The Royal Shakespeare Theatre Photo by Sara Beaumont

Next year will see the production of three Shakespeare plays, two restoration plays and the debut of a new play at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s (RSC) theatres in Stratford-Upon-Avon.

Changes are also being made to the cast and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre itself in preparation for the 2019 ‘summer’ season.

The Royal Shakespeare Theatre

As part of the changes, a new single company cross-cast will be put together to play three Shakespeare productions next year. The chosen plays are As You Like It, The Taming of the Shrew and Measure for Measure. The new casting will see 27 actors appear in two out of the three plays.

The ‘summer’ season begins on 14th February with a production of As You Like It.

The three productions will then tour the UK for the first time, visiting six regional theatres throughout the year, with more details to be announced.  

RSC artistic director, Gregory Doran said: “This season reflects the power of storytelling in its most essential form, with the actor at the centre of the work. With Justin Audibert and Kimberley Sykes, I am creating a company which reflects the nation in terms of gender, ethnicity, regionality, and disability.”

Changes are also being made to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in preparation for the new season. Audience seating will be extended round the stage at the circle levels to create new viewing perspectives.

The Swan Theatre

Meanwhile, the Swan Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon will stage three plays to celebrate two anniversaries in 2019.

To mark 25 years since the first democratic elections in South Africa, a premiere of Kunene and the King will be staged. The play was written by John Kani in 2009 and will be directed by Janice Honeyman. Originally written while John played Caliban in The Tempest, alongside Antony Sher as Prospero, the new production will star both South African actors.

Next year will also see the theatre mark 250 years since David Garrick’s Shakespeare Jubilee in 1769, which launched Stratford-Upon-Avon as the centre of the Shakespeare industry. The Swan Theatre will stage two restoration plays in which Garrick played his most successful roles, The Provoked Wife and Venice Preserved. Both plays will run from May until September next year.

Selected Royal Shakespeare Theatre 2019 dates

As You Like It: 14th February – 31st August
The Taming of the Shrew: 8th March – 31st August
Measure for Measure: 28th June – 29th August

Selected Swan Theatre 2019 dates

Kunene and the King: 21st March – 23rd April
The Provoked Wife: 2nd May – 7th September
Venice Preserved: 24th May – 7th September

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Image: The Royal Shakespeare Theatre (Photo Credit: Sara Beaumont)