Rebellion rises in Blackpool

Published: 23 November 2021
Reporter: David Upton

Storming barricades in Blackpool

Henry VI: Rebellion, a major new Royal Shakespeare Company production of Henry VI Part II in Stratford-upon-Avon next year, will feature 12 participants from Blackpool.

They have been drawn from a group that are part of the RSC and Grand Theatre Blackpool’s adult participation initiative, Shakespeare Nation.

The first half of the play is made up of a series of group scenes each featuring a different group of 8 to 12 characters representing the people of England. The second half includes a pageant in which they rise up in revolt as part of the infamous Jake Cade Rebellion.

The RSC is looking for these scenes to include groups of adults drawn from communities from six of the RSC’s partner theatres. Twelve from each appear alongside a cast of 26 professional actors in Stratford at selected performances in April and May 2022.

Rehearsals in the Blackpool area utilise RSC assistant directors and practitioners, with support from the Grand. They will then rehearse and perform in Stratford.

The production will also feature young performers who are part of RSC Next Generation Act, a talent development programme made up of young people aged between 13 and 18.