RSC to open up again with Tales for Winter

Published: 12 November 2020
Reporter: Steve Orme

David Walliams who will return to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre to read from his book The Boy in the Dress Credit: Sara Beaumont

A series of “stripped-back, warm-up events”, a reading by David Walliams from his book The Boy in the Dress and the retelling of the Trojan war in five, live-streamed parts are part of the winter 2020 programme announced by the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The RSC is to offer streamed-only versions of all shows taking place between Saturday 5 and Saturday 12 December, which will be available for a week after they have been broadcast. The company aims to welcome audiences back to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford from 19 December, with 200 'socially distanced' audience members able to watch.

Tales for Winter (Your Place or Ours) will be performed by a company of RSC actors and celebrates the essence of live theatre: an actor, a stage and a story. It will run over six weekends from Saturday 5 until Saturday 23 January 2021 excluding Christmas and the New Year.

The opening weekend, 5 December, will look back on the most recent story to be brought to life on the RST stage, David Walliams's The Boy in the Dress. A year on from the opening of the musical, Walliams will visit the theatre to read from his book. He will be joined by songwriter and musician Guy Chambers alongside members of the original cast and creative team as the official cast album is released.

On Saturday 12 December, online audiences are invited to join members of the RSC acting company for Troy Story, a journey through the twists and turns of ancient Troy with a retelling of the history of the Trojan war in five parts. It is based on Greek classics The Iliad, The Odyssey and The Aeneid from translations by John Dryden and Alexander Pope.

RSC artistic director Gregory Doran said, "despite the latest lockdown announcements, we remain fully committed to producing our winter programme of events and sharing the joy of live performance with our audiences, whether that's in person or online.

"While we continue to look forward to the time when we can welcome back full-scale RSC productions to the RST, we’re delighted to be opening our doors to reduced-capacity audiences to share in the unique magic that is live theatre."

Looking ahead to Christmas, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre will host a weekend of music and reflection on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 December. Festive Tales will feature carols, songs and festive readings celebrating the spirit of Christmas.