The Royal Shakespeare Company has announced its artistic programme for Summer 2019 this morning.
See Thursday’s Herald for our in-depth interview with Artistic Director Gregory Doran about the season.
Three of Shakespeare’s plays will be performed at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre – which is being reconfigured for the season so that the circle level will run around the auditorium, meaning the stage can be viewed from all angles.
The plays are: As You Like It (from 14th February to 31st August) directed by Kimberley Sykes; The Taming Of The Shrew (from 8th March to 31st August) directed by Justin Audibert; and Measure For Measure (from 28th June to 29th August) directed by Gregory Doran.
A single company of 27 actors will perform in the productions – each actor appearing in two of the three plays. Of the performers, Gregory Doran said: “I am creating a company which reflects the nation in terms of gender, ethnicity, regionality, and disability.”
In the Swan Theatre two important anniversaries are celebrated: 250 years since David Garrick’s Shakespeare Jubilee in 1769, and 25 years since the first democratic elections in South Africa.
Gregory explained: “To mark 25 years since the first democratic elections in South Africa, we are thrilled to be staging the world premiere of a new play by renowned South African actor, John Kani. John started to write the play when he was playing Caliban in 2009 opposite Antony Sher as Prospero in The Tempest. The resulting play, Kunene and the King, will be directed by Janice Honeyman, and features both these extraordinary South African actors.”
Kunene and the King runs from 21st March to 23rd April.
Gregory continued: “We also mark 250 years since David Garrick’s famous Shakespeare Jubilee in 1769, which launched Stratford-upon-Avon as the epicentre of the Shakespeare Industry.
“We are staging two plays in which David Garrick enjoyed two of his most successful roles. Both are Restoration plays, a comedy and a tragedy: The Provoked Wife, by John Vanbrugh, and Venice Preserved, by Thomas Otway, (regarded by Guardian theatre critic Michael Billington as one of the 101 greatest plays ever written).
The Provoked Wife will be directed by Phillip Breen, and runs from 2nd May to 7th September; and Venice Preserved will be directed by Prasanna Puwanarajah and runs from 24th May to 7th September.