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First look at Elliot Harper as Miss Trunchbull in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda The Musical UK & Ireland Tour

Elliot Harper as Miss Trunchbull in the Royal Shakespeare Companys Matilda The Musical

The Royal Shakespeare Company have released the first images of Elliot Harper as Miss Trunchbull in Matilda The Musical’s UK and Ireland tour. Elliot joined the production on Tuesday 15 January at Theatre Royal Plymouth. The tour will then play at the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford (19 February – 23 March 2019), Edinburgh Playhouse (2 – 27 April 2019), The Bristol Hippodrome (7 May – 8 June 2019), Mayflower Theatre, Southampton (11 June – 6 July 2019) and Norwich Theatre Royal (16 July – 17 August 2019). The West End production will continue to play at the Cambridge Theatre, where it is now in its eighth year and is booking until 24 May 2020.

Carly Thoms (Miss Honey) and Sebastien Torkia and Rebecca Thornhill (Mr and Mrs Wormwood) will continue in their roles until the tour concludes its run at Norwich Theatre Royal on 17 August 2019.

Elliot Harper’s West End theatre credits include Father Joe in The Exorcist at the Phoenix Theatre, Matilda The Musical (Cambridge Theatre), One Man Two Guvnors (National Theatre), Les Misérables (Queens Theatre) and The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre). Other theatre credits includeSweet Charity (Watermill), A Study In Scarlet (Southwark Playhouse), The Silver Tassie (Druid/Lincoln Center NY), Rope, Arsenic and Old Lace (Pitlochry Festival Theatre), The Big Sleep (The Mill At Sonning), As You Like It, Deathtrap, The Taming of the Shrew, The Talented Mr Ripley and Travels with my Aunt (Queens Theatre, Hornchurch), and the UK touring productions of Jesus Christ Superstar and The Buddy Holly Story. Harper’s film and television credits include Howard Goodall’s 20th Century Greats (Tiger Aspect), Showroom, which was a winning film at SXSW Film Festival, and The Egg, Masters of the Universe (Asalva Productions).

The full adult cast includes Richard AstburyJoe AtkinsonNina Bell, Peter BindlossOliver Bingham, Emily Bull, Samara Casteallo,Matthew Caputo, Matt Gillett, Michelle Chantelle Hopewell, Sam Lathwood, Steffan Lloyd-Evans, Charlie Martin, Tom Mather, Anu OgunmefunCarly Thoms, Rebecca ThornhillSebastien TorkiaAdam Vaughan and Dawn Williams.

The role of Matilda is shared by Sophia Ally, Scarlett CecilPoppy Jones, Emma Moore and Nicola Turner. The other young performers in the UK and Ireland Tour in the three teams who play the roles of Bruce, Lavender, Amanda and the rest of the pupils at Crunchem Hall and are as follows: Evie Allen, Louella Asante-Owusu, Joseph Black, Georgia Mae Brown, Isobelle Chalmers, Jessica Chalmers, Madeline Gilby, Sheldon Golding, Cuba Kamanu, Tom Lomas, Adam Lord, Maddison Lowe, Ilan Miller, Felicity Mitson, Toby Mocrei, Ashton Murphy, Joely Robertson, Ruaridh Sinnott, Kit Swaddling, Chantelle Tonolete, Harrison Wilding and Harry Wilson.

Matilda The Musical is written by Dennis Kelly, with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, and developed and directed by Matthew Warchus. The production is designed by Rob Howell, with choreography by Peter Darling, orchestrations, additional music and musical supervision by Christopher Nightingale, lighting by Hugh Vanstone, sound by Simon Baker and the special effects and illusions are by Paul Kieve.

The production is accompanied by Change My Story, a new education programme inspired by Matilda The Musical which will engage young people in towns and cities across the UK and Ireland. With a travelling library of stories led by the musical’s librarian Mrs Phelps and whole school takeovers, the RSC aims to reach over 15,000 children, in collaboration with touring theatre partners. Further details can be found at http://uk.matildathemusical.com/tour/schools/matilda-school-resources/.

Matilda The Musical has now been seen by 8.7 million people worldwide, having toured to over 72 cities and played more than 6500 performances in the West End, on Broadway and on tour across North America, the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Matilda The Musical had its first non-English language production at the LG Arts Centre in Seoul, South Korea in September 2018.

Inspired by the incomparable Roald Dahl’s beloved book, Matilda The Musical was commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company and premiered at the RSC’s Stratford-upon-Avon home in November 2010, before transferring to London’s West End in October 2011, where it opened to rave reviews. The New York production of Matilda The Musical opened in April 2013 at Broadway’s Shubert Theatre and was celebrated on 10 “Top Ten” lists for 2013, including TIME Magazine’s #1 Show of the Year.

Matilda The Musical swept the board at the 2012 Olivier Awards, with a record-breaking seven awards, and won four Tony Awards and a Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theater for the four girls sharing the title role on Broadway.

The North America production toured 52 cities. The Australian and New Zealand production won a Sydney Theatre Award for Best Musical in 2015, and played sold-out seasons in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Auckland. The show broke further records in July 2016 by winning all 13 Helpmann Awards for which it was nominated.

Matilda The Musical is produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company with André Ptaszynski and Denise Wood as Executive Producers. The production was developed with the support of Jeanie O’Hare and the RSC Literary Department.

