facebook play-alt chevron-thin-right chevron-thin-left cancel location info chevron-thin-down star-full help-with-circle calendar images mail whatsapp directions_car directions_bike train directions_walk directions_bus close spinner11

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!


Sign up


Related articles

If you click through to seat selection (where you'll see either best available or a seating plan), you will be seeing the most up-to-date prices. If this differs from what we've written on the calendar, please bear with us, as those prices will update soon.

We now sell our famous TKTS Booth discounts online here at Official London Theatre.

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.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.

While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.