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Royal Shakespeare Company Announces Winter 2018 Artistic Programme

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Royal Shakespeare Company Announces Winter 2018 Artistic Programme

RSC Artistic Director, Gregory Doran, announces the RSC's winter 2018 season, a nationwide schools' tour and a new £10 ticket offer for first time visitors:

"We are halfway through our project to stage every one of Shakespeare's plays in the First Folio, presenting work in a radically different way and making every play an event and celebrating Shakespeare's continuing relevance to a contemporary audience. We have staged 19 Shakespeare productions since 2013, reaching a worldwide audience of 2.1 million.

"We open our winter season with my production of Troilus and Cressida, which I have chosen to dedicate to John Barton, the co-founder of the RSC, who sadly died last week. John was both a great director and teacher and simply one of the greatest influences in the acting of Shakespeare of the last century. He always declared that his favourite play was Troilus and Cressida, which he first directed in 1960. When I told him I would be directing it this year, he shared some of his passion for the play with me. I regret that he won't be around to tell me what I got wrong.

"I am enjoying collaborating with virtuoso percussionist, Dame Evelyn Glennie, whose input is inspiring the very design of the Troilus set, as we devise ways of making the whole theatre resound with the rhythm of war. We bring a gender-balanced cast to this testosterone-fuelled play on our main stage, exploring and challenging gender conventions for every character.

"Following the enormous success of David Edgar's wonderful adaptation of A Christmas Carol, we are responding to popular demand and bringing it back for next Christmas.

"It is wonderful to have Michael Boyd back with us, staging his powerful version of Marlowe's Tamburlaine - the story of the ultimate career imperialist. Michael first staged this edit of Tamburlaine with a US cast in New York in 2014 with our friends at Theatre for a New Audience.

"Anil Gupta and Richard Pinto's hilarious new version of Molière's Tartuffe, set up the road from us in Birmingham and directed by Iqbal Khan, promises to be a biting take on those who use religion for their own ends to prey on people looking for meaning in their lives.

"And I am so pleased Kathryn Hunter is returning to us to play Timon, Shakespeare's philanthropist-turned-misanthrope in Simon Godwin's production of Timon of Athens.

"We continue to open our doors as wide as possible to young people and those who might not always feel theatre is for them with new audience initiatives.

"We work with partners in the heart of communities once more with our hugely popular First Encounters with Shakespeare, staging a new production of The Comedy of Errors in schools and local theatres around the country.

"We are making it even easier for first-time visitors to see our shows, with a new 'First Time Fridays' offer of two tickets at £10 each if you've never been to the RSC before."

ROYAL SHAKESPEARE THEATRE

Troilus and Cressida by William Shakespeare, directed by Gregory Doran

12 October - 17 November 2018
Press Night: Thursday 18 October, 7pm
Broadcast 'Live from Stratford-upon-Avon' to cinemas: 14 November 2018

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens - adapted by David Edgar, directed by Rachel Kavanaugh

4 December 2018 - 20 January 2019,
Press Night: Thursday 6 December, 7pm

Semi-integrated British Sign Language signed performance: 18 January 2019

The Winter 2018 season opens on the Royal Shakespeare Theatre stage with Troilus and Cressida. Troilus and Cressida swear they will always be true to one another, but their innocence is tested in the siege of Troy. Gregory Doran directs this rarely-performed and savagely comic satire on war and lechery, collaborating with percussionist Evelyn Glennie to create a futuristic vision of a world echoing with the rhythm of battle. This production will be the first time the RSC has explored a full-length Shakespeare play with a cast with an equal gender balance. The designer is Niki Turner, with lighting by Matt Daw and as co-composer and sound designer, Dave Price.

Troilus and Cressida will be followed by a revival of the critically-acclaimed David Edgar adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, back by popular demand following its hugely successful run this winter. The production is directed by Rachel Kavanaugh, with design by Stephen Brimson Lewis and music by Catherine Jayes.

The RSC continues to find ways to make live theatre as accessible as possible, with a semi-integrated BSL performance, alongside regular audio-description, captioning and free touch tours.

SWAN THEATRE

Tamburlaine by Christopher Marlowe, directed by Michael Boyd

16 August - 1 December 2018
Press night: 23 August, 7pm

Tartuffe by Molière - a new version by Anil Gupta and Richard Pinto, directed by Iqbal Khan

7 September 2018 - 23 February 2019
Press night: Tuesday 18 September, 7pm

Timon of Athens by William Shakespeare, directed by Simon Godwin

7 December 2018 - 22 February 2019
Press night: Thursday 13 December, 7pm

(The production will be recorded for broadcast 'Live From Stratford-upon-Avon', dates to be confirmed)

Opening the season in the Swan Theatre will be Christopher Marlowe's Tamburlaine, directed by Michael Boyd who will revisit his edit of the production, which was highly praised in the US when staged at Theatre for a New Audience's Polonsky Shakespeare Center (TFANA) in New York in 2014.

