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RSC & Hampstead Do Season of World Premieres

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Further to its building and programme plans in Stratford-upon-Avon, the Royal Shakespeare Company also announced today (1 September 2011) that it will premiere three new plays next spring at London’s Hampstead Theatre, where earlier this year it presented David Greig’s Dunsinane and Dennis Kelly’s The Gods Weep, starring Jeremy Irons.

At Hampstead, the current RSC ensemble will perform: Rona Munro’s Little Eagles, directed by RSC associate director Roxana Silbert from 16 April 2011; Silence, a devised piece by Filter and David Farr (who had a hit with their RSC co-production of a stripped-down Twelfth Night) from 12 May; and Tarell Alvin McCraney’s American Trade, directed by Jamie Lloyd from 2 June.

The RSC commissioned plays will be presented, along with three new Hampstead productions running in the Michael Frayn Studio, as part of a ten-week “Season of World Premieres” at the north London theatre under new artistic director Edward Hall (son of RSC founding director Sir Peter Hall). Exact dates and the full London season will be announced by Hampstead this autumn.

Roxana Silbert, season director for the RSC productions at Hampstead, said: “It's a privilege to be invited to return to Hampstead Theatre and be part of its future under the new directorship of Ed Hall, and it's tremendously exciting to welcome the long ensemble to Hampstead, fresh from opening the newly transformed Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford. They bring their intimate experience of Shakespeare into dialogue with living playwrights to premiere three new plays which have been made for them and with them."

Hall added: “I am delighted to be creating ‘A Season of World Premieres’ with the RSC and to be working so closely with Roxana Silbert on what will be a very exciting programme of new work at Hampstead Theatre. Six pieces of major new work over a ten week period…cause for celebration indeed.”

Edward Hall opens his inaugural season at Hampstead next month with his own UK premiere production of Shelagh Stephenson’s Enlightenment, which runs from 6 to 30 October 2010 (previews from 30 September). The cast, announced separately today, is led by Julie Graham and Richard Clothier as parents whose son disappears while on a backpacking holiday in Southeast Asia. They’re joined by Daisy Beaumont, Paul Freeman, Polly Kemp and Tom Weston-Jones.

While in a state of turmoil, the parents receive a phone call claiming that he’s been found – and their desperation leads them down avenues they would never have contemplated as they become caught up in a net of lies. Stephenson’s other plays include Ancient Lights, An Experiment with an Air Pump, Five Kinds of Silence and the Olivier Award-winning The Memory of Water, which premiered at Hampstead in 1996.

** DON’T MISS our Whatsonstage.com Outing to ENLIGHTENMENT on 11 October 2010 – including a FREE programme, FREE drink & EXCLUSIVE post-show Q&A with Edward Hall – all for just £20!! click here for more info & to book! **


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