Myth and The Earthworks discuss their productions.
Tickets £5

Play On: Late Night Music – Thursday 1 June, 10pm
Local musicians perform in Susie’s Bar at The Other Place.
Free Event

Post Show Talk – Monday 5 June
Join the company as they discuss their productions.
Free Event

A Conversation: Our Climate Crisis – Saturday 10 June, 11.30am, The Other Place
Why are we not acting on our understanding of the climate crisis? Kirsty Housley and Matt Hartley join Deputy Artistic Director of the RSC, Erica Whyman and leading thinkers and campaigners for a conversation about our biggest global challenge.
Tickets £5

A Conversation: Power Play – Saturday 10 June, 4.30pm, Swan Theatre
Erica Whyman chairs a conversation with Tom Morton-Smith alongside Blanche McIntyre (Director of Titus Andronicus) about the power dynamics in our current and forthcoming productions, from the epic political clashes of Shakespeare’s Roman plays to the influence and control exerted in domestic situations, as explored in Myth and The Earthworks.
Tickets £5

BSL interpreted Post Show Talk – Tuesday 13 June
Join the company as they discuss their productions.
Free Event

Bright Smoke – Friday 16 June, 9.45pm
Our new monthly spoken word event continues, this time with a late night special, with guest poets ‘speaking the truth’. In collaboration with Apples & Snakes.
Free Event


The Earthworks and Myth
Presented as a double bill in the Studio at The Other Place
24 May – 17 June, 7.30pm / 1.30pm
Press performances: Saturday 27 May, 7.30pm
Tickets: £15

R&D Work in Progress Sharing - Busking It
Michel Saint-Denis rehearsal space at The Other Place
2 June, 2.30pm
Tickets: £5

R&D Work in Progress Sharing - #WeAreArrested
Michel Saint-Denis rehearsal space at The Other Place
16 June, 2.30pm
Tickets: £5


The RSC is delighted to announce the show for the Autumn Mischief Festival, Kingdom Come created by Gemma Brockis and Wendy Hubbard. The Autumn Mischief Festival will run from the 7 – 30 September 2017, booking opens for the festival in May 2017.

Kingdom Come, devised by a company led by Gemma Brockis and Wendy Hubbard, designer Charlotte Espiner and sound artist Melanie Wilson, is set at the bitter end of one political order and in the struggle towards something new. The year is 1640. Parliament is rebellious. There are mobs on London’s streets.  England, Ireland and Scotland are on the brink of a devastating civil war. In Whitehall, supported by the newest theatrical machinery, King Charles I is playing a god. As the world turns upside down women preach, poor men lead, and radical ideas illuminate the carnage. But the puritan state starts to tighten its grip, and making theatre could soon be a capital offence.

Gemma Brockis is a founder member of pioneering immersive theatre company Shunt. She is also a director, writer and performer. Recent projects include lead in feature film No Light and No Land Anywhere (deets). Wendy Hubbard is a director and dramaturg. Recent directing work includes Chris Goode’s Men in the Cities (Royal Court 2015).


To book call 01789 403493 or online at

BP £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.  The scheme is supported by Project Partner, BP.

Notes to Editors

Press Contact information

For further information: / 01789 412622 / 0784 3483146


To book press tickets:


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The Other Place

Originally built in 1973, The Other Place was home to the RSC’s developmental and new work, housing many landmark productions with RSC alumni such as Judi Dench, Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren, and research and development of major productions such as Les Miserables and Matilda, The Musical.  The theatre closed in 2006 to make way for the temporary Courtyard Theatre, where the RSC performed during the transformation of the Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres.

After a 12-month building project, the new Other Place opened on 21 March 2016.  It includes a 200-seat flexible studio theatre, built within the external steel structure of The Courtyard Theatre, two new rehearsal rooms, and a new home for the RSC’s 40,000 piece Costume Store, giving people access to the Store for the first time via a new theatre tour. A new café bar is open throughout the year.


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

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