Gregory Doran Announces 2013 Winter Productions at the Royal Shakespeare Company

Highlights

–        David Tennant returns to the RSC in the title role of Gregory Doran’s production of Richard II

–        World premiere of Wendy & Peter Pan by Ella Hickson, directed by Jonathan Munby, continues the RSC tradition of family shows

–        World premiere adaptations of Hilary Mantel’s award-winning novels Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies, by Mike Poulton, commissioned by Playful Productions, and directed by Jeremy Herrin, play in repertoire in the Swan Theatre

–        In Stitches – a celebration of RSC costume and the Company’s rich tradition of theatre craftsmanship runs throughout the Royal Shakespeare Theatre

–        Erica Whyman outlines a new vision of radical mischief and new work ambitions for the RSC’s studio space, The Other Place

–        Write Here Write Now with Matilda – national student writing challenge and online resources for UK schools launched by the RSC with Tim Minchin and Dennis Kelly

–        Five new partner theatres join the RSC’s Learning and Performance Network to transform first experiences of Shakespeare in local schools

(NB. Links to video interviews with David Tennant, Jonathan Munby, Ella Hickson Hilary Mantel, Gregory Doran and Catherine Mallyon, can all be found in Notes to Editors.)

RSC Artistic Director, Gregory Doran, and Executive Director, Catherine Mallyon, make their first announcement as leaders of the RSC, outlining plans for the Company’s Winter 2013 season and their ambitions for the Company.  The Winter Season is the first drawn up by Gregory, following a summer of shows programmed by his predecessor, Michael Boyd.

Erica Whyman takes up her role as Deputy Artistic Director, following critical acclaim for her most recent productions at Soho Theatre and Northern Stage, and seven years as Artistic Director and Chief Executive at Northern Stage.  She was recently awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours list. The new role, created by Gregory, has special responsibility for leading the revitalisation of The Other Place in Stratford as an experimental studio and home for new work, as well as playing an active part in forging new artistic collaborations and directing productions.

Royal Shakespeare Theatre

The Winter 2013 season includes the return of David Tennant (now also an RSC Board member) who will play the title role in Shakespeare’s Richard II, directed in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre (RST) by Gregory Doran.  This is the first production in a new cycle of Shakespeare History plays that Gregory will direct over the coming seasons. The collaboration between David and Gregory follows on from the hugely successful production of Hamlet in 2008, which was also filmed for BBC television by Illuminations, and they will be joined by Oliver Ford Davies who also appeared in that production.  Richard II will transfer to the Barbican Theatre in December after its run in Stratford.

Ella Hickson gives a fresh new perspective on a much loved JM Barrie children’s classic with her new adaptation of Wendy & Peter Pan. Jonathan Munby, who was last at the RSC working with Gregory Doran on The Canterbury Tales, will direct and Colin Richmond is the designer.  This production continues the RSC’s tradition of family shows after last winter’s The Mouse and his Child, 2011’s The Heart of Robin Hood by David Farr and 2010’s Matilda The Musical, all of which played to great audience response and critical acclaim in the RST and the Courtyard Theatre.

Richard II plays from 10 Oct – 16 Nov 2013 and Wendy & Peter Pan plays from 10 Dec 2013 – 2 Mar 2014 in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.  Richard II transfers to the Barbican Theatre to play from 9 Dec 2013 – 25 Jan 2014.

Swan Theatre

A much-anticipated double bill of Hilary Mantel’s Man Booker prize-winning novels, Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies, receives a world premiere in the Swan Theatre. The books are adapted for the first time for the stage in two parts by Mike Poulton, commissioned by Playful Productions, and directed by Jeremy Herrin.  These two plays paint the compelling portrait of the political rise to power of Thomas Cromwell in the Tudor Court and will play in repertoire from December.

Wolf Hall won the Man Booker in 2009, and Bring up the Bodies won in 2012, making Mantel the first woman ever to have received the award twice. She achieved another first recently, when Bring up the Bodies also won the Costa Novel Award, the first time the same novel has won both this and the Man Booker.

