RSC Announce Summer 2000 Stratford SeasonDate: 20 December 1999
The Royal Shakespeare Company have announced a ten play season that will run in their three theatres at Shakespeare's birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon, from March 15 to October 7, 2000. The season will include the launching of a complete cycle of Shakespeare's history plays, and it is hoped to bring all eight plays that comprise it (presented under the umbrella title: This England - The Histories, and being produced in historical order) to London in the summer of 2001. Though written at different times and written in non-chronological order, the plays nevertheless form a collage of one man's insight into England's history, spanning over 100 years from the reign of Richard II through to Richard III's defeat at the battle of Bosworth Field.
In the main house Royal Shakespeare Theatre, there will be new stagings of the comedies As You Like It and The Comedy of Errors, the romantic tragedy Romeo and Juliet, and (as part of the aforementioned season of Shakespeare's history plays) Henry V. Rising young RSC star Alexandra Gilbreath, seen as Hermione in this year's RSC staging of The Winter's Tale, will play both Rosalind in Gregory Doran's production of As You Like It and Juliet (opposite David Tennant as Romeo) in Michael Boyd's production of Romeo and Juliet. Irish director Lynne Parker makes her RSC debut to stage The Comedy of Errors, featuring Tennant as Antipholus of Syracuse; and Edward Hall, who last staged Two Gentlemen of Verona for the RSC, will direct William Houston in the title role of Henry V.
In the Swan Theatre, the history season sees Michael Attenborough directing both Henry IV Part 1 and Part 2, with David Troughton as Henry IV, Desmond Barrit as Falstaff, and William Houston as Prince Hal. In the same auditorium, Lindsay Posner stages Sheridan's restoration comedy of manners, The Rivals, featuring Benjamin Whitrow.
In the The Other Place, Steven Pimlott directs Samuel West in the title role of Richard II, a play which is also being done by London's Almeida Theatre in the same season with Ralph Fiennes playing Richard II. Also, Italian director Simona Gonella, from Milan's Piccolo Teatro, makes her RSC debut to stage Giovanni Verga's La Lupa, written in 1896; and David Fielding directs George Bernard Shaw's Back to Methuselah.