The Royal Shakespeare Company will be performing in several very different venues across London later this year and early next year.
The History Cycle, featuring eight Shakespeare plays directed by RSC artistic director Michael Boyd, will transfer to the Roundhouse in spring 2008. The newly refurbished performance venue is no stranger to Shakespeare, having recently presented Tim Supple’s Indian version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and also housing RSC productions of The Tempest, The Winter’s Tale and Pericles in 2002. For the History Cycle – comprising Richard II, Henry IV parts I and II, Henry V, Henry VI parts I, II and III and Richard III – the company will recreate the staging utilised in the Courtyard in Stratford, where every corner of the stage and auditorium is in use.
Boyd said: “The Complete Works Festival has left the company with a valuable legacy which continues with more Shakespeare and new work being transferred to a range of venues in the capital for London audiences to enjoy.”
New writing features prominently in the company’s London venture, with an as yet untitled new play by Anthony Neilson being staged at Soho. The piece, which will also be directed by Neilson, will be created by 11 RSC actors working together for six weeks, and will run at Soho from November this year till January 2008. This production continues the RSC’s successful association with Soho, which hosted the RSC New Work Festivals in 2005 and 2006, producing shows such as Breakfast With Mugabe by Fraser Grace and Trade by Debbie Tucker Green.
More new writing will be unveiled at the Tricycle, with Leo Butler’s play I’ll Be The Devil being staged there in early spring 2008. The play, set in occupied Ireland in 1775,
was first seen as a work-in-progress public reading as part of the RSC’s Complete Works Festival, and is written as a response to The Tempest.
Trevor Nunn’s productions of King Lear and The Seagull will transfer to the New London for a nine week run from November.