RSC to keep two out of three Stratford theatres closed as it starts consultation on job cuts

RSC artistic director Gregory Doran. Photo: Mark Williamson

THE Royal Shakespeare Company has announced today, Tuesday, it will concentrate its comeback efforts on the Royal Shakespeare Theatre – with the Swan Theatre and The Other Place remaining closed until 2022.

The news coincided with the start of formal consultation with the RSC’s permanent workforce which is set to lead to significant job losses.

In a statement it said the consultation on potential job losses is a result of the ongoing impact of Covid-19 and covers a range of proposals from redundancies to changes in terms and conditions of employment.

It added: “Although the final number of redundancies will not be known until the end of the formal consultation process, 158 people are currently in roles at risk.

“Through redeployment into existing and newly created roles, together with voluntary redundancy, the RSC hopes to reduce the number of people leaving the company due to compulsory redundancy to below 90, at most a 17% reduction in the workforce. The consultation is expected to conclude in early December.”

This winter it plans to start small-scale socially distanced performances in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and stream them into homes. These will take place in December and January and more details will be announced at the start of November.

It will also stage free outdoor activity, and plans to reopen its West End hit, Matilda The Musical as soon as it is financially viable.

Planning also continues for the full re-opening of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Spring 2021 with full-scale productions of The Winter’s Tale and The Comedy of Errors, when it is hoped that social distancing restrictions will be eased.

The company’s education, digital and streaming activity will continue throughout the autumn and winter so people can connect with the RSC in their homes and schools.

Artistic Director Gregory Doran said: “We want to welcome our audiences back, to re-open again and to help our regional and wider economy rebuild itself, bringing people back into our towns and cities. Our financial position and uncertainty around future restrictions means that our immediate focus will be on our largest theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon – the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.”

Executive Director Catherine Mallyon added: “The extraordinary support we continue to see from the company, our members, patrons, sponsors and supporters, alongside the Stratford-upon-Avon community is a wonderful thing. It demonstrates the importance placed on theatre in people’s lives, and we thank everybody for their messages, donations, patience and commitment to seeing us reopen again.”

  • imustbeoldiwearacap

    I cannot fathom it, like the Birthplace Trust the RSC has commercial based restaurants/cafes that could have been opened. And given the number of visitors to SOA after lockdown and “Eat out to Help Out” they could have safeguarded some jobs and kept a revenue/profit stream – or is the management of both so fixated on donations/grants that they forget they have a commercial side?