​The production is designed by Rob Howell, with choreography by Peter Darling, orchestrations, additional music and musical supervision byChristopher Nightingale, lighting by Hugh Vanstone, sound by Simon Baker and the special effects and illusions are by Paul Kieve.

TOUR LISTINGS

Theatre Royal Plymouth
Tuesday 15 January – Saturday 16 February 2019
Box Office: 01752 267 222
www.theatreroyal.com

The Alhambra Theatre, Bradford
Tuesday 19 February – Saturday 23 March 2019
Box Office: 01274 432 000
www.bradford-theatres.co.uk

Edinburgh Playhouse
Tuesday 2 – Saturday 27 April 2019
Box Office: 0844 871 3014*
www.atgtickets.com/venues/edinburgh-playhouse/

The Bristol Hippodrome
Tuesday 7 May – Saturday 8 June 2019
Box Office: 0844 871 3012*
www.atgtickets.com/bristol-hippodrome

Mayflower Theatre, Southampton
Tuesday 11 June – Saturday 6 July 2019
Box Office: 02380 711 811
www.mayflower.org.uk

Norwich Theatre Royal 
Tuesday 16 July – Saturday 17 August 2019
Box Office: 01603 630 000
www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk

* Calls cost 7p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge.
​** Calls cost 4.5p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.

www.matildathemusical.com

#matildaontour

WEST END LISTING

MATILDA THE MUSICAL
Cambridge Theatre
Earlham Street
London WC2H 9HU

Tuesday – Friday 7pm
Wednesday 2pm
Saturday 2.30pm & 7.30pm
Sundays 3pm

Box Office: Cambridge Theatre 020 7087 7745 / RSC Ticket Hotline 01789 331111

No booking fee.

Booking until 24 May 2020
www.matildathemusical.com
Twitter: @MatildaMusical
Facebook: @MatildaTheMusical
Instagram: @MatildaTheMusical

Casting announced for The Royal Shakespeare Company’s festive production of A Christmas Carol

Royal Shakespeare Company

Casting is announced for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s revival of David Edgar’s critically-acclaimed adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, which returns by popular demand following its hugely successful run in winter 2018.

Aden Gillett will make his RSC debut as Ebenezer Scrooge. Aden is known for his extensive television credits, which include Father Brown, Holby City, Silent Witness and House of Elliott. Previous stage appearances includeNoises Off (National Theatre),Twelfth Night (Donmar Warehouse) and Much Ado About Nothing at the Theatre Royal Bath. Aden received the Theatre World Award for ‘World’s Most Promising Newcomer’ for for his performance in An Inspector Calls at the Royale Theatre, Broadway. In November 2005, Aden joined the cast of the West End production of Mary Poppins playing the role of George Banks.

Further casting includes Victoria Blunt (Mrs Baldock/Caroline/Schoolboy/Housemaid), Tom Byrne(Fred/Sailor/Employee), Gerard Carey (Bob Cratchit/Miner/Employee), Claire Carrie (Lady Tibshelf/Christmas Past/Aunt/Laundress), Sally Cheng (Katherine/Belinda Cratchit/Emily/Schoolboy), Matthew Dale (Uber/Doctor/2ndBusinessman/Servant/Miner/Priest+), Steven Elliott (Marley/1st Businessman/Tumbler/2nd Lighthouse Keeper+),Clive Hayward (Fezziwig/Old Joe/Chestnut Seller/Robert/1st Lighthouse Keeper+), Danielle Henry (Mrs Trowell/Christmas Present/Mrs Fezziwig/Charwoman+), Samantha Hull (Swing), Beruce Khan (John Forster/Young Markey/Topper+), Sam Jenkins-Shaw (Father/Coachman/Hinge/Mr Baldock/George/Miner),Bethany Linsdell (Martha Cratchit/Amy/Cecilia/Schoolboy), Jessica Murrain (Isabel/Lucy+), Kwami Odoom(Wicker/Sailor+), Emma Pallant (Mrs Cratchit/Mrs Snapchat/Beggar/Matron+), Joey Phillips(Slingshot/Miner/Young Man+), Shiv Rabheru (Swing), Joseph Timms (Charles Dickens/Young Scrooge/Bowler+) and Rachel Winters (Fanny/Jane/Housemaid+).

A Christmas Carol is directed by Rachel Kavanaugh and designed by Stephen Brimson Lewis with lighting by Tim Mitchell. Music is by Catherine Jayes and sound by Fergus O’Hare. Movement is by Georgina Lamb.

David Edgar adapts Charles Dickens’ festive tale of redemption and compassion – one of the most loved short stories ever written.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL

By Charles Dickens

A new adaptation by David Edgar 

Directed by Rachel Kavanaugh

Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon: 4 Dec 2018 – 20 Jan 2019

Press night: Tues 11 Dec, 7pm

Box Office: 01789 403493 rsc.org.uk

Best ticket prices for theatre, dance, music, and more in London!

The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda The Musical will move to earlier weekday start time from September 2018

Royal Shakespeare Companys Matilda The Musical.

  • Evening weekday performances will start at 7pm following audience survey
  • Matilda The Musical is now booking until 20 October 2019 at the Cambridge Theatre as the show celebrates its eight-millionth customer

Following a review of new audience research carried out on behalf of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda The Musical it is announced today that from 12 September all evening weekday performances of the award-winning musical will begin at 7pm (Tuesday-Friday).

