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Royal Shakespeare Company 2013/2014 - Stratford upon Avon

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by Alison Brinkworth (subscribe)
Freelance journalist in Birmingham with a passion for the dynamic theatre, art, food and fashion scene in Britain's 'Second City'.
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David Tennant and other famous faces join RSC this year
From Dr Who to a Star Wars villain, famous faces are lining up to perform for the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in Stratford upon Avon this year.
David Tennant in the RSC's production of Richard II, Stratford,Barbican
David Tennant makes an eagerly-awaited return to the RSC for Richard II in 2013

With David Tennant and Tara Fitzgerald among the big name stars, here is a round-up of what audiences can expect to see.

RSC The Winter's Tale with Tara Fitzgerald
RSC's The Winter's Tale with Tara Fitzgerland.


The Winter's Tale
Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford upon Avon. January 24 February 23, 2013
TV star Tara Fitzgerald adds some celebrity sparkle to a new red hot production of Shakespeare's psychological drama of jealousy and redemption.

The actress, who has starred in Game of Thrones, Waking the Dead and Sirens, makes her RSC debut as King Leontes' wife Hermione, whom he wrongly accuses of being unfaithful, setting off a chain of events.

Director Lucy Bailey said that this version of The Winter's Tale would revolve around Sicilia and Bohemia being one and the same place but two different modes of being.

In our version which is set in the 1860s, the play begins in Sicilia, where Leontes and his court live a sheltered, beautiful dream of a life, bathed in endless sunshine, and completely removed from the real world of work and suffering," says Bailey.
It is in essence an Ivory Tower.

At the bottom of their tower, well beyond view, is Bohemia, where the working men and women, despite their struggle, make the most out of very little. We have tried to encapsulate this in our design for the play."

RSC The Winter's Tale with Tara Fitzgerald rehearsals
(l-r)Adam Levy (Polixenes), Tara Fitzgerald (Hermione) and Jo Stone-Fewings (Leontes) in rehearsal. Photo: Sheila Burnett

Some other well known faces in this production, Leontes is played by Jo Stone-Fewings, the TV star of Misfits and New Tricks, while Rakie Ayola, who plays Kyla Tyson in Holby City, makes her debut for the RSC as Hermione's faithful servant, Paulina.

Stratford upon Avon tickets cost from 14 to 60 from the Box Office on 0844 800 1110 or through www.rsc.org.uk

The Winter's Tale will also be performed at:
- Milton Keynes Theatre, Milton Keynes, from March 13-16, 0844 871 7652
- Grand Opera House, York, March 19-23, 0844 871 3024
- Theatre Royal, Nottingham, March 26-30, 0115 989 5555
- Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, April 2-6, 0131 529 6000
- New Theatre, Hull, April 9-13, 01482 300300
- Regent Theatre, Stoke, April 16-20, 0844 871 7649.

A Life of Galileo
Swan Theatre, Stratford upon Avon, January 31-March 30, 2013


Bertolt Brecht's renowned play is brought to the stage with a fresh new translation by the RSC's Writer in Residence Mark Ravenhill.

After nearly three decades, actor Ian McDiarmid returns to the RSC to play scientist Galileo as he battles with the church in the 17th Century over his assertion that the earth orbits the sun.
Galileo, RSC, Swan Theatre, Ian McDiarmid, Star Wars, Emporer Palpatine
Ian McDiarmid, who played Emporer Palpatine in the Star Wars movies, stars in the RSC's A Life of Galileo. Photo: Ellie Kurttz
McDiarmid, who is best known for his iconic role as Emperor Palpatine (aka Darth Sidious) in George Lucas' Star Wars blockbusters, takes on the lead role.

The performance is part of the RSC's A World Elsewhere trilogy of newly adapted classics from around the world. The other two productions to look out for will be Gregory Doran's The Orphan of Xhao by James Fenton and Boris Goduno, produced by Michael Boyd.

Stratford upon Avon tickets cost from 14 to 60 from the Box Office on 0844 800 1110 or through www.rsc.org.uk


Hamlet
Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford upon Avon - March 14 - September 28, 2013


RSC's Hamlet in Stratford
Latest Hamlet production by the RSC

The impressive Jonathan Slinger takes on the lead role of the troubled Danish prince five years after Dr Who's David Tennant pulled in the crowds with his turn as Hamlet. It may still be by the RSC, but expect something very different from this production by David Farr.

Probably Shakespeare's most famous play, this tragedy is one that everyone should see.

An angry and vengeful Prince Hamlet believes his uncle has killed his father to marry his mother and claim the Danish throne. There are no happy endings, but plenty of drama, ghosts, unrequited love and some of the most famous lines in history.
Hamlet, RSC, Stratford, 2013
Jonathan Slinger in rehearsal for the new RSC Hamlet production. Photo: Keith Pattison


The world premiere of this Hamlet includes Charlotte Cornwell, star of Family Affair and The West Wing, as Hamlet's mother Gertrude. A strong cast also sees Greg Hicks as Hamlet's uncle, Claudius, and Pippa Nixon as Ophelia.

