Rose’s new season kicks off with Nicki Frei’s adaptation of Where There’s a Will (4 – 14 February). This show reunites director Peter Hall with the English Touring Theatre, whose first Rose collaboration - Uncle Vanya - appeared in 2008. Where There’s a Will is a classic display of French farce, focusing a sly eye on the competing forces of marriage and infidelity.
Who better to continue with tales of complicated love and messy marriages than Shakespeare, whose The Merchant of Venice and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (17 – 21 February) continue the season. Internationally renowned all-male theatre company Propeller bring these two classics to the Rose under the direction of Edward Hall.
British and Australian talents combine in Stephen Jeffrey’s The Convict’s Opera (17 – 28 March). Aboard a ship to Australia, London’s detained underground criminals face a punishment perhaps worse than imprisonment, as they engage in cross-dressing and musical medleys to entertain their guards.
Shakespeare again graces the Rose stage for Northern Broadsides’s rendition of Othello (21 – 25 April) starring Lenny Henry and Conrad Nelson and directed by Barrie Rutter. As May rolls in, so does Terence Rattigan’s The Winslow Boy (7 – 30 May), Rose’s third home-grown production. Stephen Unwin - founder of the English Touring Theatre - directs the drama, based on a true legal case.
Winslow tells of a father’s attempt to outwit the naval establishment and clear his son’s name. The Kingston venue will also play host to the National Theatre’s New Connections (5 -11 April), a programme joining together thousands of young people as they put on twelve plays based on the common theme of new friendships. The Rose aims to afford the under-26 crowd free tickets as part of the Art Council of England's A Night Less Ordinary scheme.
- by Katie Blemler