The survey found that the majority of London theatre-bookers surveyed gave several reasons for a preferred earlier start time for a night at the theatre, including:

  • There would be more time to socialise after the show rather than rush home, allowing theatregoers to make the most of London’s vibrant bar and restaurant scene.
  • For those who commute to London, it can be stressful to see a West End show if they are worried about missing their last train home.
  • Parents said it would be easier to arrange a night out without their children if they could get home earlier and not worry about keeping a babysitter waiting up too late.

Matilda The Musical has now been seen by 8 million people worldwide, having toured to 64 cities and played more than 5800 performances in the West End, on Broadway and on tour across North America, the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Matilda The Musical will have its first non-English language production at the LG Arts Centre in Seoul, South Korea from September 2018.

Winner of over 85 international awards, including 16 for Best Musical, Matilda The Musical UK and Ireland Tour is running alongside the ongoing West End production which is now playing its seventh year in London. The tour began performances in March at Leicester Curve and is currently playing at Sunderland Empire Theatre until 2 June. The show will also play Milton Keynes Theatre, Birmingham Hippodrome, Manchester, Cardiff Wales Millennium Centre, Theatre Royal Plymouth, the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford, Edinburgh Playhouse, The Bristol Hippodrome, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton and Norwich Theatre Royal.

Inspired by the incomparable Roald Dahl’s beloved book, Matilda The Musical was commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company and premiered at the RSC’s Stratford-upon-Avon home in November 2010, before transferring to London’s West End in October 2011, where it opened to rave reviews. The New York production of Matilda The Musical opened in April 2013 at Broadway’s Shubert Theatre and was celebrated on 10 “Top Ten” lists for 2013, including TIME Magazine’s #1 Show of the Year.

Matilda The Musical swept the board at the 2012 Olivier Awards, with a record-breaking seven awards, and won four Tony Awards and a Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theater for the four girls sharing the title role on Broadway. The North America production toured 52 cities. The Australian and New Zealand production won a Sydney Theatre Award for Best Musical in 2015, and played sold-out seasons in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Auckland. The show broke further records in July 2016 by winning all 13 Helpmann Awards for which it was nominated.

Matilda The Musical is written by Dennis Kelly, with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, and direction by Matthew Warchus. The production is designed by Rob Howell, with choreography by Peter Darling, orchestrations, additional music and musical supervision byChristopher Nightingale, lighting by Hugh Vanstone, sound by Simon Baker and the special effects and illusions are by Paul Kieve.

Matilda The Musical is produced in the West End by the Royal Shakespeare Company with André Ptaszynski and Denise Wood as Executive Producers. The production was developed with the support of Company Dramaturg Jeanie O’Hare and the RSC Literary Department.

LISTINGS

MATILDA THE MUSICAL
Cambridge Theatre, Earlham Street, London WC2H 9HU

Booking until 20 October 2019

New performance times will take effect from 12 September
Tuesday – Friday 7pm
Wednesday 2pm
Saturday 2.30pm & 7.30pm
Sundays 3pm

Current performance times until 12 September
Tuesdays 7pm
Wednesday – Saturday 7:30pm
Wednesday & Saturday 2:30pm
Sundays 3pm

Box Office: Cambridge Theatre 020 7087 7745 / RSC Ticket Hotline 01789 403493
No booking fee.

www.matildathemusical.com
Twitter: @MatildaMusical
Facebook: @MatildaTheMusical
Instagram: @MatildaTheMusical

Full casting announced for The Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of The Merry Wives Of Windsor

Royal Shakespeare Company

Full casting is announced for The Merry Wives of Windsor, directed by Fiona Laird who will also compose the music, and designed by Lez Brotherston.

Previews begin in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon on the 4 August 2018, with the ‘Live from Stratford-upon-Avon’ cinema broadcast on the 12 September 2018The Merry Wives of Windsor will then transfer to London’s Barbican Theatre along with Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth.

Down on his luck in the suburbs, John Falstaff plans to hustle his way to a comfortable retirement by seducing the wives of two wealthy men. Unknown to him, it’s the women of Windsor who really pull the strings, orchestrating Falstaff’s comeuppance amidst a theatrical smorgasbord of petty rivalries, jealousies and over-inflated egos. For a fat Englishman, a Welshman and a Frenchman, the only way is Windsor…

As previously announced RSC Associate Artist David Troughton returns to the Company as Sir John Falstaff, following his recent title role in Titus Andronicus and Gloucester in King Lear.

Joining him as the ‘Merry Wives’ are Beth Cordingly as Mistress Ford, who plays Escalus in this season’s production of Romeo and Juliet, having previously been part of the RSC Swan season in 2015. Playing Mistress Page is Rebecca Lacey, best known for TV roles including Irene Stuart in Monarch of the Glen and as Dr. George Woodman in Casualty. Her theatre credits include Broken Glass (Watford Palace Theatre) and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (National Theatre/West End).