Jeremy Herrin is an Associate Director at the Royal Court, where he is currently directing Polly Stenham’s new play No Quarter. His National Theatre production of James Graham’s political play This House is set to transfer to the Olivier Theatre in February this year after a sell-out run in the Cottesloe last year.

Wolf Hall plays from 11 Dec 2013 – 29 Mar 2014 and Bring up the Bodies plays from 19 Dec 2013 – 29 Mar 2014.

Touring and Newcastle

The Winter’s Tale, directed by Lucy Bailey, tours the UK after its run in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, from 13 Mar – 20 Apr 2013, playing in Milton Keynes, York, Nottingham, Edinburgh, Hull and Stoke-on-Trent.

The RSC’s Summer Season of Royal Shakespeare Theatre shows; Hamlet (directed by David Farr), As You Like It (directed by Maria Aberg) and All’s Well That Ends Well (directed by Nancy Meckler), will transfer to Newcastle Theatre Royal and play from 18 Oct – 19 Nov. Further details will be announced by the Theatre Royal in early February when priority booking opens.

Gregory Doran’s production of Julius Caesar tours to the US, playing at BAM in New York from 10 – 28 April, and then the Southern Theatre, Columbus, Ohio from 1 – 5 May 2013, presented in collaboration with The Ohio State University.

Matilda The Musical, directed by Matthew Warchus, with book by playwright Dennis Kelly, music and lyrics by Australian comedian, musician and composer Tim Minchin, produced in America by the RSC and The Dodgers, will open on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre, previewing from 4 March, with opening night on 11 April 2013.

Events and Exhibitions

In Stitches – A Celebration of RSC Costume

From spring 2013 through to spring 2014, the RSC celebrates its extraordinary costume collection with In Stitches – an exhibition displayed throughout its Stratford theatres.  The free exhibition will reveal highlights from the Company’s extensive collection along with new artistic responses, interactive displays and opportunities for visitors to try on RSC theatre costumes with a special dressing up box.  It will draw on the Company’s rich heritage of craftsmanship and demonstrate the specialist skills and imagination of artists, designers and makers in creating costume for work on stage.

As well as installations, displays and events throughout the building during the year, the PACCAR Room will feature Into the Wild, an RSC Costume Collection exhibition which explores how costume designers and makers have responded to themes of nature in Shakespeare’s work, interpreting them in diverse and imaginative ways. It will be an exclusive chance to see rarely displayed costumes, including many worn by some of the RSC’s best known actors including Dame Peggy Ashcroft, Sir Ian McKellen, Juliet Stevenson, Dame Judi Dench and David Tennant.

And from 4 May, the Ferguson Room will house Costume Craft – an interactive display for all the family that follows the journey of how a costume is made and maintained by the RSC’s Costume Department, from first fitting to final performance.  Visitors will be able to learn about some of the processes used by costume makers as well as try on a finished article in the dressing up area.

Alongside this celebration of costume, Arts Council England has just announced that the RSC has been successful in the first stage of a bid to the large-scale capital funding programme towards the redevelopment of their Grade II listed Costume Workshop in Stratford.  Detailed plans can now be drawn up for a stage two application for a potential grant for £2.147m to retain listed elements of the site and transform cramped and poorly accessible spaces into naturally lit and open plan studios. The transformation will allow the RSC to develop new training opportunities and open up more of its work behind the scenes to the public.

Matilda The Musical and education work

Write Here Write Now with Matilda

Inspired by the themes of Matilda The Musical, the RSC’s Education Department has created a specially-designed online resource which gives schools unique insights into the creative process of staging this award-winning musical. Write Here Write Now with Matilda is an interactive website that will inspire children to become creative writers, imaginative playwrights and avid readers.  Through filmed interviews with the show’s creators, Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin, together with comprehensive teacher notes for use in the classroom, this innovative website will help make storytelling vivid, accessible and enjoyable for children and their teachers.

