Royal Shakespeare Company Announces Details of Projects With China

As RSC Executive Director, Catherine Mallyon joins Chancellor George Osborne on his visit to China and the Company opens Gregory Doran's production of Henry V in Stratford-upon-Avon, the RSC is delighted to announce the details for its programme of international cultural, artistic and educational exchange with China.

  • The Shakespeare Folio Project. With the opening of Henry V, a decade-long ambition to translating Shakespeare's works into Chinese has begun its pilot phase working with Chinese translators, writers and theatre makers.
  • Chinese Classics Project. A project to translate Chinese classics into English has started with call outs to academics and theatre organisations in the UK and China.
  • 'King & Country' Tour. Artistic Director Gregory Doran's acclaimed productions of Henry IV Part I & Part II and Henry V tour Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong from February 2016.

Gregory Doran, RSC Artistic Director, said: "I profoundly believe that we foster deeper understanding between cultures by sharing and telling each other our stories. I have been hugely excited by the ambitions of our Chinese cultural partners and their interest in working with the Royal Shakespeare Company on these three initiatives. China's rich dramatic heritage mirrors the epic scale, complexity and universality of Shakespeare's work, and has a national curriculum which requires young people to study his plays. I am delighted that we are able to bring our work to new audiences in China, with the support of the UK Government, the deep commitment and active engagement of the Chinese Cultural Embassy, and the generous support of J.P. Morgan."

The Global Tour Premier Partner for the King & Country Tour in China is J.P. Morgan. Nicolas Aguzin, CEO of J.P. Morgan, Asia Pacific said: "J.P. Morgan is delighted to support the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) as its Global Tour Premier Partner. The RSC tour was announced during the inaugural Governmental UK-China Bilateral Investment Conference in 2014 and we're proud to be associated with the RSC as they entertain audiences in London, New York, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong with William Shakespeare's remarkable History Plays. One of J.P. Morgan's highest priorities is giving back to the communities in which we live and work and we believe that society thrives when rich cultural resources such as this are shared across international borders."

The Shakespeare Folio Project

With Henry V the RSC begins the first pilot in the initiative to produce new, theatrically viable, Chinese translations of Shakespeare's plays, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the First Folio in 2023. The RSC will commission the translations from Chinese writers and translators, who will be embedded into the RSC's rehearsal process. Chinese Shakespeare expert, Professor Zhang Chong, from Shanghai's Fudan University is translating Henry V working alongside Nick Rongjun YU who is an award-winning playwright, Director of the Shanghai International Contemporary Theatre Festival, Vice-President of the Shanghai Performing Arts Group and Deputy General Manager of Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre.

Chinese Classics Translation Project

The RSC is also working in collaboration with academics and theatre organisations in the UK and China to create new English translations of classical Chinese works. Academics and theatre makers are invited to put forward titles (using a detailed submission form) for consideration. The RSC's ambition is to explore and discover dramas written and performed in China during the centuries of Shakespeare's lifetime (sixteenth andseventeenth centuries). These could be:

  • Works written during Shakespeare's lifetime 1564 - 1616
  • Works written during the Ming Dynasty, after Shakespeare's life
  • Works written earlier, in the Yuan Dynasty, but still available, and performed or adapted in this period
  • Works written later, but reflecting this era

A list of the selected works to be translated will be announced winter 2015.

King & Country China Tour

To mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, the Royal Shakespeare Company will undertake a major tour to China in 2016 with Artistic Director Gregory Doran's acclaimed productions of Shakespeare'sHenry IV Part I, Henry IV Part II and Henry V. The productions will play first in London and tour in March 2016 to the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York.

National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing
www.chncpa.org / +8610-66550000
Thursday 18 - Sunday 21 February 2016

Shanghai Grand Theatre
www.shgtheatre.com /+8621-6372 8701
Thursday 25 - Sunday 28 February 2016

Hong Kong Arts Festival
www.hk.artsfestival.org / +852 2824 2430
Friday 4 - Monday 14 March 2016