The full cast includes: David Acton (Sir Hugh Evans); Afolabi Alli (Pistol); Stevie Basaula (company); Ishia Bennison (Mistress Quickly); Katy Brittain (The Hostess of the Garter); Beth Cordingly (Mistress Ford); Jonathan Cullen (Dr Caius); Paul Dodds (George Page); Josh Finan (Nym); Karen Fishwick(Anne Page); Charlotte Josephine (Bardolph); Rebecca Lacey (Mistress Page); Vince Leigh (Frank Ford); John Macaulay (Simple); Luke Newberry (Fenton); Tom Padley (Slender); Sakuntala Ramanee (company); Tim Samuels (Shallow); Nima Taleghani (company) and David Troughton (Sir John Falstaff).

The Merry Wives of Windsor is directed by Fiona Laird and designed by Lez Brotherston with lighting by Tim Mitchell and sound by Gregory Clarke. Music is by Fiona Laird.

The Royal Shakespeare Company announces an updated staging of David Edgar’s seminal play Maydays

David Edgar
David Edgar

David Edgar

A new production of David Edgar’s award-winning political play Maydays will be staged as the Autumn Mischief Festival at TOP from 27 September to 20 October 2018, directed by Owen Horsley.

Alongside Maydays, for three Performances only, Edgar will perform in an autobiographical one man show Trying It On, directed by Christopher Haydon.

In the 50th anniversary year of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy’s assassination, the student-worker uprising in Paris and the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, David Edgar’s powerful and timely play Maydays is being revived. First staged by the RSC at the Barbican theatre in 1983, the new production will exploit the opportunities of the Studio Theatre at The Other Place.

Winner of the 1983 Plays and Players Best Play Award, Edgar’s epic play tells the story of the idealistic young who came of age in 1968 and were drawn into revolutionary politics.

For some, this commitment defined the rest of their lives. For others, the experience was one of disillusion and betrayal. A story of defection from east to west as well as from left to right, Maydays tells the interlocking stories of a vicar’s son turned student radical, a young Communist who becomes a Conservative ideologue, a single mother and political activist, and a Soviet army officer who ends up as a dissident.

Fiercely topical when first premiered, Maydays is now relevant again, in a new age of radical leftism and global politics providing startling parallels to the political revolution of the Millennial Generation.

The production is directed by Owen Horsley who was last at the RSC in 2017 directing Salome in the Swan Theatre. Prior to that, he worked as Gregory Doran’s Associate Director on the King and Countrycycle of Shakespeare’s Henry IV and Henry V which toured to New York, China and Hong Kong. He also directed the Chinese version of Henry V in Shanghai as part of the RSC’s Chinese Folio Translation project.

The cast will be announced in due course.

David Edgar’s one-person solo show Trying It On also relates the events of 1968 to the turmoil of today and serves as a companion piece. 20 in 1968, Edgar was caught up in the student revolt of the time, which defined his politics and gave focus to his playwriting. Now he confronts and is confronted by his 70-year-old self today. Do they still share the same beliefs? Has the world changed, or has he? Why did his generation – supposedly so radical in its youth – vote Brexit? Has he sold in or sold out?

The text has been developed through interviews conducted by the playwright with activists past and present, and marks David’s professional debut as a performer after 50 years of writing. The production will be directed by Christopher Haydon and produced by China Plate as part of their new partnership with Warwick Arts Centre. It will premiere at the Warwick Arts Centre in June before transferring to the Birmingham Rep and then – following a three-day run at the Studio at The Other Place – to the Royal Court in London in October. On two days at Stratford it will be possible to see Trying it On in the afternoon and Maydays in the evening.

In his 70th birthday year Edgar sees a number of revivals of his work. As well as Maydays and Trying It On, there are revivals of his adaptations of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (UK Tour until 19 May) and his new adaptation of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, which returns to the RST this December.

David Edgar’s plays have been presented by the National Theatre (including The Shape of the Table,Albert Speer and Playing with Fire), the Royal Shakespeare Company (including DestinyNicholas Nickleby, Pentecost, The Prisoner’s DilemmaWritten on the Heart and A Christmas Carol) and The Birmingham Repertory Theatre (including Mary Barnes and Arthur & George).

He is the RSC’s most produced living playwright.

Major Lottery grant awarded to Costume Workshop Campaign

Royal Shakespeare Company

Over 1714 reels of thread, one 1920’s manual treadle machine, 3500 pairs of shoes, 36 mannequins and one 80-year-old anvil are just some of the items that will be temporarily relocated in preparation for the Costume Workshop restoration and redevelopment.

The Royal Shakespeare Company has begun the temporary move of its Costume Workshop ahead of its restoration and redevelopment, which is due to begin this summer.

The move coincides with a £950,000 National Lottery grant towards the conservation of the RSC’s Costume Workshop’s Grade II listed buildings. Awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the grant will also give the public access to the building’s heritage for the first time, with a focus on the craftspeople, designers and actors who have worked there.

Vanessa Harbar, Head of HLF West Midlands, said: “I’m delighted that we can support the RSC to restore the Costume Workshop and open the building to the public. Thanks to National Lottery players, this project will celebrate the theatre’s unique history of costume-making and ensure its talented craftspeople continue to weave their magic for years to come.”