To celebrate the launch of Write Here Write Now with Matilda, the RSC is setting a National Writing Challenge, inviting students aged between eight and thirteen to create an original script or song to be performed live in a special performance by the West End cast at London’s Cambridge Theatre in June 2013.  Entries will go through a full script selection process by the RSC’s Literary and Education Departments and six songs or scenes will be fully rehearsed by members of the Matilda company before being performed on stage in front of the students and their classmates, all of whom will stay on to see Matilda The Musical that evening.

Additionally, and building on the highly successful active teaching approaches to Shakespeare developed by the RSC, Write Here Write Now with Matilda will also offer Teacher Professional Development days, providing practical approaches to creative writing using Matilda The Musical as a springboard.

(See fuller press release in press pack and www.matildathemusical.com/schools and www.matildawritenow.org.uk for further information.)

New theatre partners for the RSC’s Learning and Performance Network

Alongside the Matilda The Musical programme, the Company continues to expand its highly-regarded national schools partnership, the Learning and Performance Network, by announcing five new regional theatre partners: the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford; the Grand Theatre, Blackpool; Curve Theatre, Leicester; the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury; the New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme.  This brings the total number of partner theatres working with the RSC on its education programme to ten, allowing the Company to extend its active teaching approaches into more schools and promote seeing Shakespeare live across the country through specially created touring productions for young audiences.

RSC Artistic Director, Gregory Doran, said:

“Together with Catherine Mallyon, our new Executive Director, I want us to produce the best possible live experience of Shakespeare for audiences of all ages and backgrounds and provide the most stimulating environment possible for creative artists to practise their craft.  I have always thought of the RSC as a Shakespeare “gymnasium”.

“This winter season acts as a prologue to a wider plan, stretching forward over the next five years. I hope we will work through the entire canon, producing all his plays in our new Royal Shakespeare Theatre, but without repeating the titles in that time. The Swan will be dedicated largely to looking at the stable of writers who worked alongside Shakespeare; to the plays which inspired him and which he inspired; and to writing which matches his scale and ambition, providing a deeper context to the genius of our house playwright.

“2014 is Shakespeare’s 450th birthday and 2016 marks the quatercentenary of his death in 1616.  We will celebrate Shakespeare’s life, from birth to grave, over an arc of three years, culminating in a major nationwide event in 2016.

“The prologue season demonstrates some of the key ingredients in our plan. I will begin with my own exploration of Shakespeare’s History plays with Richard II, and am delighted that David Tennant and Oliver Ford Davies will be returning to the company for this production.  Following its run in Stratford, we will also be presenting Richard II to London audiences at the Barbican this winter, following our very successful collaboration during the World Shakespeare Festival.  As we continue our journey to find a home for our work in London, it’s great to work with the Barbican again and it’s a fantastic space in which to present this particular production.

“In the Swan Theatre, we open with new adaptations of Hilary Mantel’s Man Booker Prize-winning novels, Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies, by Mike Poulton. Hilary Mantel has been working alongside us to find a genuine theatrical language for these plays, even promising to include material she left out of the books in order to do so. The gripping tale of Thomas Cromwell’s rise to power under Henry VIII, and the King’s infatuation with Anne Boleyn, has captivated readers in their thousands, and I am thrilled to bring them to our stages. Both plays will be directed by Royal Court Associate Director, Jeremy Herrin, making his RSC directing debut.

“Producing work for all ages is essential as we develop the theatregoing audiences of the future and this year we are presenting a brand new adaptation of one of the great works of children’s literature, Peter Pan.  Ella Hickson’s Wendy & Peter Pan brings a fresh perspective to this well known tale which I have no doubt will captivate young and old alike. Jonathan Munby returns to the Company to direct.

“Over the coming months, I look forward to sharing more of our plans, not least the redevelopment of The Other Place, which will – along with the development of new work – be led by Erica Whyman, who has joined the Company in the new post of Deputy Artistic Director.”

RSC Executive Director, Catherine Mallyon, said:

“My focus over the next few years will be in working alongside Greg to make sure our audiences have the best possible experience wherever they are.  We have a fantastic Stratford home and will be celebrating all that is made in Stratford, whilst acknowledging our role as a national organisation, based in the Midlands, with an incredible reach across the country and overseas, with our productions, education and public participation work.

