The Royal Shakespeare Company will continue to transfer work to London’s Barbican Theatre until at least 2020 after agreeing another five years of its ongoing relationship with the arts hub.
In a double whammy for London fans of the world renowned theatre company, the RSC will draw together four of its recent productions at the Barbican later this year.
King And Country: Shakespeare’s Great Cycle Of Kings, which plays from 7 November to 24 January, brings together Richard II, Henry IV Pt I & Pt II and Henry V in repertoire.
Many of the original cast of these productions, three of which have already been seen at the Barbican, are expected to return. David Tennant will lead the cast of Richard II, with Jasper Britton and Antony Sher returning to Henry IV Pt I & Pt II as the titular king and Falstaff. Alex Hassell, too, will return to play Henry V in both the Henry IV plays and Henry V, which premieres in Stratford-upon-Avon this autumn.
In addition to the tetralogy of history plays, the Barbican will also screen a number of filmed RSC productions and in May 2016 the company will bring A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play For The Nation to the London venue as part of a national tour.
Speaking about the announcement, Gregory Doran, Artistic Director of the RSC, said: “We have loved being back at the Barbican and I am thrilled to give London audiences the very first chance to see all four History plays together in repertoire. Our hope is to extend our residency in the future, showcasing more of our Stratford productions, including those from our Swan Theatre and The Other Place. We will also be building on the strong foundations already created by our Education teams, and look forward to new initiatives to reach young people in the east London boroughs.”
Toni Racklin, Head of Theatre at the Barbican, added: “We are delighted to announce a further five year relationship between the Barbican and the RSC which will give our two organisations the opportunity to continue to build on this new collaboration which began in 2013. We look forward to inspiring a new generation of theatregoers to love Shakespeare and the work of his contemporaries through our continued collaboration.”