The production will begin performances at the Rose Theatre, Kingston (in Surrey, on the outskirts of London) Feb. 9, 2010, prior to an official opening Feb. 15, for an exclusive run through March 20. It is the theatre's seventh home-grown production. Dench is a long-standing supporter of the Rose and hosted a fundraising gala for the theatre in 2004. Hall, the Rose's founding director who led the campaign to open the theatre, is the theatre's director emeritus alongside artistic director Stephen Unwin.
Hall and Dench's theatrical partnership has stretched across 50 years. Dench first played Titania for Hall for a Royal Shakespeare Company production in 1962; they have subsequently worked together on such productions as Antony and Cleopatra at the National Theatre in 1987 (winning the Olivier Award for Best Actress), Filumena (at the Piccadilly Theatre in 1998), The Royal Family and Hay Fever (both at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, respectively in 2001 and 2006).
Set in Elizabethan England, Hall's new production sees Titania, the Fairy Queen, as a portrait of the ageing Queen Elizabeth I, fascinated with the theatre, besieged by courtiers but "married to the people of England." This production has been specially designed by Liz Bury for the Rose's open stage, which itself was modeled upon the original Elizabethan Rose Theatre on London's Bankside.
Priority booking for Friends of the Rose Theatre will open Aug. 24. Public booking begins Sept. 14. To book tickets, contact the box office at 0871 230 1552 or visit www.rosetheatrekingston.org.