As part of the move, the 30-strong Costume Workshop team will pack and temporarily relocate:

  • Over 1714 reels of thread
  • 7885m of stock fabric
  • 3500 pairs of shoes
  • 862 square feet of stock leather
  • 1131 magnets
  • one pricing gun
  • 126 paintbrushes
  • 5 Sheila’s Maids
  • 115kg salt
  • 97 hat blocks
  • 2 hat stretchers
  • 27 fob watches
  • one Sonic Jewellery Cleaner
  • one swivel knife
  • one power file
  • one anvil pre-1950s
  • 36 Mannequins
  • 45 Sewing machines
  • one manual treadle machine from the 1920’s
  • 7 tailor’s hams
  • 8 velvet boards

Thousands of people from around the world have already donated to the RSC’s Stitch In Time campaign.  There is still £1.3 million left to raise towards the £8.7 million project, which will help the RSC continue to create the stunning costumes for audiences to enjoy.

The RSC, a registered charity, has the largest in-house costume-making department of any British theatre. Alongside its own armoury, the workshop includes many specialist skills and crafts including men’s and ladies’ costume-making, millinery, dyeing and printing. The team create hundreds of costumes each year, which are seen by audiences across the world.

The Costume Workshop is located opposite the Royal Shakespeare Theatre hidden behind the Grade II-listed 1887 former scene dock constructed for the original Shakespeare Memorial Theatre. Costume making on the site dates to this time, with the current workshop being here since the 1950s. The close proximity to the theatre is essential as the workshop also includes facilities for fitting and maintenance of costumes during the life of a show.

The team will continue to produce costumes during the project, relocating to a temporary space across town for the duration of the works, which are due to be completed by spring 2020.

The restoration and redevelopment will:

  • Create the best facilities for costume-making, in a working environment fit for the 21st century including more space, more natural light and improved heating and cooling
  • Care for the heritage Grade II listed buildings, including the 1887 Scene Dock
  • Enable visitors to experience our world-class Costume Workshop for themselves on tours and online
  • Create new training and apprenticeships opportunities to enable costume-making skills to be passed on to future generations and to secure the future of costume-making in Stratford-upon-Avon

RSC Livestreams bring Macbeth to over 200,000 young people

Royal Shakespeare Company

The Royal Shakespeare Company’s (RSC) production of Macbeth is reaching thousands of young people across the country through its free Live Lesson and Schools’ Broadcast, part of RSC Education’s online education programme.

35,000 young people registered to participate in the 45-minute Live Lesson for Macbeth, which took place on Friday 20 April. Students experienced a unique insight into the creative process and interpretive choices that directors and actors make as they prepare to stage a new production.  Actor, Niamh Cussack, who plays Lady Macbeth, explored some of the approaches to her character’s key speeches, working with the production’s Assistant Director, Peter Bradley.

On Thursday (26 April), Macbeth will be screened directly into schools around the country.  Over 260,000 students are registered to see the production, as part of the Company’s Free Schools’ Broadcasts, and they will get the opportunity to ask members of the cast and creative team questions as part of a live Q&A.

Jacqui O’Hanlon, Director of Education said:

“It’s fantastic that thousands of young people have registered to join us from their classrooms to experience our work in the rehearsal room, and to see our production of Macbeth.

“Rehearsals are traditionally a private space for actors and directors where they can experiment and try out different interpretations before performing their work in front of an audience. By offering this special access, schools across the UK get a unique insight into the process of bringing one of Shakespeare’s most studied plays to life.

“We know the impact that Shakespeare’s work and the theatre-making process can have on the life chances, attitudes and aspirations of young people.  Creating free digital opportunities for UK schools to access our productions and rehearsals means that we can reach more young people than ever before, helping them to experience the extraordinary power of Shakespeare’s language in their school and local community.”

The RSC’s next free Schools’ Broadcast is Erica Whyman’s production of Romeo and Juliet  on 21 November as part of the Free Schools’ Broadcast series.  For more information and registration details see www.rsc.org.uk/education/schools-broadcasts/

RSC Schools’ Broadcasts and Live Lessons are generously supported by Virgin Media as part of its commitment to make good things happen through digital.

Full Casting announced for The Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Miss Littlewood

Royal Shakespeare Company
Miss Littlewood

Miss Littlewood

Full casting is announced for Miss Littlewood, a new musical about theatre director, Joan Littlewood.  Previews begin in the Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon on 22 June 2018.

With book, music and lyrics by Sam Kenyon and directed by Deputy Artistic Director, Erica WhymanMiss Littlewood tells the story of Joan Littlewood, the anarchic revolutionary of 20th century theatre.

Born into poverty, Joan Littlewood raged her way to have lasting influence on British culture. Anti-establishment, communist, visionary, rude and glorious, Joan fired the imagination of a generation. Her unique Theatre Workshop was responsible for a raft of successes including Oh, What A Lovely War!, A Taste of Honey and The Hostage, and breathed new life into the then-derelict Theatre Royal Stratford East . This new musical of Joan’s life story, told with her own uncompromising candour, reveals a mighty love story at its heart.

Clare Burt makes her RSC debut to play Joan Littlewood. Her recent theatre credits include: The Divide (Old Vic at Edinburgh International Festival), Big Fish (The Other Palace), Flowers for Mrs Harris (Sheffield Crucible, Chichester Festival Theatre Autumn 2018), London RoadThe Miracle/DNA/Babygirl and Coram Boy (National Theatre), and Sunspots (Hampstead Theatre).  Clare’s film work includes BrokenFailure to ThriveX and YLondon Road and The Levelling. On TV, Clare has recently appeared in Tina and Bobby (ITV), Cuffs (BBC) and Top Boy (Channel 4).

