contact us        site map

On stage Buy online About the RSC Visiting Us News and Events Learning Shakespeare
Members' booking for London
 Archived releases

RSC announces six new productions for Stratford and London winter seasons 2000/2001





London ~ 19 October - 18 November 2000

Stratford-upon-Avon ~ 13 November 2000 - 3 March 2001

Newcastle ~ 30 October - 25 November 2000

Six new productions will form the core of the Royal Shakespeare Company's Winter seasons in London and Stratford-upon-Avon for 2000/1. The Duchess of Malfi, directed by Gale Edwards, and The Tempest, directed by James Macdonald, open the Company's 40th London Season. Both these productions form part of the RSC's extensive touring work, and will visit UK towns and cities, including transfers to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and The Other Place in Stratford-upon-Avon.

The complete Stratford Winter Season also includes a major musical staging of Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic novel, The Secret Garden, which RSC Artistic Director Adrian Noble will direct in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Building on the success of the RSC's The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, this production reunites the creative team of Adrian Noble and designer Anthony Ward. Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Marsha Norman and Grammy Award winning and Tony Award nominated composer Lucy Simon collaborate with the RSC to create a new version of their Broadway musical.

RSC Associate Director Michael Boyd directs an ensemble of thirty actors in the three parts of Henry VI, continuing as the next productions in This England - The Histories, the landmark series of Shakespeare's History plays that began earlier this year with Richard II. Staged in a recreated Swan Theatre, designed by Tom Piper, each part of Henry VI will be played in its complete form, yet will unite to create an entire experience on several marathon days of all three performances. Richard III, which will conclude the eight History plays that make up This England - The Histories, will join the series in London. This England in its entirety will be staged in chronological order as part of the RSC's London season for 2001.

The autumn will see eight productions from the current Stratford Summer Festival Season 2000 forming the RSC's Newcastle Season with the Company performing in three venues in the North East.


In London, the Royal Shakespeare Company returns to the Barbican with two new productions launching the season from October 2000. Webster's sexually charged tragedy The Duchess of Malfi and Shakespeare's The Tempest premiere in the Barbican and Pit respectively, before embarking on extensive tour dates and performances in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Full details of productions from the current Stratford Season 2000 transferring to London will be announced at a later date.

The Barbican Theatre


by John Webster
directed by Gale Edwards

This production is supported by RSC Media Partner, Classic FM.

In the decadent and deceptive Court of Malfi, the widowed Duchess dares to oppose her brothers and marry against their will with tragic consequences. Webster's dark tale of violence and betrayal was the opening RSC production at the Aldwych Theatre in 1960 and marks the opening of the Company's 40th season in the capital.

Gale Edwards returns to direct her second production of Webster for the company. Her previous RSC work includes her much acclaimed productions of Schiller's Don Carlos (TOP/Pit 1999/2000) and Webster's The White Devil (Swan/Pit 1996/97). Her sell-out production of Jesus Christ Superstar enjoyed a recent West End run and Whistle Down The Wind is currently playing at the Aldwych Theatre

The cast is headed by the Irish actress Aisling O'Sullivan, making her RSC debut in the title role as The Duchess. Her extensive work in theatre includes RSC Associate Director Michael Boyd's production of Miss Julie (Theatre Royal Haymarket), The Maids (Young Vic), Vassa (Albery Theatre), Mutibility and The Cripple of Innishman (both at the RNT). Television and film work includes The Wyvern Mystery (ITV), The Butcher Boy and Michael Collins.

Cast also includes: Richard Armitage (Delio), Ken Bones (The Cardinal), Simon Chase (Servant), Neil Dudgeon (Bosola), Richard Lintern (Antonio), Hannah Lockerman (Lady in Waiting), Caroline Loncq (Julia), Bill Nash (Silvio), Daniel Singer (Servant), Colin Tierney (Ferdinand) and Ross Waiton (Servant).

The production is designed by Peter J. Davison with costumes by Sue Willmington. Music is by Paddy Cunneen.

This production will tour before transferring to Stratford.

Performances in the Barbican Theatre: 21 October - 18 November 2000
Press Night: Tuesday 31 October at 7.00pm

Performances in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre: 6 February - 3 March 2001

The Pit Theatre


by William Shakespeare
directed by James Macdonald

Mystical, spiritual and often comic, The Tempest is generally thought to be Shakespeare's final play and his most personal meditation on his own art. This will be the first ever RSC production of the play in The Pit Theatre.

James Macdonald returns to the RSC to direct. His debut production for the company was the controversial play Roberto Zucco (TOP/Pit 1997/8). He is also Associate Director of The Royal Court Theatre, where his recent work includes The Changing Room, Simpatico, Hard Fruit, Sarah Kane's plays Blasted and Cleansed, and most recently 4.48 Psychosis.

The cast includes Zubin Varla as Caliban. Zubin played the title role in James Macdonald's Roberto Zucco. His other RSC work includes Faust (Swan/Pit 1996), Romeo and Juliet (RST/Barbican 1996), The Phoenician Women (TOP/Pit 1996) and Bartholomew Fair (Swan/Y.Vic 1997).

