New RSC bosses announce year of shows

Published: 17 January 2024
Reporter: Steve Orme

“Beginning of a new era for the RSC”: co-artistic directors Tamara Harvey and Daniel Evans Credit: Seamus Ryan

Royal Shakespeare Company co-artistic directors Daniel Evans and Tamara Harvey have announced their inaugural season which encompasses a full year of programming in all four theatres in Stratford.

There will be eight plays comprising three world premières, a European première, a UK première, two major revivals and two visiting productions. Five writers and ten directors including Harvey will make their RSC debuts, as will Ukraine’s Uzhhorod Theatre and Northern Ballet.

Harvey and Evans said, “we begin our chapter at the RSC by announcing a whole year’s worth of shows—17 in total. We want to throw open the doors in every sense, collaborating with artists from across the globe on all our stages and ensuring we can welcome as many people as possible with an initiative of 25,000 tickets across the season at £25 or less.

“Our house playwright sits at the core of our season, with eight new productions across our theatres. The timeless, protean nature of Shakespeare’s writing offers an exciting canvas for artists—and we're excited to be renewing collaborations with so many of them as well as inviting myriad others to make their RSC debuts.

“Shakespeare stands alongside a play by his contemporary Christopher Marlowe and a raft of new work by some of our most creative contemporary storytellers—Emma Rice and Hanif Kureishi, Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson, Sanaz Toossi, Nancy Harris and David Edgar, bringing first-time partnerships with Wise Children, Headlong, Good Chance and Kiln Theatre. This season marks the beginning of a new era for the RSC.”

In the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Luke Thompson will lead the company of Love’s Labour’s Lost, directed by Emily Burns. There will also be a comedy double bill of Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, featuring Samantha Spiro as Mistress Page and directed by Blanche McIntyre, and Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s The School for Scandal directed by Tinuke Craig. Tim Carroll will direct John Douglas Thompson in the title role of Othello, with Will Keen as Iago and Juliet Rylance as Desdemona. Twelfth Night will be directed by Prasanna Puwanarajah. Northern Ballet will visit the RSC for the first time with Romeo and Juliet. Luke Thallon will play the lead in Hamlet which will be directed by Rupert Goold.

In the Swan Theatre, Hanif Kureishi’s The Buddha of Suburbia will make its global stage première in a major new co-production with Wise Children, directed and adapted by Emma Rice. Kyoto, a new play by Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson, a co-production with Good Chance, will be directed by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin. Tamara Harvey will direct Alfred Enoch in a major new production of Shakespeare’s late romance Pericles. Kimberley Rampersad will direct a new staging of Nancy Harris’s adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Red Shoes. Daniel Evans will return to the RSC stage in a new production of Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II, directed by Daniel Raggett.

In The Other Place, Sanaz Toossi’s play English will receive its European première in association with Kiln Theatre, directed by Diyan Zora and featuring Nadia Albina, Sara Hazemi, Lanna Joffrey and Serena Manteghi. Uzhhorod Theatre Company will present King Lear and David Edgar’s The New Real, presented in association with Headlong, will receive its world première, directed by Holly Race Roughan.

The outdoor performance space the Holloway Garden Theatre will present a new staging of Shakespeare’s As You Like It directed by Brendan O’Hea. This will be accompanied by a series of family-friendly workshops and events as well as a new interpretation of The Two Gentlemen of Verona by young people aged 13–18 from the RSC’s talent development programme Next Generation Act.

The full programme is available at the Royal Shakespeare Company web site.

    Related listings

  • Love's Labour's Lost - William Shakespeare (Royal Shakespeare Company)
  • The Merry Wives of Windsor - William Shakespeare (Royal Shakespeare Company)
  • The School For Scandal - Richard Brinsley Sheridan (Royal Shakespeare Company)
  • Romeo and Juliet - Music by Sergei Prokofiev, devised by Christopher Gable CBE, choreographed by Massimo Moricone (Northern Ballet)
  • The Buddha of Suburbia - Based on the novel by Hanif Kureishi, adapted for the stage by Emma Rice with Hanif Kureishi (Royal Shakespeare Company with Wise Children)
  • Kyoto - Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson (Royal Shakespeare Company with Good Chance)
  • Pericles - WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (Royal Shakespeare Company)

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