“This spring, Lucy Bailey’s The Winter’s Tale will tour to six UK cities and in the autumn we’ll take all our Royal Shakespeare Theatre shows to Newcastle Theatre Royal.  We’re also well underway with preparations to open not just one, but two productions in New York in April. Matilda The Musical transfers to Broadway, and Julius Caesar plays at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, before touring to Columbus, Ohio, presented in collaboration with The Ohio State University.

“We’re especially pleased to be announcing In Stitches, our celebration of costume, just as we learn we’ve been awarded Stage 1 approval of our £2.147m bid to Arts Council England’s capital investment programme for refurbishment of our historic Costume Workshop in Stratford.

“We have a wonderful team of craftspeople, designers and theatre-makers in Stratford and we make almost all our own costumes, props and sets.  The quality of the work is extraordinary, but our Costume Workshop is an old building, desperately in need of a revamp.  We’ll now be able to submit detailed plans to retain the grade II listed parts of the Workshop, whilst transforming the current warren of tiny rooms into naturally lit and open plan studios. The newly transformed space will be much more environmentally efficient and, along with new machinery and equipment, will allow us to open up more opportunities for training and to welcome the public into the costume workshop for tours and special exhibitions.”

“We also continue our commitment to young people and schools, with new partnerships with regional theatres and a fantastic challenge to schools and students, based on Matilda The Musical.”

Deputy Artistic Director, Erica Whyman, said:

“The Other Place has always seemed to me to embody a philosophy as much a physical space and I want to continue its rich culture of innovation and celebration as we create a new place for artists to experiment, encounter each other and encounter Shakespeare.  I am looking forward exploring the TOP ethos and the extraordinary legacy of Buzz Goodbody, as we grow our relationships with theatre-makers, local, national and international, creating work with a sense of radical mischief and festivity, building on all that’s gone before and celebrating the theatre that we can make now.

“We’ve secured planning permission to retain the Courtyard structure and to remodel the interior to create a small scale studio theatre, two new rehearsal rooms and to allow us to move our costume store into the former auditorium, opening it up to the public for the first time.  We’ll work on raising the capital to undertake the work and developing an operating model which will allow us to run it sustainably, but in the meantime, audiences can expect to see TOP work beginning to emerge in various forms from 2014, which is after all, the 40th anniversary of the founding of The Other Place.”

Director of Events and Exhibitions, Geraldine Collinge, said:

“We’re delighted to be celebrating the very best of our history of costume, revealing treasures from our Museum Collection for the first time in the new Royal Shakespeare Theatre.  We will also be revealing the skill and craft which goes on behind the scenes and developing an exhibition to enable people to experience it for themselves.”

Director of Education, Jacqui O’Hanlon, said:

“Through our education work we connect young people and their teachers to the artists and artistic practices at the heart of the RSC. Our Write Here Write Now with Matilda education programme is infused with the inspiration of Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin, challenging children aged 8 – 13 to create new scripts and songs. And our new partnerships with five regional theatres will mean that, together, we can reach over 30,000 children and young people this year, bringing Shakespeare vividly to life for local schools and their communities.”

Toni Racklin, Head of Theatre, at the Barbican, said:

“I am thrilled to welcome the RSC to the Barbican for Gregory Doran’s inaugural season with this highly anticipated production of Richard II with David Tennant. The play, which perfectly complements our year-round programme, will receive a seven-week run in the Barbican Theatre over Christmas and is part of our ongoing commitment to present world-class theatre on our stages and beyond. We look forward to working closely with our colleagues at the RSC to bring Richard II to London.”

