Theatre News

RSC closes until at least 30 June and cancels all Swan Theatre summer shows

The venue’s Projekt Europa series will not go ahead

The RST in Stratford-upon-Avon
The RST in Stratford-upon-Avon
(© RSC, photo by David Tett)

The RSC has announced a series of closures and cancelled performances.

The venue will remain completely closed until at least 30 June while the coronavirus outbreak continues, with the majority of staff furloughed during this time.

All performances in the Swan Theatre until the autumn of 2020 have been cancelled, including planned productions of Europeana, Peer Gynt and Blindness and Seeing as well as the Young Company's Decameron.

In the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, the upcoming production of Pericles has been postponed with the venue stating that, if the theatre does re-open in time, then it will continue with planned performances of The Winter's Tale and The Comedy of Errors.

The London production of Matilda will remain closed until at least 31 May, in line with SOLT announcements regarding West End shows.

RSC's artistic director Gregory Doran and executive director Catherine Mallyon said: "This is a situation without parallel for all, and the health of the public and our staff continues to be our number one priority. It is incredibly sad to see our stages empty, productions cancelled, and our buildings closed. In particular, the remarkable Projekt Europa, involving so many creative artists from across Europe, is a huge loss. We have considered this very carefully, but it is sadly unavoidable.

"Our mission is to transform lives through amazing experiences of Shakespeare and great theatre. For us to deliver our mission and to give us the best chance of re-opening as soon as we can, we have to make difficult decisions to ensure the survival of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

"In the face of the considerable challenges posed by COVID-19, we have also made the hard decision to furlough the majority of roles at the RSC under the UK Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. We are working hard to ensure that staff feel fully supported through this process and thank them for their resilience and understanding as we continue to adapt to the rapidly changing situation.

"We are exploring every possibility to secure income from other government schemes, our donors and audiences and we ask you all to join us in doing whatever you can to secure the future of the RSC for everyone.

"As a registered charity we rely on a mix of income to fund our activity, from the productions on stage to the important work we do with over 500,000 young people, and our partner schools and theatres around the country. We ask that anyone able to do so considers donating the value of their tickets – in full or in part – to help support the Company to continue this work."

The theatre will continue to provide digital opportunities to watch shows, including collaborations with the BBC and the Marquee.TV streaming service.