Aretha AyehSandy FosterAmanda HadingueDawn HopeEmily Johnstone and Sophia Nomvete will also play the part of Joan at different stages of her life.

The cast also includes: Daisy Badger (Rosalie), Greg Barnett (Jimmie Miller/Cedric Price), Laura Elsworthy (Shelagh Delaney), Solomon Israel (Gerry Raffles), Natasha Lewis and Tam Williams (Murray Melvin).

Sam Kenyon composed music for the RSC’s Vice Versa (2017), A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation (2016), and The Christmas Truce (2014). He wrote music and lyrics for The Borrowers, which won the UK theatre award for Best Show for Children and Young People in 2013, and in 2010, with Erica Whyman, he co-directed Joan Littlewood’s Oh! What a Lovely War for Northern Stage/national tour. He studied at Cambridge University and The Royal Academy of Music, and has performed in numerous stage productions including John Doyle’s productions of Sweeney Todd (2004), Amadeus (2006) and Merrily We Roll Along (2008).

Sam Kenyon said: “I’d always wondered about the imaginative moment when Fanny Brice became Funny Girl; when Gypsy Rose Lee became Gypsy; when Eva Perónbecame Evita. When I read Joan Littlewood’s autobiography, Joan’s Book, and she wrote that she’d quit RADA aged nineteen and walked – walked! – to Manchester, I knew immediately that I was on to something. And then I found the most searing love letters buried in the centre of the book. I’ve written this in homage to the Stockwell-born ‘illegitimate’ daughter of a teenage mother, who has inspired theatre makers worldwide and yet is barely known by her name.”

Miss Littlewood is directed by Erica Whyman and designed by Tom Piper.  Lighting is by Charles Balfour, sound by Jonathan Ruddick, movement by Lucy Hind, and video by Nina Dunn.

Miss Littlewood is developed in collaboration with Theatre Royal Stratford East.

The Royal Shakespeare Company announces two relaxed performances for Matilda The Musical in 2018

Royal Shakespeare Companys Matilda The Musical.

Following the sold-out success of the previous relaxed performances of Matilda The Musicalthe Royal Shakespeare Company will present its fifth at the Cambridge Theatre at 3pm on Sunday 10 June. The UK and Ireland Tour of the show began performances earlier this month and will host its first relaxed performance at Birmingham Hippodrome at 2pm on Thursday 19 July.

Building on the programme of relaxed performances that the RSC has been running in Stratford-upon-Avon since 2013, the RSC is proud to have been amongst the first to adopt and promote the concept. The National Autistic Society and Mousetrap Theatre Projects will again work closely with the RSC, offering full access to the theatre for people with autism and learning disabilities and their families.

The performance provides a relaxed environment for everyone, with elements of the production adapted to reduce anxiety or stress, and with lighting and sound levels adjusted to soften their impact. Audience etiquette throughout the whole theatre is also relaxed with all audience members given the freedom to make noise and/or move about the auditorium according to their needs without restriction. Designated ‘chill-out’ areas are provided outside the auditorium with soft seating and activities available for people to use if they want to take a break.  All theatre staff, crew and company members also receive specialist training in advance to anticipate a wider range of different audience needs.

In London, the Royal Shakespeare Company is offering tickets at a reduced rate which can be booked through the RSC Ticket Hotline or in person at the Cambridge Theatre box office. Tickets for the Birmingham Hippodrome relaxed performance can be made through the box office ticket sales line.

Specially trained staff will be able to help bookers by speaking to them directly and ensuring that all their specific needs and requirements are taken into consideration when assigning their seat allocation.

All bookers will be sent a visual story to help them familiarise themselves with the plot, characters and the setting before they arrive at the theatre. Detailed event and transport information will also be available from www.matildathemusical.com.

Matilda The Musical is written by Dennis Kelly, with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, and direction by Matthew Warchus. The production is designed by Rob Howell, with choreography by Peter Darling, orchestrations, additional music and musical supervision by Christopher Nightingale, lighting by Hugh Vanstone, sound by Simon Baker and the special effects and illusions are by Paul Kieve.

Matilda The Musical has now been seen by more than 7.7 million people worldwide, having played in over 60 cities with more than 5500 performances in the West End, on Broadway, across North America and in Australia and New Zealand.

Matilda The Musical swept the board at the 2012 Olivier Awards, with a record-breaking seven awards, and won four Tony Awards and a Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theater for the four girls sharing the title role on Broadway. The North America production toured to 52 cities.

The Australian and New Zealand production won a Sydney Theatre Award for Best Musical in 2015, and played sold-out seasons in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Auckland. The show broke further records in July 2016 by winning all 13 Helpmann Awards for which it was nominated.Matilda The Musical will have its first non-English language production at the LG Arts Centre in Seoul, South Korea from September 2018 until February 2019.

Matilda The Musical is produced in the West End by the Royal Shakespeare Company with André Ptaszynski and Denise Wood as Executive Producers. The production was developed with the support of Company Dramaturg Jeanie O’Hare and the RSC Literary Department.