With Parts I and II edited by Michael Boyd into a single production, Tamburlaine charts Tamburlaine's rise to power and the extravagant savagery which can result when unlimited political ego is let loose on the world. This is the first time Michael has returned to the RSC since stepping down as Artistic Director in 2012 and he collaborates once again with designer Tom Piper in this new production of the play. Music is by James Jones, lighting by Wolfgang Goebbel and sound by Claire Windsor.

Joining the Swan repertoire is a brand-new version of Molière's provocative French classic comedy Tartuffe, from Anil Gupta and Richard Pinto, the writers of Goodness Gracious Me and The Kumars at No. 42. Set in the Pakistani Muslim community in Birmingham, Tartuffe tells the story of charismatic chameleon, Tahir Taufiq Arsuf, a Rasputin for the 21st Century armed with a Twitter handle and the gift of the gab. Birmingham-born Iqbal Khan will direct, following his recent productions of Othello and Antony and Cleopatra. Bretta Gerecke designs, with lighting by Richard Howell.

The season concludes with Timon of Athens, Shakespeare's poignant satire on wealth, greed and betrayal. Simon Godwin, whose last production for the RSC, Hamlet, tours nationally in the spring of 2018, directs Kathryn Hunter in the title role. The designer is Soutra Gilmour, with lighting by Tim Lutkin. This will the first Shakespeare title to play in the Swan during the RSC's current journey through the First Folio, and the first time the play has been performed in this space.

ON TOUR

First Encounters with Shakespeare: The Comedy of Errors

19 - 27 October 2018 Swan Theatre and on tour to schools and theatres nationwide Oct - Dec 2018

The RSC's new 'First Encounters with Shakespeare' for younger audiences is The Comedy of Errors, edited and directed by Alex Thorpe. The production plays in the Swan Theatre and once more goes directly into the heart of communities as it tours schools and theatres nationwide, promising 90 minutes of comic confusion. The professional cast will be joined by young performers from across the country in this unique collaboration between the RSC, its regional Theatre Partners and Associate Schools. Tour details to follow.

FIRST TIME FRIDAYS

'First Time Fridays' offers people who have never been to the RSC before the chance to buy £10 tickets for any Friday show. People can buy up to two tickets for the show of their choice. Tickets will be held for each production, with 20 tickets available for Royal Shakespeare Theatre productions, 10 for Swan Theatre productions and 6 for productions in the Studio at The Other Place. The offer is open to all those who are new to the RSC's database.

'MUCH ADO ABOUT SHAKESPEARE' PODCASTS WITH THE TELEGRAPH

The RSC works in partnership with The Telegraph to create its first ever series of podcasts, Much Ado About Shakespeare, starting in March 2018. With a range of interviews, behind the scenes insight and commentary from experts in the field, they will explore our enduring fascination with Shakespeare. The monthly podcasts will be free and accessible from both the RSC's and the Telegraph's websites and from platforms such as iTunes, Podbean and Acast.

LIVE PODCAST EVENT: On Thursday 19 April, ahead of the Shakespeare's Birthday weekend celebrations in Stratford-upon-Avon, we are recording one of our podcast episodes live at The Other Place. The panel will be led by Gregory Doran, with final details to be announced. Tickets will go on sale with the winter season. RSC Members and Patrons will have priority booking and Telegraph subscribers will have an exclusive ticket allocation.

EXHIBITION

In My Shoes: Art and the Self since the 1990s - An Arts Council Collection Touring Exhibition

PACCAR ROOM, Royal Shakespeare Theatre: 6 October 2018 - 6 January 2019

The RSC hosts a new Arts Council Collection Touring Exhibition, In My Shoes, which explores the ways in which UK-based artists have represented themselves in their work since the 1990s. Encompassing a range of media including film, photography and sculpture, In My Shoes features works by significant artists including Tracey Emin, Michael Landy, Sarah Lucas, Grayson Perry, Gavin Turk, Gillian Wearing and Jesse Wine.

The exhibition reflects the widespread interest in self-expression that extends beyond the art world to the rise of the 'selfie' and offers an opportunity to consider the legacies of so-called 'Young British Art'.


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