RSC goes outdoors in Stratford in August

Published: 28 July 2020
Reporter: Steve Orme

Encompass Theatre Collective performing Twelfth Night in the Dell Gardens in 2019 Credit: Sam Allard

The Royal Shakespeare Company has announced details of outdoor pop-up Shakespeare performances taking place each weekend throughout August in the Dell Gardens, Stratford.

Shakespeare Snapshots will be performed from Friday until Sunday each week throughout the month at 1 and 3PM. They will last 45 minutes.

The family-friendly performances will be different each week. They will take inspiration from Shakespearean texts and themes and will feature actors from RSC productions The Winter's Tale and The Comedy of Errors which have been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Featuring “a mixture of socially distanced speeches and scenes from Shakespeare’s best-loved plays, these fun, fast-paced, no-frills performances are the perfect re-introduction to live theatre and are suitable for Shakespeare enthusiasts, newcomers and Stratford day-trippers”. There will be space for up to eight household groups with a maximum of six people each as well as some standing spaces.

The RSC intends to reopen the Royal Shakespeare Theatre with rescheduled performances of The Winter’s Tale and The Comedy of Errors.

RSC artistic director Gregory Doran said, “we’re delighted to be working with our current acting company who would otherwise be performing in The Winter’s Tale and The Comedy of Errors to deliver this unique scratch programme of socially distanced, outdoor Shakespeare.

“Though it may not have lights and costume and the full bells and whistles of a normal RSC show, it’s sure to be a welcome treat for anyone who like me has been missing live theatre these past few months.”

The RSC’s 73rd annual summer school will take place from 25 until 27 August and costs £45 for three sessions. Events will include The Wars of the Roses with Gregory Doran and assistant director Owen Horsley discussing Henry VI Parts 1, 2 and 3, an introduction to The Winter’s Tale with Professor Michael Dobson, and Doran in conversation with deputy artistic director Erica Whyman about the play. Further information is available at the RSC web site.