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RSC's The Winter's Tale 2021 tour dates announced

The production will travel the country after playing at Stratford and the Barbican Theatre

Andrew French, Kemi-Bo Jacobs, Joseph Kloska and Ben Caplan
© left and centre left: RSC, photo by Hugo Glendinning, centre right and right: Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Dates for the RSC's 2021 tour of The Winter's Tale were announced today.

Following a run in Stratford-upon-Avon at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre (28 March to 2 October) and its subsequent transfer to the Barbican Theatre (with dates to be confirmed), the show will play at the Lowry Salford (27 to 30 January 2021), the Bradford Alhambra (2 to 6 February), the Marlowe Theatre Canterbury (10 to 13 February) and Newcastle Theatre Royal (23 to 27 February), with another venue to be confirmed in due course.

Set across a 16-year span, the show will take inspiration from Mad Men and the moon landings to tell the story of King Leontes, whose jealousy tears his family apart and has long-lasting consequences.

Joseph Kloska (Imperium) will play Leontes, with Kemi-Bo Jacobs (All My Sons) as Hermione, Ben Caplan (The Exorcist) as Camillo, Amanda Hadingue (Miss Littlewood) as Paulina and Andrew French (Romeo and Juliet) as Polixenes. The cast is completed by Alice Blundell (Dorcas), Alfred Clay (Archidamus), Colm Gormley (Antigonus), William Grint (Young Shepherd), Vicky Hall (Mopsa), Avita Jay (Cleomenes), Zoe Lambert (Shepherdess),Georgia Landers (Perdita), Mogali Masuku (Dion), Dyfrig Morris (Mariner), Baker Mukasa (Lord), Anne Odeke (Autolycus), Bea Webster (Emilia) and Assad Zaman (Florizel).

The production will be directed by RSC deputy artistic director Erica Whyman, with composition by Isobel Waller-Bridge, set design by Tom Piper, costume design by Madeleine Girling, lighting design by Prema Mehta, sound design by Jeremy Dunn, fight direction by Kate Waters and movement direction by Anna Morrissey.

Whyman commented: "I am particularly excited to be directing The Winter's Tale as it is one of my all-time favourite plays. It is a story of a man with immense power, who abuses it in the grip of a totally consuming paranoia, but then comes to his senses on a very public platform and apologises – without limit or excuse. That seems to me an act of such rare humility, that to do justice to it Shakespeare conjures a true fairytale, in which grief, repentance, patience, love and common sense are all in the end rewarded.

"I'm setting my production in the 1950s in a monarchy that has known fascism – an imagined Spain where politics, religion and power are deeply intertwined, moving later to 1969 in the North East of England in which real labour and a deep sense of community seems gloriously healthy, loving and straightforward by comparison."

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