Royal Shakespeare Company turns 50!

Posted on: 06 December 2010 by Rhian Mainwaring

To celebrate 50 years of the RSC, there will be a plethora of cultural events taking place in their newly refurbished theatre space.

RSC celebrates 50 yearsComing on time and in budget (there's a first!) the RSC will be hosting a series of cultural events throughout 2011, in their newly renovated theatres and art space. From art installations to top class theatre productions, the RSC in Statford-upon-Avon is the place to visit for 2011, all's well that ends well!

Since first opening its doors in 1961, the RSC has invited Britain's most influential theatre artists to do their best work with the company, from 24 November to 3 April 2011 there's a preview period, inviting people in to explore and  test the new building with events, exhibitions and activities

Highlights at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre include:

  • Macbeth, directed by Michael Boyd, RSC Artistic Director
  • The Merchant of Venice, directed by Rupert Goold, RSC Associate Director
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Nancy MecklerMarat/Sade
  • The Persecution and Assassination of Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade by Peter Weiss

Highlights at the Swan Theatre include:

  • Cardenio, Shakespeare's 'lost play' re-imagined, directed by Gregory Doran, RSC Chief Associate Director
  • The City Madam, by Philip Massinger, directed by Dominic HillDunsinane, by David Greig, directed by Roxana Silbert, RSC Associate Director, presented by the National Theatre of Scotland in association with the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh
  • The Homecoming, by Harold Pinter, directed by David Farr, RSC Associate DirectorYoung People's Shakespeare production of The Taming of the Shrew, edited and directed by Tim Crouch

There will be opportunities to see script-in-hand performances of key plays commissioned by the RSC over the past 50 years, as well as debates, open rehearsals and insight into the musicals the RSC have developed.

Visitors to the new building can also take in breathtaking views of Stratford, from the viewing tower or one of the many beautiful riverside walks. There's also a new Rooftop restaurant and four theatre bars, so you wont be hungry or thirsty!

The renovation project was created to bring the audience closer to the action, which they've achieved with a new thrust stage and a capacity of over a thousand. The new stage has brought the audience over halfway closer, creating a more intimate auditorium with the furthest seat being just 15metres away, instead of a previous 27metres.

This is what Michael Boyd, RSC Artistic Director had to say of the new phase "Our rejuvenated public spaces give a warm welcome to visitors and allow us an opportunity to demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit in creating a seven day a week building which has something for everyone. We've designed the events and exhibitions in our reopening programme to open up the work of the company and animate our theatres throughout the day."

The RSC 50 celebrations will be running predominantly from the 14th April to 5th November 2011 and will be showing a variety of productions. From classic Shakespeare (Macbeth) to classic playwrights (Harold Pinter) and youth productions (The Taming of the Shrew), there really will be something for everyone.

For more information visit Royal Shakespeare Company.

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