Latest Press Releases


  • 2nd series of ‘Talking Shakespeare’ confirmed; Intimate online conversations with Artistic Director, Gregory Doran featuring Ian McKellen, Helen Mirren, David Oyelowo, Roger Allam and Jane Lapotaire 


Following the success of the first series of Talking Shakespeare earlier this year, the RSC is delighted to confirm the return of the popular online conversation from Monday 16 November 2020.

Hosted by RSC Artistic Director, Gregory Doran, guests confirmed for the new series of Talking Shakespeare include Ian McKellen, Helen Mirren, Roger Allam, David Oyelowo and Jane Lapotaire with further dates and names to be announced.

The live, online event series runs weekly on a Monday from 6-7pm from 16 November – 14 December and is open to Subscribers, Members and Patrons of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Events are free to attend but with a suggested donation of £10 per session. Those interested can become subscribers for as little as £20 per year.

All donations received will go towards the Keep Your RSC campaign to help secure the future of the RSC and its mission to transform lives through amazing experiences of Shakespeare and great theatre. 

The previous series of Talking Shakespeare, which ran over twelve weeks, attracted supporters from seventeen countries and raised over £50,000 in donations and with 400 new members joining in order to access the events. Members of the RSC’s Lead Associate School network and Next Generation participants were also able to join the events for free.

Past contributors to the series include Judi Dench, Ray Fearon, Harriet Walter, Patrick Stewart, Alexandra Gilbreath, David Tennant, Adjoa Andoh, Simon Russell Beale, Antony Sher, David Suchet, Juliet Stevenson and Paterson Joseph.

RSC Members, Patrons and Subscribers can also take advantage of a series of online talks and events which delve deeper into the RSC’s programme. On Wednesday 20 January, RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran will be joined by John Wyver, broadcast historian and producer of RSC Live from Stratford-upon-Avon series to discuss the highlights and challenges of adapting Shakespeare for the screen.

This will be followed by an exclusive screening of Julius Caesar on Thursday 21 January. Directed by Gregory Doran, this seminal 2012 production by the RSC relocates Shakespeare’s political thriller to contemporary Africa. The screening will be available to Subscribers, Members and Patrons from Thursday 21 January for a limited time only.

On Thursday 4 Feb, rhetoric expert Benet Brandreth will be on hand to discuss his latest book: Shakespearean Rhetoric: A Practical Guide for Actors, Directors, Students and Teachers and delve deeper into how his experience as a barrister compares to working in theatre.


For further information, please contact:

Kate Evans 01789 412622 or 07920 244434

For press images, please register free of charge at

BOOKING INFORMATION: 01789 331111 or


Talking Shakespeare

Ian McKellen

Monday 16 November, 6-7pm

Ian McKellen made his RSC debut in 1974 and has played many of Shakespeare’s leading roles for the Company including Romeo and Macbeth (1976), Iago (Othello, 1989) and King Lear (2007). In June 2019, Ian bought his one man show to Stratford-upon-Avon as part of his 80th birthday celebrations. Ian’s films include The Lord of the Rings and X-Men blockbusters.

Helen Mirren

Monday 23 November, 6-7pm

Helen Mirren made her RSC debut in 1967 in Coriolanus. By 1968 she was playing Shakespeare’s leading ladies including Cressida (Troilus and Cressida), Hero (Much Ado About Nothing), Hermia (A Midsummer Night’s Dream). She has since played Ophelia (Hamlet, 1970), Lady Macbeth (Macbeth, 1974), Margaret (Henry VI, 1977) and Cleopatra (Antony and Cleopatra, 1982). She has an extensive film and TV career.

Roger Allam

Monday 30 November, 6-7pm

Roger Allam’s joined the Company for Titus Andronicus in 1981. He has played Mercutio (Romeo and Juliet, 1983), George Duke of Clarence (Richard III, 1984), Brutus (Julius Caesar, 1987), Sir Toby Belch (Twelfth Night, 1987) and Macbeth (1996). He created the role of Javert in Les Misérables (1985). His TV work includes Endeavour, Game of Thrones and The Thick of It.

David Oyelowo

Monday 7 December, 6-7pm

David Oyelowo joined the RSC in 1999 and was the first black actor to play an English king in a major production of Shakespeare, as King Henry VI (2001). His performance was critically acclaimed and won the 2001 Ian Charleson Award for best performance by an actor under 30 in a classical play. Film roles include Martin Luther King Jr in Selma (2014). TV includes Spooks (2002–2004) and Les Misérables (BBC, 2018).

Jane Lapotaire

Monday 14 December, 6-7pm

2018 Pragnell Shakespeare Birthday Award winner, Jane Lapotaire joined the RSC to play Viola (Twelfth Night, 1974). Her roles include Rosaline (Love’s Labour’s Lost, 1978), Gertrude (Hamlet, 1992), Queen Katherine (Henry VIII, 1996), Duchess of Gloucester (Richard II, 2013) and Queen Isobel (Henry V, 2015). She played Édith Piaf (1978) in Stratford-upon-Avon, London and on tour. The show moved to Broadway in 1980 where she won the Tony Award for Leading Actress in a Play.

Screening at the RSC with John Wyver

Wednesday 20 January, 6-7pm.

RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran in conversation with John Wyver, broadcast historian and producer of RSC Live from Stratford-upon-Avon. Join us to hear about the highlights and challenges of screen adaptations.

Online event.

Supporter Streaming of Julius Caesar

Thursday 21 January, from 7pm

An exclusive, online screening of Julius Caesar for Subscribers, Members and Patrons. For this acclaimed production, Artistic Director Gregory Doran relocated Shakespeare’s great political thriller to contemporary Africa. This is the filmed version of the 2012 production which played in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

Online event.

In Conversation with Benet Brandreth

Thursday 4 February, 6pm-7pm

Hear from Benet, an expert on rhetoric and Shakespeare’s use of language, about how his experience as a barrister compares to working in the theatre, and has led to his upcoming book: Shakespearean Rhetoric: A Practical Guide for Actors, Directors, Students and Teachers.


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 RSC is supported using public funding by Arts Council England. 

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


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


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