The cast for Henry IV Part I includes: Daniel Abbott (Francis/Clarence); Martin Bassindale (Peto/Prince John); Antony Byrne (Worcester); Sean Chapman (Northumberland/Earl of Douglas); Nicholas Gerard-Martin (Monk/1st Carrier/Sir Michael/Archer); Robert Gilbert (Monk/Mortimer/2nd Carrier/Archer); Alex Hassell (Prince Hal); Jim Hooper (Monk/Sir Richard Vernon/Franklin); Emma King (Lady Mortimer); Jennifer Kirby (Lady Percy); Sam Marks (Poins/Archer); Dale Mathurin (Traveller); Chris Middleton(Monk/Rakehell/Stafford/Sir Walter Blunt); Evelyn Miller (Nun/Prostitute); Matthew Needham (Hotspur); Keith Osborn (Monk/Archbishop of York/Sheriff/Lord Chief Justice); Sarah Parks (Mistress Quickly); Leigh Quinn(Nun/Prostitute); Joshua Richards (Bardolph/Glendower); Antony Sher (Sir John Falstaff); Simon Thorp(King Henry IV); Obioma Ugoala (Monk/Vintner/ Ostler); Andrew Westfield (Westmoreland) and Simon Yadoo (Monk/Chamberlain/Randolph).

The cast for Henry IV Part II includes: Daniel Abbott (Travers/Francis/Clarence); Martin Bassindale(Peto/Prince John/Snare); Antony Byrne (Rumour/Porter/Pistol); Sean Chapman (Northumberland); Oliver Ford Davies (Shallow); Nicholas Gerard-Martin (Hastings/1st Drawer/1st Groom/Feeble Davy); Robert Gilbert (Morton/Coleville); Alex Hassell (Prince Hal); Jim Hooper (Gower/Silence); Emma King (Doll Tearsheet); Jennifer Kirby (Lady Percy); Sam Marks (Poins); Dale Mathurin (Gloucester); Chris Middleton(Warwick); Evelyn Miller (Lady Northumberland); Matthew Needham (Mowbray/Shadow); Keith Osborn(Archbishop of York/Lord Chief Justice); Sarah Parks (Mistress Quickly); Leigh Quinn (Wart); Joshua Richards (Bardolph); Antony Sher (Sir John Falstaff); Simon Thorp (King Henry IV); Obioma Ugoala(Bullcalf/Fang); Andrew Westfield (Westmoreland) and Simon Yadoo (Randolph/Mouldy/Beadle).

The cast for Henry V includes: Daniel Abbott (Gloucester/Monsieur le Fer); Martin Bassindale (Boy); Antony Byrne (Pistol); Sean Chapman (Exeter); Oliver Ford Davies (Burgundy/Chorus), Nicholas Gerard-Martin(Orleans/Bishop of Ely); Robert Gilbert (Dauphin); Alex Hassell (Henry V); Jim Hooper(Canterbury/Erpingham); Jennifer Kirby (Katherine); Sam Marks (Constable of France); Dale Mathurin(Bates/Bedford); Chris Middleton (Nym/Warwick/Governor of Harfleur); Evelyn Miller (Rambures/Lady-in-Waiting); Keith Osborn (Montjoy/Scroop); Sarah Parks (Queen Isobel/ Mistress Quickly); Leigh Quinn(Alice); Joshua Richards (Bardolph/Fluellen); Simon Thorp (King of France); Obioma Ugoala (Grey/Gower);Andrew Westfield (Westmoreland/MacMorris) and Simon Yadoo (Cambridge/Williams/Jamy).

The productions are designed by Stephen Brimson Lewis with lighting by Tim Mitchell. The music is composed by Paul Englishby with sound by Martin Slavin. The Movement director is Mike Ashcroft and the Fight director is Terry King.

Notes to Editors

For further information, please contact philippa.harland@rsc.org.uk 0207 845 0512 or amy.belson@rsc.org.uk01789 412622.

About J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.6 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com

The RSC is supported using public funding by ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND

The RSC Ensemble is generously supported by THE GATSBY CHARITABLE FOUNDATION and THE KOVNER FOUNDATION

Henry V is supported by The Mark Pigott KBE family

The Royal Shakespeare Company creates theatre at its best, made in Stratford-upon-Avon and shared around the world.

Everyone at the RSC - from actors to armourers, musicians to technicians - plays a part in creating the world you see on stage. All our productions begin life at our Stratford workshops and theatres and we bring them to the widest possible audience through our touring, residencies, live broadcasts and online activity. So wherever you experience the RSC, you experience work made in Shakespeare's home town.

We encourage everyone to enjoy a lifelong relationship with Shakespeare and live theatre. We produce an inspirational artistic programme each year, setting Shakespeare in context, alongside the work of his contemporaries and today's writers. We have trained generations of the very best theatre makers and we continue to nurture the talent of the future. We reach over 530,000 children and young people annually through our education work, transforming their experiences in the classroom, in performance and online.

Registered charity no. 212481 www.rsc.org.uk



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