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Wealthy landowner Arden is convinced his wife Alice is cheating on him. Despite her protestations of innocence, not only is his suspicion correct, but in order to free herself from marriage she is actively plotting to have him murdered. As Alice grows increasingly desperate to be with her lover, and her husband's ruthless business dealings generate enemies only too willing to do him harm, a series of would be murderers set off in pursuit of the unwitting Arden. Husband, wife and lover find themselves playing a deadly game as with each failed attempt, the assassins close in on their victim.
December 1914. As families across Europe gather to celebrate Christmas, a generation of young men find themselves far away from their loved ones in the trenches of the Western Front. There they face a world seemingly devoid of any peace or goodwill. But on Christmas Eve 1914, as the men of the Warwickshire Regiment shelter in their trenches, something astonishing happens. Across no-man's land they hear music. The German soldiers are singing Christmas carols; the same carols their families are listening to, hundreds of miles away in Birmingham, Warwick and Stratford-upon-Avon. Leaving their trenches, carrying only their courage and their humanity, they go to meet their enemies; not to fight, but talk, to exchange gifts, to celebrate Christmas. And the next day, together, they play an unforgettable game of football.
Inspired by real events of exactly 100 years ago, RSC Deputy Artistic Director Erica Whyman directs Phil Porter's uplifting new play for families that celebrates a remarkable Christmas story. Recommended for ages 9+
Veteran salesman Willy Loman is used to spending his life 'riding on a smile and a shoeshine', but recently things haven't been so good. He seems to have lost his golden touch; his grown-up sons, Biff and Happy, no longer idolise him as they used to and he is haunted by missed opportunities and a trouble past. His wife Linda is struggling to aid her increasingly disturbed husband, as she tries to hold the family together and keep Willy from descending further into desperation. But as the truth of Willy and his sons' imperfect past begins to unravel, Willy starts to lose faith in the two things he believes in: his family, and, in Miller's words, his need 'to leave a thumbprint somewhere on the world'. Death of a Salesman burst upon the international scene in 1949 and won the Drama Critics' Circle Award, the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize, becoming a benchmark for modern theatre.
The Christian rulers of the island of Malta are in heavy debt to the Turks. In order to raise the requisite sum. Barabas, a rich Jewish merchant, is deprived of his wealth, his house and his possessions. Ruined and humiliated, he answers treachery with treachery and embarks on a course of indiscriminate revenge with both tragic and farcical results.
The King of Navarre persuades three friends to join him in a vow of celibacy so that they can concentrate on their studies, but the beautiful princess of France and her three gorgeous ladies in waiting arrive for an informal visit.
The RSC commemorates the centenary of the First World War and updates the play to 1914. Summer 1914. In order to dedicate themselves to a life of study, the King and his friends take an oath to avoid the company of women for three years. No sooner have they made their idealistic pledge than the Princess of France and her ladies-in-waiting arrive, presenting the men with a severe test of their high-minded resolve. Shakespeare's sparkling comedy delights in championing and then unravelling an unrealistic vow, and mischievously suggesting that the study of the opposite sex is in fact the highest of all academic endeavours. Only at the end of the play is the merriment curtailed as the lovers agree to submit to a period apart, unaware that the world around them is about to be utterly transformed by the war to end all wars.
Struck by love at first sight, the Duke of Pavia has married the beautiful Bianca. But he's not the only one who loves her. Unknown to him, his best friend Fernando has also fallen for Bianca, and with each day that passes he finds it harder to conceal his true feelings. While the Duke is unaware of his friend's dilemma, his sister soon realises what is happening. Racked with jealousy by her own desire for Fernando, she begins to manipulate her brother, encouraging him to act against his friend. With echoes of Shakespeare's Othello, John Ford's rarely performed play is a thrilling revenge tragedy powered by the destructive force of unrequited love.
Written around 1596 and the first Shakespeare to be preformed professionally in America (New York, 1752). A man needs money to pursue a rich heiress (Portia) and approaches his friend Antonio - but unable to lend it Antonio approaches the Jewish moneylender Shylock. Shylock hates Antonio because of his Christian contempt for usury so offers a contract wherebty if the money is not repaid he may take a pound of flesh instead. The quality of mercy is not strained as Shylock is foiled out of his pound of flesh by Portia dressed as a man. A dark comedy exploring greed and racism.
