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Hampstead welcomes RSC long ensemble

First Published 1 September 2010, Last Updated 1 September 2010

The Royal Shakespeare Company is to premiere three new plays at Hampstead theatre from April to June 2011 as the final chapter in the work of the company’s current long ensemble.

The plays – written by Rona Munro, David Farr and Tarrell Alvin McCraney – form part of A Season Of World Premieres at the North London venue, which will also include three new Hampstead theatre productions. Following their premieres in London, the RSC will take all three productions to New York in July 2011.

Munro’s Little Eagles opens the season on 16 April, directed by season director Roxana Silbert. It is followed by former Lyric Hammersmith Artistic Director Farr directing Silence (from 12 May), which he is creating with long-time collaborators Filter. American playwright McCraney, author of In The Red And Brown Water and The Brothers Size, presents his new work American Trade from 2 June, directed by Jamie Lloyd, whose work includes Piaf and Passion at the Donmar Warehouse and The Little Dog Laughed in the West End.

Hall, Hampstead theatre’s Artistic Director, commented: “I am delighted to be creating A Season Of World Premieres with the RSC and to be working so closely with Roxana Silbert on what will be a very exciting programme of new work at Hampstead theatre. Six pieces of major new work over a 10-week period…cause for celebration indeed.”

Prior to the Hampstead season, the current long ensemble will have the honour of being the first to perform on the stages of the transformed Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Swan Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon, which have undergone a £112.8 million rebuilding project over the past four years. The buildings officially reopen to the public on 24 November this year, before the ensemble gives the first performances on their stages – revivals of productions in the company’s repertoire – from February 2011.

Silbert said: “It’s a privilege to be invited to return to Hampstead theatre and be part of its future under the new Directorship of Ed Hall, and it’s tremendously exciting to welcome the long ensemble to Hampstead, fresh from opening the newly transformed Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford. They bring their intimate experience of Shakespeare into dialogue with living playwrights to premiere three new plays which have been made for them and with them.”

When the current ensemble heads to Hampstead in April, a new company will take up residence in Stratford to take part in the RSC’s 50th birthday season, details of which are to be announced in November this year. 

CB

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