WEST END LISTING

MATILDA THE MUSICAL
Cambridge Theatre, Earlham Street, WC2H 9HU

Relaxed performance – 3pm on Sunday 10 June
Booking until 10 February 2019
Tuesdays 7pm
Wednesday – Saturday 7:30pm
Wednesday & Saturday 2:30pm
Sundays 3pm

Box Office: Cambridge Theatre 020 7087 7745 / RSC Ticket Hotline 01789 403493
No booking fee.

www.matildathemusical.com

BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME LISTING

MATILDA THE MUSICAL
The Birmingham Hippodrome
Hurst Street, Southside, Birmingham B5 4TB

Relaxed performance – 2pm on Thursday 19 July
Tuesday 3 July – Saturday 8 September 2018
Box Office: 0844 338 5000
Calls cost 4.5p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.

www.birminghamhippodrome.com

UK & IRELAND TOUR LISTINGS

Dublin Bord Gáis Energy Theatre
Wednesday 4 – Saturday 28 April 2018
Box Office: +353 (1) 677 7999
www.bordgaisenergytheatre.ie

Sunderland Empire Theatre
Tuesday 8 May – Saturday 2 June 2018
Box Office: 0844 871 3022*
www.atgtickets.com/venues/sunderland-empire

Milton Keynes Theatre
Tuesday 5 – Saturday 30 June 2018
Box Office: 0844 871 7652*
www.atgtickets.com/venues/milton-keynes-theatre

The Birmingham Hippodrome
Tuesday 3 July – Saturday 8 September 2018
Box Office: 0844 338 5000**
www.birminghamhippodrome.com

Manchester Palace Theatre
Tuesday 18 September – Saturday 24 November 2018
Box Office: 0844 871 3019*
www.atgtickets.com/venues/palace-theatre-manchester

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff / Canolfan Mileniwm Cymru
Tuesday 4 December 2018 – Saturday 12 January 2019
Box Office: 029 2063 6464
www.wmc.org.uk

Theatre Royal Plymouth
Tuesday 15 January – Saturday 16 February 2019
Box Office: 01752 267 222
www.theatreroyal.com

The Alhambra Theatre, Bradford
Tuesday 19 February – Saturday 23 March 2019B
ox Office: 01274 432 000
www.bradford-theatres.co.uk

Edinburgh Playhouse
Tuesday 2 – Saturday 27 April 2019
Box Office: 0844 871 3014*
www.atgtickets.com/venues/edinburgh-playhouse/

The Bristol Hippodrome
Tuesday 7 May – Saturday 8 June 2019
Box Office: 0844 871 3012*
www.atgtickets.com/bristol-hippodrome

Mayflower Theatre, Southampton
Tuesday 11 June – Saturday 6 July 2019
Box Office: 02380 711 811
www.mayflower.org.uk

Norwich Theatre Royal
Tuesday 16 July – Saturday 17 August 2019
Box Office: 01603 630 000
www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk

* Calls cost 7p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge.
** Calls cost 4.5p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.

www.matildathemusical.com
Twitter: @MatildaMusical
Facebook: @MatildaTheMusical
Instagram: @MatildaTheMusical

The Royal Shakespeare Company announces six new dates for the Uk & Ireland Tour of Matilda The Musical

Royal Shakespeare Companys Matilda The Musical.
Royal Shakespeare Companys Matilda The Musical.

Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda The Musical. Credit Manuel Harlan

The Royal Shakespeare Company has announced that the UK and Ireland Tour of Matilda The Musical will extend into 2019, touring to six more cities and accompanied by a specially devised education programme, Change My Story, for schools.

Winner of over 85 international awards, including 16 for Best Musical, the Matilda The Musical tour will celebrate its official opening night at Leicester Curve this Thursday (15 March), where it will play until 24 March. The West End production will continue to play at the Cambridge Theatre, where it is now in its seventh year and is booking until 10 February 2019.

In 2019 Matilda The Musical will play Theatre Royal Plymouth (15 January – 16 February 2019), the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford (19 February – 23 March 2019), Edinburgh Playhouse (2 – 27 April 2019), The Bristol Hippodrome (7 May – 8 June 2019), Mayflower Theatre, Southampton (11 June – 6 July 2019) and Norwich Theatre Royal (16 July – 17 August 2019).

Tickets for Plymouth, Bradford, Edinburgh, Bristol and Norwich will go on general sale on 23 March following a priority booking period between 19 and 22 March. Tickets for Southampton dates will go on sale on 10 April following a priority booking period between 3 and 9 April.

The 2018 tour dates are Leicester Curve (5 – 24 March 2018), Dublin Bord Gáis Energy Theatre (4 – 28 April 2018),Sunderland Empire (8 May – 2 June 2018), Milton Keynes Theatre (5 – 30 June 2018), Birmingham Hippodrome(3 July – 8 September 2018), Manchester Palace (18 September – 24 November 2018) and Cardiff Wales MillenniumCentre (4 December – 12 January 2019).

Matilda The Musical is written by Dennis Kelly, with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, and direction by Matthew Warchus. The production is designed by Rob Howell, with choreography by Peter Darling, orchestrations, additional music and musical supervision by Christopher Nightingale, lighting by Hugh Vanstone, sound by Simon Baker and the special effects and illusions are by Paul Kieve.