Autumn 1918. A group of soldiers return from the trenches. The world-weary Benedick and his friend Claudio find themselves reacquainted with Beatrice and Hero. As memories of conflict give way to a life of parties and masked balls, Claudio and Hero fall madly, deeply in love, while Benedick and Beatrice reignite their own altogether more combative courtship. Shakespeare's comic romance plays out amidst the brittle high spirits of a post-war house party, as youthful passions run riot, lovers are deceived and happiness is threatened - before peace ultimately wins out.
1939: fascism spreads across Europe, Franco marches on Barcelona and two German chemists discover the processes of atomic fission. In Berkeley, California, theoretical physicists recognise the horrendous potential of this new science: a weapon that draws its power from the very building blocks of the universe. The ambitious and charismatic J Robert Oppenheimer finds himself uniquely placed to spearhead the largest scientific undertaking in all of human history. Struggling to cast off his radical past and thrust into a position of power and authority, Oppenheimer races to win the 'battle of the laboratories' and create a weapon so devastating that, with the detonation of a single device, it would bring about an end not just to the Second World War but to all war. As the political situation darkens, Tom Morton-Smith's new play takes us into the heart of the Manhattan Project and explores the tension between the scientific advances that will shape our understanding of the fabric of the universe, and the justification of their use during wartime, revealing the personal cost of making history.
Othello, a Moor, falls in love with Desdemona but is broken by jealousy falsely encouraged. Shakespeare's most human play sets delicacy and power, trust and jealousy, love and hate, good and evil in stark and tragic opposition. Powerless in the face of their own self destructive instincts, the characters are caught on a downward spiral towards inevitable tragedy.
Sebastian has a problem. He's in love with a girl but his father won't agree to their marriage because her family are too poor. In desperation he turns to the one person who can help him, the fearless and feisty "roaring girl" Moll Cutpurse. In a London fuelled by greed and desire, the charismatic, cross-dressing heroine Moll has the world wrapped around her little finger. Cutting a joyously independent path through the underhand scheming and petty vendettas of Dekker and Middleton's hilarious city comedy, Moll proves more than a match for any man.
Rowland Lacy loves Rose Oatley but it's not going to work out. An aristocrat and a middle class girl aren't supposed to marry, not least because Rowland is a very bad boy and her parents really don't approve. When his father sends him to war to reform his ways, Rowland must take drastic action to avoid any chance of unnecessary personal injury and secretly pursue his love. He goes from riches to rags. Losing himself among the craftsmen of London he assumes the guise of a Dutch shoemaker (he learnt Dutch on his gap year of course) at the shop of the larger-than-life Simon Eyre and his wife Margery who are decidedly on their way from rags to riches. First performed at the Rose Theatre, July 1599.
Flamboyant, fearless and utterly amoral, Volpone, 'the old fox', robs men of their wealth, their wives and their wits. One of the most popular of Jonson's plays, this classic comedy savagely dissects a society governed by corruption and convention, and explores the nature of the 'self-made man'.
Duke Bracciano is besotted by the beautiful Vittoria. When he makes her an indecent proposal she can't refuse, she enlists the help Flamenio to fool her husband, and begins an illicit affair. But their infidelity does not go unnoticed. Accusations of adultery are made and Vittoria and Flamenio find themselves snared in a web of corruption, passion and retribution as their single minded pursuit of personal gain reaches an epic and bloody conclusion.
In the village of Edmonton, Elizabeth Sawyer is derided by her neighbours. A poor and lonely old woman, she is ostracised, harassed and accused of being a witch. In her abject misery, she wishes that she really were bewitched and so able to wreak vengeance. Unluckily for Elizabeth and the villagers of Edmonton, someone with the power to grant that wish is listening. As Elizabeth uses her new found powers to seek revenge on those who have wronged her, other villagers find their own lives falling apart and an attempted elopement ends in murder. When witch and murderer are finally caught, the people of Edmonton must decide if either crime merits forgiveness.
Part of the Roaring Girls Season