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RSC confirms rescheduled programme for winter 2021 and plans for this year

Hira Desai

By Hira Desai First Published 14 July 2020, Last Updated 15 July 2020

The Royal Shakespeare Company has today confirmed the rescheduled programme for its winter 2021 season, including its previously scheduled productions of The Magicians Elephant and The Wars Of The Roses Part 1 and 2.

The venue’s late 2021 season will open from 14 October in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre with The Magician’s Elephant, a brand new musical by Nancy Harry and Marc Teitler. Adapted from the prize-winning children’s author Kate DiCamillo’s book, the family-friendly show follows the story of a magician who conjures an elephant from the sky, setting off a chain of events so remarkable, so impossible, that it changes life in a quiet and lonely town forever.

From 24 September – 1 January 2022, The Wars Of The Roses Part 1 and 2 (created from Henry VI Parts 1, 2 and 3), directed by Owen Horsely with Gregory Doran, will open in the Swan Theatre. Hurling audiences through one of the most turbulent periods of English history, The Wars Of The Roses is filled with passion, politics and plenty of revenge.

As part of its Shakespeare for Everyone series, a new production of Twelfth Night directed and edited by Robin Belfield will heading out on tour from September 2021.

Marc Teitler and Nancy Harris in a workshop for The Magician's Elephant.Marc Teitler and Nancy Harris in a workshop for The Magician’s Elephant.

In addition to announcing the new season, the Company added: “The RSC very much hopes for positive news in the coming weeks on the reopening roadmap and on the distribution of the extremely welcome £1.57bn government rescue package for arts and culture.”

Commenting on plans for this year, the Company said “it fully intends to reopen the Royal Shakespeare Theatre (RST) with new events and rescheduled performances of The Winter’s Tale and The Comedy Of Errors as soon as that proves possible” dependant on government advice on social distancing and whether it’ll be financially viable for the Company to reopen indoor performances.

Gregory Doran, Artistic Director, said: ‘While we continue to explore every opportunity to open our Stratford buildings as soon as we possibly can, ideally later this year, I am pleased to share this hopeful news of the confirmed schedule for our Winter 2021 season. Since first closing our doors back in March, we have continued to do everything we possibly can to support our audiences through lockdown and to engage and entertain our communities across the UK and beyond. Of course, nothing can or should replace the live theatre experience, which continues to be much missed by audiences everywhere. Alongside our colleagues across the industry, we can and want to play a crucial role in the recovery of the country, knowing how valuable the arts are to our collective wellbeing, whether giving strength in difficult times, helping us to tell our own stories or simply lifting the spirits for a few hours. We very much look forward to welcoming audiences back to our buildings and to share this live experience with them.

Commenting on the programme, Gregory added: “Every time the RSC mounts Shakespeare’s early history plays, they strike a powerful chord. If you want to understand the dangerous world we live in, with its divisive politics, the rise of demagoguery and the threat of despotism, then you need look no further than The War of the Roses Part 1 and 2. This ferociously vivid account of the brutal struggle for the English Crown will without doubt strike different resonances deep in its audiences’ consciousness today. I’m thrilled to be working alongside Owen Horsley once more, who I last worked with on the RSC’s King and Country cycle, to bring this dynamic story of power and corruption, saints and psychopaths, of then and now, to life afresh in a newly configured Swan auditorium in 2021.

“Meanwhile in the RST, we continue to platform the most exciting voices of today with the premiere of our new family musical, The Magician’s Elephant. Sarah Tipple will direct,who was my invaluable Associate Director on last year’s much-loved production of The Boy in the Dress, The beautifully crafted storytelling of Kate DiCamillo’s novel combined with Nancy Harris and Marc Teitler’s idiosyncratic ear for music and lyrics are the perfect marriage for this darkly comic fairytale which, at its heart, is a celebration of human imagination and the miracle of surviving adversity.”

For bookings made throughout 2020 for future performances, a flexible bookings, exchanges and returns policy (for performances in Stratford-upon-Avon and Matilda The Musical at the Cambridge Theatre, London) will allow you to book with confidence. If for any reason you are unable to attend a performance, you can exchange your tickets up to 2 hours before the performance or event start time at no extra cost.

Tickets can also be exchanged for another performance with seats at the same price, or you can opt fr an RSC Gift Voucher (valid for 12 months from date of issue) which can be used as part or full payment against future ticket purchases or membership, either online, in person or over the telephone.

Keep your eyes peeled as tickets go on sale next month!

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We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

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