RSC Unveils Theatres & Marks 50th HomecomingDate: 23 November 2010
As the Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres in Stratford-upon-Avon reopen to the press today (23 November 2010), and the public tomorrow, "on time and on budget" following a three-and-a-half year £112.8 million transformation, the Royal Shakespeare Company has announced its 50th birthday programme of productions, which will be performed by two ensemble companies playing across both theatres from 14 April to 5 November 2011.
As previously reported, the anniversary programme will include a review of “50 years of RSC commissions”, including major new productions of Marat/Sade (first performed in 1964), directed by Anthony Neilson, and Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming (premiered by the RSC in 1965), directed by David Farr.
Amongst the season’s other highlights are: a reimagining of Shakespeare’s Don Quixote-inspired “lost play” Cardenio, directed by RSC chief associate Gregory Doran; the first major outing for Philip Massinger’s 1632 comedy The City Madam in nearly 50 years; a reprisal of David Greig’s recent hit Dunsinane; and new productions of The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth, directed by, respectively, Rupert Goold, Nancy Meckler and artistic director Michael Boyd.
The RSC describes the opening season as a “combustible mix of Shakespeare, classical plays, new work and revivals from its extraordinary back catalogue of commissions by some of the greatest names in British theatre.” Speaking today, Boyd said: “When Peter Hall first founded the company in 1961, he made a commitment to collaborative, contemporary theatre-making. The company has helped shape British theatre ever since and that commitment remains at the heart of what we do today.”
Prior to the full new season, visitors are invited to explore the new buildings behind-the-scenes with a series of events and exhibitions, while this past year’s productions of King Lear and Romeo and Juliet will return for a short repertory run in February and March to bed down the new facilities. As part of the anniversary programme, the series 1961-2011: Fifty years of great play-making will present script-in-hand readings of other landmark productions from the past, while the online and in-theatre exhibition History of the RSC in 50 Objects will retrace key events via key objects.
For full production dates and further information, visit www.rsc.org.uk.