Via Kate for The RSC
RSC Announces 2019 Winter Season
RSC Artistic Director, Gregory Doran, has today announced the Royal Shakespeare Company’s (RSC) Winter 2019 season which includes the world stage premiere of a new musical adaptation of The Boy in the Dress, based on the best-selling novel by David Walliams with songs by Robbie Williams and Guy Chambers. The new musical, directed by Gregory Doran, plays for eighteen weeks in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre from November 2019 to March 2020.
Gregory Doran, RSC Artistic Director
Our Winter season ensures Shakespeare’s spirit is alive in the most exciting writers of today and demonstrates, as a company, we are investing in those new voices in order to better understand and reflect upon the world we live in.”
The Boy in The Dress (Friday 8th November to Sunday 8th March 2020)
A new musical. From the novel by David Walliams. Book by Mark Ravenhill. Music & Lyrics by Robbie Williams & Guy Chambers. Directed by Gregory Doran.
I think I might be different. I might not be the same”The Boy in the Dress
Dennis is twelve years old and his school football team’s star striker. But when Mum leaves home, life is tough. The only reminder Dennis has of Mum is a photo of her in a beautiful yellow dress. A dress rather like the one on the cover of Vogue on sale at Raj’s newsagents. And also a bit like the one that Lisa James, the coolest girl in the school, is sketching in her note book. What do you do if you like both football and dresses? And what will Mr Hawtrey the headteacher do when he discovers that his strict uniform code has been broken by a boy in a dress?
David Walliams’ heart-warming comedy is brought to the stage for the first time in a musical with all new songs from Robbie Williams and Guy Chambers, book by former RSC playwright in residence Mark Ravenhill and in a production for all the family directed by RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran, who will also direct Measure for Measure in Summer 2019.
David Walliams said:
I’m delighted to be working with the Royal Shakespeare Company to bring this, my first children’s novel, to the stage. It’s now 10 years since The Boy in the Dress was first published and we’ve come a long way in that time.
Ultimately, I wanted to write a story that encouraged people to recognise that difference can be celebrated, that it’s ok to be yourself.
I’ve always loved musicals and, somehow, I’d always imagined this book to be made into a musical so to be working with the RSC, Mark Ravenhill and song-writing partners Robbie Williams and Guy Chambers on this new production feels like a dream collaboration.”
Mark Ravenhill said:
I first came across The Boy in the Dress when I was Playwright in Residence at the Royal Shakespeare Company back in 2012. I remember thinking that it was such a gripping, entertaining and life-affirming story with all the ingredients of a great stage show. The Royal Shakespeare Company has a fantastic track record of producing family shows so when David suggested making his novel into a musical, I thought, let’s go for it! Creating and commissioning new work is very much at the heart of the RSC’s mission, and a musical collaboration of this kind is the perfect celebration of all of that energy, talent and generosity coming together to create, what will hopefully be a really fantastic theatre experience for audiences of all ages.”
Robbie Williams and Guy Chambers added;
We’re beyond excited to be working with the RSC on our first musical theatre collaboration. We are both big fans of David’s books, so when he approached us about writing the soundtrack to a new musical version of The Boy in the Dress for the RSC, we were genuinely delighted. There’s a real freshness, cheekiness and heart to David’s writing which we’ve worked really hard to capture in the music. It’s been a really exciting and rewarding journey and we can’t wait to share the show with audiences when it premieres in Stratford-upon-Avon this winter”.
The Boy in the Dress is at The RSC from November 2018 in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Look out for tickets on sale to the public from 18th March at The RSC website at: rsc.org.uk/whats-on
King John (19th September to 21st March 2020)
By William Shakespeare, directed by Eleanor Rhode
Mad world! mad kings! mad composition!”King John
Richard the Lionheart is dead. His brother John is King of England. Threatened from all sides by Europe, the English noblemen and even his own family, King John will stop at nothing to keep hold of his crown.
Shakespeare’s rarely performed tale of a nation in turmoil vibrates with modern resonance in this vivid new production by director Eleanor Rhode in her debut at the RSC.
Gregory Doran said:
Continuing our commitment to producing theatre that is relevant to everyone, this season brings together perhaps Shakespeare’s most contemporary of history plays and three new works, each of which – in their own way – channel Shakespeare’s spirit through beautifully crafted storytelling, richness of character and looking in the eye the biggest questions of our time.
We are now two thirds of the way through our project to stage every Shakespeare play in the First Folio. For our 25th Shakespeare production in the canon, we welcome emerging talent Eleanor Rhode in her RSC debut directing King John in the Swan Theatre. When I directed this fascinating play in 2001, it was only the fourth time the play had been produced by the RSC in its entire history. Since then, it has been explored much more frequently which surely attests to a growing interest in how the play speaks to our world today.”
King John is at The RSC in The Swan Theatre from 19th September. Tickets are on general release sale from 18th March: rsc.org.uk/whats-on
A Museum in Baghdad (11th October to 25th January 2020)
By Hannah Khalil, directed by Erica Whyman
A story of treasured history, desperate choices and the remarkable Gertrude Bell.
In 1926, the nation of Iraq is in its infancy, and British archaeologist Gertrude Bell is founding a museum in Baghdad. In 2006, Ghalia Hussein is attempting to reopen the museum despite the looting during the war.
Collapsing the decades that separate them, these two women seek the same prize: to create a fresh sense of unity and nationhood, to make the world anew through the museum and its treasures. But in such unstable times, questions remain. Who is the museum for? What rights do we have to try and shape someone else’s history? And why does that matter when people are dying? Deputy Artistic Director Erica Whyman (Romeo and Juliet and Miss Littlewood, 2018) directs this imaginative new play.
A Museum in Baghdad was co-commissioned by the RSC and the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh. Book tickets from 18th March at rsc.org.uk/whats-on
The Whip (1st February 2020 to 21st March 2020)
By Juliet Gilkes Romero, directed by Kimberley Sykes
As the 19th Century dawns in London, politicians of all parties come together to abolish the slave trade once and for all. But the price of freedom turns out to be a multi-billion pound bailout for slave owners rather than those enslaved.
As morality and cunning compete amongst men thirsty for power, two women navigate their way to the true seat of political influence, challenging members of parliament who dare deny them their say.
In this provocative new play, directed by Kimberley Sykes (Dido, Queen of Carthage, 2017; As You Like It, 2019) the personal collides with the political to ask what is the right thing to do and how much must it cost?
The work of Juliet Gilkes Romero was supported through The RSC’s collaboration with the University of Birmingham.
Tickets for The Whip are on general release sale from 18th March: rsc.org.uk/whats-on
First Encounters with Shakespeare: The Merchant of Venice (30th September to 5th October)
Directed and Edited by Robin Belfield
The RSC’s First Encounters with Shakespeare production of The Merchant of Venice continues the company’s commitment to creating live theatre for young people right in the heart of local communities.
The production, directed and edited by Robin Belfield, will visit the Swan Theatre from Monday 30th September to Saturday 5th October, before touring to schools, regional theatres and local communities with full details to be announced shortly.
This isn’t a sponsored post. Look out for #BrumHour’s reviews of these productions during the season.