Michael Boyd's Final Season at RSC Will Include Jonathan Slinger as Hamlet and New Mark Ravenhill Play

By Mark Shenton
10 Jul 2012

Michael Boyd has announced his final season at the helm of the Royal Shakespeare Company, which is set to include a number of major new Shakespearean productions including Jonathan Slinger as Hamlet, a Jacobean classic never previously performed at the RSC and world premieres of two new plays by Mark Ravenhill and Tanika Gupta.



In a press statement, Boyd commented, "Our transformed Royal Shakespeare Theatre has really got into its stride this year, setting the pattern for how we celebrate Shakespeare's work.  We've created a space which is perfectly balanced on the tightrope between the Renaissance and now and truly does bring the actors closer to the audience.  The last twelve months, in which we've celebrated the RSC's 50th birthday in Stratford, opened the most awarded West End musical in history, and launched the World Shakespeare Festival right across the UK, point to the healthiest possible future for theatre. I'm very proud to be programming my last season in our new space with many of the theatre artists who have contributed to its success in the last year, before handing over to Greg Doran who will take the Company on to its next decade."

His final season in the main Royal Shakespeare Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon will launch with the return of director Lucy Bailey, who earlier this year staged The Taming of the Shrew at Stratford, with a new production of The Winter's Tale, to open in January for a straight run, prior to a national tour. Then a new ensemble will join to perform three more Shakespeares: Jonathan Slinger will star as Hamlet under the direction of David Farr, Maria Aberg will direct As You LIke It, and Nancy Meckler will direct All's Well That Ends Well.

In the Swan, Boyd comments, "we celebrate the classics and new work, starting with a world premiere of Tanika Gupta's new play, The Empress.  Set in the last 14 years of Queen Victoria's reign, this extraordinary story explores not only a deep relationship between the old Queen and her Indian servant, but shines a light on the fomenting revolutionary sentiments amongst many of her subjects.  A second ensemble then plays Titus Andronicus, directed by Michael Fentiman, followed by A Mad World My Masters by Thomas Middleton.  Sean Foley will direct this Jacobean comedy in its first ever production at the RSC.  Lyndsey Turner then works with the company, directing the world premiere of Mark Ravenhill's new play, written whilst he's been with us as Writer in Residence and inspired by Voltaire's Enlightenment classic Candide."

Priority booking for different levels of RSC members will open from Sept. 14, 17 and 19, depending on the level of membership; for associate members from Oct. 1, and for public booking from Oct. 15.

For further details, visit www.rsc.org.uk.