As one of our Friends, you can enjoy special exclusive events such as Q&As with RSC actors.

The RSC Friends enjoy a lively programme of events, including Q&As with actors from the current RSC companies and day trips. Guests at past talks include Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart and Antony Sher. RSC Friends' events currently take place in Stratford-upon-Avon and London.

Edward Bennett as Berowne in Love's Labour's Lost 2014
Love's Labour's Lost, 2014
Photo by Manuel Harlan © RSC – Image Licensing

Current events

Simon Russell Beale - Sold out!

Holy Trinity Parish Centre, Stratford-upon-Avon
Friday 30 December, 4pm

Described as ‘the greatest stage actor of his generation’, Simon Russell Beale returns to the RSC this autumn after 20 years to play Prospero in Gregory Doran’s production of The Tempest and we are honoured that he has agreed to be our guest in December. Simon has an impressive collection of theatrical awards as well as Honorary Doctorates and was awarded the CBE for services to drama in 2003.  He is also known as an author and music historian so there will be plenty to talk about when he meets with us after Christmas.

New Year Tea Party

Upper Circle Bar, Royal Shakespeare Theatre
Saturday 7 January, 5pm

 In a change from recent years, we are holding our winter social event at the beginning of the New Year and hope that many of you will be able to attend. This is a lovely informal occasion when we can meet together - these tea parties have usually been very popular with members of the acting Company who will be invited to join us. A delicious mix of sandwiches and cakes will be provided and be assured that this will be substantial enough to see you through one of the evening performances should you wish to book to see one on the same day.

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Christopher Luscombe

Stalls Bar, Haymarket Theatre, London
Saturday 14 January, 5.15pm
 

The productions of Love's Labour's Lost and Much Ado About Nothing (Love’s Labour’s Won) transfer to the Haymarket Theatre in December. These highly successful productions, with their Warwickshire setting in Charlecote Park and beautiful music, were greatly loved in Stratford-upon-Avon and the director Christopher Luscombe spoke to the Friends while the shows were here. We are very pleased that he will do the same for London Friends. This event is timed so that you can attend after the matinee, before the evening performance, between both or just drop in, and still have time to eat!

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Hardy Country: An Overnight Trip

Departing 8.15am from Stratford on 7 April, returning by 7.30pm on 8 April

Following the success of our overnight trip to the south coast last year, Friends requested another journey this year. We will travel to Hardy country in Dorset, visiting the houses where he wrote the major works (his birthplace) and Max Gate, the house he designed and lived in for 30 years; also the church where his heart is buried and sites which appear in the novels. We will spend the night in Dorchester, 'Casterbridge' of the novels, visit the museum where his study is preserved, look at  Henchard's house and the Maumbury Rings. We shall also see the college in Salisbury (Melchester) where Sue Bridehead climbed over the wall to be with Jude (the obscure). Our celebratory dinner with entertainment will be in a thatched village nearby, a setting typical of Hardy countryside.

All travel will be by coach from Stratford-upon-Avon, and there is an option to be picked up at Oxford Services. Price includes travel, overnight accommodation, breakfast, dinner and admission to non National Trust properties.

Places are limited so please book early, and email Coreen at coreenturner@btinternet.com as soon as you book, or call 01789 268775. Booking closes Monday 16 January

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Patrick Robinson

Saturday 11 February, 10.30am
Holy Trinity Parish Centre

Currently appearing as Belvile in The Rover, Patrick Robinson is no stranger to the RSC and in fact appeared in the same play when it opened the Swan Theatre’s first season 30 years ago. As well as having a great many stage performances to his credit, Patrick is a familiar face on television and he is probably best known for his role as Martin ‘Ash’ Ashford in Casualty. Fans of Strictly Come Dancing will also remember him reaching the semi-finals in 2013. Booking closes on Thursday 9 February.

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Rhetoric Event

Saturday 11 March, 11am
The Other Place

To thank the Friends for our donation towards the cost of the current Swan Theatre anniversary season, we have a very special event arranged for us by the Development department. Throughout Shakespeare’s work his characters use rhetorical language to persuade, influence and beguile. Join us for an hour-long workshop led by one of our voice and text practitioners to learn more about rhetoric within Shakespeare’s texts and how he uses ethos (trust), pathos (emotion) and logos (logic) within some of his best-known speeches.

Booking closes on Thursday 9 March

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Man's Best Friends - dog walking group

Our regular dog-walking group in Stratford-upon-Avon, meeting on the third Wednesday of every month. Gather outside the Butterfly Farm gates at 10am, and take routes to suit you and your dog ending at the theatre for coffee outside. Or just meet us for coffee at 10.45am – everyone is welcome!

RSC Friends' Discussion Group

Viv Graver, a Friend based in Stratford-upon-Avon has established an informal discussion group in response to the season's plays. If you would be interested in joining the group please email her at vkmerlinmews@talktalk.net and she will let you know when and where the next meeting will be taking place.

Booking tickets

You need to be an RSC Friend to book for these events. Tickets for Friends' events are usually £6 for Friends, £7 for guests and £3 for guests aged 18 years or under (unless otherwise stated). We recommend RSC Friends' events are suitable for children aged 12 and above.

Please note guest tickets may only be purchased by current RSC Friends on behalf of their guest.

All profits from Friends' events go towards supporting our programme of activities or towards the cost of equipment required by our departments.

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