-ends-

Press contact information

For further information, please contact liz.thompson@rsc.org.uk 01789 421667, philippa.harland@rsc.org.uk 0207 845 0512 or amy.belson@rsc.org.uk 01789 412622

For press tickets please contact dean.asker@rsc.org.uk 01789 412660

Press images can be found at:  http://www.epo-online.com

Booking information

RSC Box Office: 0844 800 1110

Full RSC Members web booking opens Monday 11 February 2013

Full RSC Members phone booking opens Wednesday 13 February 2013

Associate RSC Members postal and web booking opens Monday 4 March 2013

Associate RSC Members phone booking opens Wednesday 6 March 2013

Public Booking opens Monday 18 March 2013

Tickets for the RSC Newcastle season can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 or select your own seat and book online at www.theatreroyal.co.uk Public Booking Opens 15 February

Priority booking for Richard II at The Barbican Theatre from 7 March (www.rsc.org.uk, www.barbican.org.uk ). Public booking from late March 2013.

Website and social media

www.rsc.org.uk

Follow the RSC on Twitter: www.twitter.com/theRSC @theRSC

Follow the RSC Press Office on Twitter: www.twitter.com/RSCPress @RSCPress

Join us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/theRSC

Individual production Twitter hashtags:

Richard II –  #RSCRichardII

Wendy & Peter Pan –  #RSCWendy

Wolf Hall –  #RSCWolfhall

Bring up the Bodies – #RSCBodies

In Stitches – RSC Costume Exhibition – #RSCCostume

Notes to Editors

Video interviews for all productions can be found here:

http://www.rsc.org.uk/whats-on/richard-ii/video-interview-with-david-tennant.aspx

http://www.rsc.org.uk/whats-on/wolf-hall/video-interview-with-hilary-mantel.aspx

http://www.rsc.org.uk/whats-on/bring-up-the-bodies/video-interview-with-hilary-mantel.aspx

http://www.rsc.org.uk/whats-on/wendy-and-peter-pan/video-interviews.aspx

http://www.rsc.org.uk/about-us/updates/video-interview-with-gregory-doran.aspx

http://www.rsc.org.uk/about-us/updates/video-interview-with-catherine-mallyon.aspx

Write Here Write Now with Matilda details can be found on www.matildathemusical.com/schools and www.matildawritenow.org.uk

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

The RSC Literary Department is generously supported by THE DRUE HEINZ TRUST

The RSC in America is presented in collaboration with THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY

RSC workshops, conferences and professional development courses for students and teachers are generously supported by THE CLORE DUFFIELD FOUNDATION

The Learning & Performance Network is generously supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation

American Airlines is the preferred airline for Matilda The Musical

Cross are the exclusive pen partner of the RSC in support of New Writing

Biographies

ELLA HICKSON

Writer of Wendy & Peter Pan

Theatre includes: Boys (Headlong/Hightide/Nuffield), Climate Week Play in A Day (Arcola Theatre), Oil (Headlong Productions), Punt (Old Vic Tunnels), The Authorised Kate Bane (The Traverse), Decade (Headlong), Precious Little Talent, (Trafalgar Studios), Custard (Waterloo East Theatre), PMQ (Theatre 503), Soup (Oran Mor), This is Not the End (Old Vic), Buttons (Bedlam Theatre), Hot Mess (Hawke & Hunter), and Eight (Bedlam Theatre)

Film includes: Hold on Me

Television includes: Ella is currently developing original TV ideas with Endor and Company.

Radio includes: Rightfully Mine (BBC Radio 4), Carpool (Sinner Films), Going Out (Roundhouse)

Ella has completed a creative writing MA at The University of Edinburgh and has worked with the Traverse as their Emerging Playwright on Attachment and the Lyric as Pearson Playwright in Residence. She is a member of The Old Vic New Voices.

JONATHAN MUNBY
Director of Wendy & Peter Pan

Jonathan was an Assistant Director at the RSC and directed The Canterbury Tales and Madness in Valencia.