Commenting on the production, David Farr said: "Jon Slinger is one of the great classical actors of his generation and I love working with him. He has an emotional access that is truly rare.
"Greg Hicks is a fabulously powerful Shakespearean actor, and to see him and Jon Slinger face off against each other should be something special."

Stratford upon Avon tickets cost from 14 to 60 from the Box Office on 0844 800 1110 or through www.rsc.org.uk

As You Like It
Royal Shakespeare Theatre - April 12 September 28, 2013

Mercury Music Prize-nominated Laura Marling, who won Best Female Solo Artist at the 2011 Brit Awards, has composed music for this production.
As You Like It, RSC, Stratford upon Avon
Joanna Horton as Celia rehearses for the RSC's As You Like It. Photo:Keith Pattison

Part of the final season programmed by Michael Boyd as outgoing Artistic Director of the RSC, it stars Pippa Nixon and Alex Waldmann in the principal roles of Rosalind and Orlando in Shakespeare's pastoral comedy.

Stratford upon Avon tickets cost from 14 to 60 from the Box Office on 0844 800 1110 or through www.rsc.org.uk

All's Well That Ends Well
Royal Shakespeare Theatre. July 19-September 26, 2013

This is a rare chance to see the romantic comedy on stage.
It is directed by Nancy Meckler, who was the first woman to direct at the National Theatre.

"I am loving the fact that Alls Well That Ends Well is a play that is not well known," says Meckler.

"Coming to it fresh I am discovering its charm, its humour, and its complex view of human nature."

All's Well That Ends Well, RSC, Stratford
New RSCproduction of All's Well That Ends Well directed by Nancy Meckler


Described as one of Shakespeare's problem plays, it follows Helena who is in love with a man who is forced to marry her against his will. Volunteering to fight in a distant war because he does not love her, Helena turns her back on the world but years later, the couple are thrown together again.

Stratford upon Avon tickets cost from 14 to 60 from the Box Office on 0844 800 1110 or through www.rsc.org.uk

The Empress
Swan Theatre, Stratford upon Avon - April 11 - May 4, 2013
This costume drama with a difference will receive its world premiere at the Swan Theatre.

Tanika Gupta's new play offers a glimpse into the world of Queen Victoria, exploring the intimate relationship between the ageing monarch and her Indian man-servant, Abdul Karim.

It also weaves in stories of the Indian Ayahs (nannies), who were living and working in nineteenth century London.

"This will be like no other costume drama you have ever seen," says director Emma Rice.

"Throw away the history books you were fed at school and open your hearts and minds to an England they tried to hide, tried to ignore and even tried to burn.

"Important, contemporary and bloody romantic, I cannot wait to start realising this exhilarating, political and radical story. Fasten your seatbelts; it's going to be a bumpy and brilliant voyage!'

Gupta's inspiration came after finding out about the Ayah nannies.

"Apparently, many of them had been brought over from 'the Colonies' to look after English children and then dumped by their employers, leaving them destitute," explains Gupta.

"Reading around the period, I was amazed to discover Queen Victoria's friendship with her Indian man servant Abdul Karim and how that friendship nearly caused a constitutional crisis."

Stratford upon Avon tickets cost from 14 to 60 from the Box Office on 0844 800 1110 or through www.rsc.org.uk

Richard II
Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Oct 10-November 16, 2013

David Tennant returns once again to the RSC for the Winter 2013 season following his successful stint in Hamlet in 2008.

The former Dr Who takes on the title role in a new cycle of Shakespeare's history plays directed by Gregory Doran.

David Tennant, RSC, Richard II,
Former Dr Who David Tennant returns to the RSC in 2013 to star in Richard II


Tennant plays the king, whose vanity threatens to divide the great houses of England and drag his people into a dynastic civil war that will last 100 years.

Richard II moves on from Stratford to the Barbican Theatre from December 9 to January 25, 2014.

Stratford upon Avon tickets cost from 14 to 60 from the Box Office on 0844 800 1110 or through www.rsc.org.uk

Wendy & Peter Pan
Royal Shakespeare Theatre, December 10, 2013 - March 2, 2014

The RSC isn't just for adults, you know.

Following the success of children's performances such as Mathilda, the RSC look to the adventures of Peter Pan to enchant a new generation of theatre-lovers.

Sure to a Christmas special at the end of 2013.
Stratford upon Avon tickets cost from 14 to 60 from the Box Office on 0844 800 1110 or through www.rsc.org.uk
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Why? Great theatre with top stars
When: January 2013 to March 2014
Phone: 0844 800 1110
Where: Stratford upon Avon
Cost: From 14 -60
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