As previously announced, for the first five venues of the tour Craige Els will reprise the role of Miss Trunchbull, having played her in the West End for three years between 2014 and 2017. He will be joined by Carly Thoms as Miss Honey andSebastien Torkia as Mr Wormwood as well as former West End cast-mate Rebecca Thornhill as Mrs Wormwood. The title role of Matilda will be shared by Annalise Bradbury, Lara Cohen, Poppy Jones and Nicola Turner for this period. Casting for the tour’s later dates, including venues in 2019, will be announced in due course.

In the UK and Ireland, the production will be accompanied by Change My Story, a new RSC education programme inspired by Matilda The Musical and devised in collaboration with each touring theatre partner to help build long term partnerships between school communities and theatres.

The programme includes:

  • Up to 50 Matilda The Musical Champion Schools – a two year initiative with local state schools and partner theatres in the tour locations.  Selected schools will work with RSC artists in residence to stage and perform a special 45 minute edit of Matilda The Musical as their school play. In the second year they will collaborate with 5 other local schools and lead on new creative projects
  • Professional  Development courses for teachers to use Matilda The Musical as a springboard for creative writing
  • Mrs Phelps’ Library Workshops for primary schools, led by RSC and local theatre artists, exploring different storytelling techniques
  • Further details can be found at http://uk.matildathemusical.com/tour/schools/matilda-school-resources/.

Inspired by the incomparable Roald Dahl’s beloved book, Matilda The Musical was commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company and premiered at the RSC’s Stratford-upon-Avon home in November 2010, before transferring to London’s West End in October 2011, where it opened to rave reviews. The New York production of Matilda The Musical opened in April 2013at Broadway’s Shubert Theatre and was celebrated on 10 “Top Ten” lists for 2013, including TIME Magazine’s #1 Show of the Year.

Matilda The Musical has now been seen by more than 7.7 million people worldwide, having played in over 60 cities with more than 5500 performances in the West End, on Broadway, across North America and in Australia and New Zealand.

Matilda The Musical swept the board at the 2012 Olivier Awards, with a record-breaking seven awards, and won four Tony Awards and a Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theater for the four girls sharing the title role on Broadway. The North America production toured 52 cities.

The Australian and New Zealand production won a Sydney Theatre Award for Best Musical in 2015, and played sold-out seasons in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Auckland. The show broke further records in July 2016 by winning all 13 Helpmann Awards for which it was nominated. Matilda The Musical will have its first non-English language production at the LG Arts Centre in Seoul, South Korea from September 2018 until February 2019.

Matilda The Musical is produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company with André Ptaszynski and Denise Wood as Executive Producers. The production was developed with the support of Jeanie O’Hare and the RSC Literary Department.

2018 LISTINGS

Leicester Curve
Monday 5 – Saturday 24 March 2018
Box Office: 0116 242 3595
www.curveonline.co.uk

Dublin Bord Gáis Energy Theatre
Wednesday 4 – Saturday 28 April 2018
Box Office: +353 (1) 677 7999
www.bordgaisenergytheatre.ie

Sunderland Empire Theatre
Tuesday 8 May – Saturday 2 June 2018
Box Office: 0844 871 3022*
www.atgtickets.com/venues/sunderland-empire

Milton Keynes Theatre
Tuesday 5 – Saturday 30 June 2018
Box Office: 0844 871 7652*
www.atgtickets.com/venues/milton-keynes-theatre

The Birmingham Hippodrome
Tuesday 3 July – Saturday 8 September 2018
Box Office: 0844 338 5000**
www.birminghamhippodrome.com

Manchester Palace Theatre
Tuesday 18 September – Saturday 24 November 2018
Box Office: 0844 871 3019*
www.atgtickets.com/venues/palace-theatre-manchester

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff / Canolfan Mileniwm Cymru
Tuesday 4 December 2018 – Saturday 12 January 2019
Box Office: 029 2063 6464
www.wmc.org.uk

* Calls cost 7p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge.
** Calls cost 4.5p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.

2019 LISTINGS

Theatre Royal Plymouth
Tuesday 15 January – Saturday 16 February 2019
Box Office: 01752 267 222
www.theatreroyal.com

The Alhambra Theatre, Bradford
Tuesday 19 February – Saturday 23 March 2019
Box Office: 01274 432 000
www.bradford-theatres.co.uk

Edinburgh Playhouse
Tuesday 2 – Saturday 27 April 2019
Box Office: 0844 871 3014*
www.atgtickets.com/venues/edinburgh-playhouse/

The Bristol Hippodrome
Tuesday 7 May – Saturday 8 June 2019
Box Office: 0844 871 3012*
www.atgtickets.com/bristol-hippodrome

Mayflower Theatre, Southampton
Tuesday 11 June – Saturday 6 July 2019
Box Office: 02380 711 811
www.mayflower.org.uk

Norwich Theatre Royal
Tuesday 16 July – Saturday 17 August 2019
Box Office: 01603 630 000
www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk

* Calls cost 7p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge.

www.matildathemusical.com
Twitter: @MatildaMusical
Facebook: @MatildaTheMusical
Instagram: @MatildaTheMusical
#matildaontour

WEST END LISTING

MATILDA THE MUSICAL
Cambridge Theatre, Earlham Street, WC2H 9HU
Booking until 10 February 2019
Tuesdays 7pm
Wednesday – Saturday 7:30pm
Wednesday & Saturday 2:30pm
Sundays 3pm

Box Office: Cambridge Theatre 020 7087 7745 / RSC Ticket Hotline 01789 403493
No booking fee.