RSC Announces New Season, Complete with Three Companies

News   RSC Announces New Season, Complete with Three Companies Adrian Noble's controversial new approach to the way the RSC is structured has taken shape with the announcement of the 2002 season.

Adrian Noble's controversial new approach to the way the RSC is structured has taken shape with the announcement of the 2002 season.

The RSC will be divided, in effect, into three companies, each of which will have its own performance schedule.

The first company will perform three of Shakespeare's late plays - The Winter's Tale, The Tempest and Pericles —in promenade at The Roundhouse, from March -July 2002. This will be the first time the RSC has played at this distinctive London venue for over thirty years.

The second company will perform two Shakespeare plays, a tragedy and a comedy, both with a pair of passionate but warring lovers — Antony and Cleopatra and Much Ado About Nothing — in repertoire in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford from April - July 2002

The third company will perform five Elizabethan and Jacobean plays in repertoire in The Swan Theatre in Stratford from April - July 2002. Fuller details, including casting, are to be announced within the next month or so, but the currently available production information is as follows:

The Roundhouse

The Winter's Tale
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Matthew Warchus
Previews from March 28, 2002

The Tempest
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Michael Boyd
Previews from April 19, 2002

Pericles; Prince of Tyre
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Adrian Noble
Previews from June 28, 2002

Royal Shakespeare Theatre

Antony and Cleopatra
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Michael Attenborough
Previews from April 11, 2002

Much Ado About Nothing
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Gregory Doran
Previews from May 1, 2002

The Swan Theatre

Edward IIII (1590)
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Edward Hall
Previews from April 17, 2002

Eastward Ho! (1605)
By George Chapman, Ben Jonson and John Marston
Directed by Lucy Pitman-Wallace
Previews from April 24, 2002

The Roman Actor (1626)
By Philip Massinger
Directed by David Hunt
Previews from June 5, 2002

The Island Princess (1621)
By John Fletcher
Directed by Gregory Doran
Previews from July 10, 2002

The Malcontent (1603)
By John Webster and John Marston
Directed by Dominic Cook
Previews from Aug. 14, 2002

Speaking about the new season, Artistic Director Adrian Noble took a very upbeat attitude, claiming that "Renewal of a theatrical institution like the RSC was never going to be easy, but it was absolutely necessary. This program offers audiences the change to see some exceptional theatre. It demonstrates all the very best hallmarks of the RSC's past, but also signals a fresh approach that I hope will become a dynamic force in classical theatre."

The new season certainly looks interesting, and the opportunity to perform promenade versions of Shakespearean plays linked by a theme - that of a journey - at the Roundhouse will certainly appeal to London audiences. Having a journey as a theme is particularly appropriate given that Noble is leading the RSC into uncharted territory: a lot is hanging on his sense of direction, but the new season certainly looks as if, whatever the destination, he's leading the company along a very scenic route.

RSC box office, Stratford on Avon: 01789 403403.

—by Paul Webb Theatrenow