Theatre includes: Julius Caesar (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre), Romeo & Juliet (Tokyo/Osaka), The Recommendation (The Old Globe, San Diego), The Winter’s Tale (Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis), Noises Off (Washington) and The Dog in the Manger (Shakespeare Theatre Company, Washington) for which he was nominated for the  ‘Outstanding Director’ Helen Hayes Award, A Number, The Comedy of Errors, Bird Calls (Sheffield Crucible), The Prince of Homburg, Life is a Dream (Donmar), Tis Pity She’s A Whore (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Serious Money (Birmingham Rep); A Number, The White Devil (Menier Chocolate Factory), 24 Hour Plays (Old Vic), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Globe), Henry V, Mirandolina (Manchester Royal Exchange), Nakamitsu (Gate), Journeys Among the Dead (Young Vic), Bed Show (Bristol Old Vic), The Anniversary (Garrick), John Bull’s Other Island (Lyric, Belfast), Tartuffe (Watermill/Tour), The Gentleman from Olmedo, The Venetian Twins, The Triumph of Love, Dancing at Lughnasa (Watermill).

Jonathan is Creative Associate of the English Touring Theatre.

Opera credits include Carmen (OHP), Don Giovanni (ETO) and Sweetness and Badness (WNO).

JEREMY HERRIN

Director of Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies

Jeremy trained as a theatre director at both the National Theatre and the Royal Court, where he became Deputy Artistic Director in 2008. Between 2000 and 2008 he was an Associate Director at Live Theatre in Newcastle upon Tyne.  He is now Associate Director at the Royal Court.

Theatre includes: No Quarter (Royal Court), This House (National Theatre), Uncle Vanya (Chichester Theatre), Absent Friends(Harold Pinter Theatre), Death and the Maiden (Comedy Theatre), South Downs (Chichester Festival Theatre), Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare’s Globe), Haunted Child (Royal Court), The Priory (which won an Olivier Award for Best Comedy)The Vertical Hour (Royal Court), That Face (Royal Court / West End), Tusk Tusk (nominated for an Evening Standard Best Director Award), The Heretic, Kin, Spur of the Moment, and Off the Endz.

HILARY MANTEL, CBE, FRSL

Author of Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies

Hilary Mantel has published 11 novels, and also Giving Up The Ghost, a memoir, and a short story collection Learning To Talk. Wolf Hall, set during the reign of Henry VIII, and told through the eyes of Thomas Cromwell, was published in 2009 and won the Man Booker Prize and the Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction. Its sequel Bring up the Bodies, won the 2012 Man Booker Prize and the Costa Novel Prize.

Hilary Mantel was born in Derbyshire. She was educated at a convent and later studied law. After ten years abroad in Africa and the Middle East, she returned to Britain in 1985 to make a career as a writer. Her novel Beyond Black was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2005, and she was awarded the CBE in June 2006.

MIKE POULTON

Adaptor of Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies

As adaptor/writer:

RSC includes: Morte d’Arthur, The Canterbury Tales Parts I and II, St Erkenwald

Theatre includes: Anjin – The Shogun and the English Samurai (Sadler’s Wells), Uncle Vanya (The Print Room), Luise Miller (Donmar), The Syndicate, Uncle Vanya, Fortune’s Fool, Wallenstein (Chichester Festival Theatre), The Cherry Orchard, Mary Stuart (Clwyd Theatr Cymru), Don Carlos (Sheffield Crucible and West End: 6 Olivier Award nominations), The Lady from the Sea, Three Sisters (Birmingham Rep), The Father (Chichester Minerva Theatre), Uncle Vanya (Broadway), The Dance of Death, Ion (Mercury Theatre, Colchester), Ghosts (Plymouth Theatre Royal), Fortune’s Fool (Broadway: Tony nominated for Best Play, seven major awards including two Tonies), York Mystery Plays (York Minster).

WINTER 2013 PRESS NIGHTS AT A GLANCE

Royal Shakespeare Theatre

Thursday 17 October 2013, 7pm                               Richard II

Wednesday 18 December 2013, 7pm                       Wendy & Peter Pan

Swan Theatre

Wednesday 13 November 2013, 7pm                       Antony and Cleopatra

(previously announced)

DOUBLE PRESS DAY:

Wednesday 8 January 2014, 1pm                             Wolf Hall

Wednesday 8 January 2014, 7pm                             Bring up the Bodies

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