A move to the Albery would situate the RSC in the heart of the West End. It’s one of the most centrally located theatres, an easy walk from Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square and Covent Garden. The Barbican, by contrast, is in the financial district and far from most of the popular shops and restaurants. A final decision on the London base is expected within a month.
The RSC has announced that Boyd’s new production of Hamlet, starring Toby Stephens, will be previewed with no sets or costumes in the Stratford High School on July 5. Their student audience will be aged between 15 and 17 and, following in the techniques of legendary director Peter Brook, Boyd believes the production will gain from the experience. In a press release, he said, “This is an exercise in narrative clarity. Young people are objective and want to engage fully with the story, and a good way to foster this is to play in a school hall without . . . sophisticated effects.” It is, he confirmed, a process he plans to continue.