This production tours to Budapest before transferring to Stratford. In 2001 it embarks on an extensive UK tour.

Costume design for The Tempest is by Kandis Cook.

Performances in The Pit: 19 October - 18 November 2000
Press Night: tbc

Performances in The Other Place: 30 November 2000 - 6 January 2001

Royal Shakespeare Theatre


A musical based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Book and lyrics by Marsha Norman
Music by Lucy Simon
Directed by Adrian Noble

RSC Artistic Director Adrian Noble directs a major musical staging of Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic novel The Secret Garden, as the RSC's family production for its Winter Season 2000/2001 in Stratford-upon-Avon. The Company will collaborate with Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Marsha Norman and Grammy Award winning and Tony Award nominated composer Lucy Simon for a new version of their Broadway musical.

The Secret Garden will be the first family production that the RSC will have staged in Stratford since the enormous success of Adrian Noble's production of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe in 1998. The production also reunites the director/designer pair behind Lion, with designer Anthony Ward working with Adrian Noble once more.

Author of another classic novel, Little Lord Fauntleroy, Frances Hodgson Burnett wrote The Secret Garden in 1911. A favourite amongst adults and children alike, The Secret Garden tells the poignant and ultimately uplifting story of Archibald Craven and his young orphan niece Mary Lennox, sent to live with her uncle and his crippled son in their manor house in the Yorkshire Moors. Unlocking a secret walled garden, Mary discovers a magical world that changes their lives forever.

Olivier Award winner Philip Quast plays Archibald Craven. Philip has worked extensively in musical and classical theatre, winning two Best Actor in a Musical Olivier Awards for his performances in Sunday in the Park with George (RNT 1990) and The Fix (Donmar 1997). His RSC credits include A Christmas Carol (1994), The White Devil (Swan/Pit 1997), Macbeth (RST/Barbican 1997) and Troilus and Cressida (RST/Barbican 1997). In 1997 he played the role of Dr Neville Craven in the Australian staging of The Secret Garden, winning a Sydney Critics Award.

Playwright Marsha Norman adapts Hodgson Burnett's novel for the stage; her original Broadway adaptation won a TONY Award. Awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her 1983 play Night Mother, Marsha's many other theatre credits include Third and Oak, The Laundromat and Traveller in the Dark. She currently serves on the faculty of the Juilliard School, New York.

Composer Lucy Simon received Tony Award and Drama Desk nominations for her original Broadway score of The Secret Garden. In addition to musical theatre work, Lucy won two Grammy Awards for her In Harmony albums, and has recorded two solo albums for RCA.

The cast also includes: Meredith Braun (Lily), Linzi Hateley (Martha) and Craig Purnell (Dickon).

Lighting for The Secret Garden is by Chris Parry. Choreography is by Gillian Lynne. Orchestrations by William David Brohn; musical supervision by Chris Walker and sound by Andrew Bruce and Terry Jardine.

Performances: 13 November 2000 - 27 January 2001
Press Night: Tuesday 28 November 2000 at 7pm


by John Webster
directed by Gale Edwards

This production is supported by RSC Media Partner, Classic FM.

This production transfers to Stratford following a major national tour, and run at the Barbican Theatre. See London section for full details.

Stratford Performances from 6 February 2001 - 3 March 2001
Regional Press Night:
Wednesday 7 February 2001 at 7.30pm

Swan Theatre

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Michael Boyd

RSC Associate Director Michael Boyd directs an ensemble of 30 actors in all three full-text parts of Shakespeare's rarely performed plays of Henry VI. These productions continue as part of This England - The Histories, the RSC's staging of Shakespeare's eight History plays, spanning nearly 100 years of England's history from the reign of Richard II through to Richard III's defeat at the battle of Bosworth Field.

Henry VI reunites the director/designer team of Michael Boyd and Tom Piper, whose recent work for the RSC includes the current production of Romeo and Juliet (RST 2000), the highly acclaimed A Midsummer Night's Dream (RST/Barbican 1999) and Troilus and Cressida (Pit/Swan/tour 1998). Rarely seen in their entirety in a single series, the three parts of Henry VI will be staged in a radically redesigned Swan Theatre auditorium, with audience seating surrounding all sides of a central playing arena and four protruding walkways. This is the first time that the Swan auditorium has been reinterpreted since it was created in 1986.

RSC actor David Oyelowo will play the title role. David has just completed his first season with the Company to great acclaim, with roles in Volpone (Swan/Pit 1999), Oroonoko (TOP/Pit 1999) and Antony and Cleopatra (RST/Barbican 1999). He is currently working on a new film, Dog Eat Dog, for release next year.

Henry VI Part 1

The War Against France
After the premature coronation of the baby Henry VI, France, led by Joan of Arc exploits the fierce power-squabbles in England, and battles to reclaim the French lands lost to Henry V.

Henry VI Part 2

England's Fall
Jack Cade leads an anarchic uprising against Henry VI who has been made powerless by the warring factions of his new wife, Margaret of Anjou, and the House of York. Meanwhile England descends deeper into anarchy and bloody civil strife.

Henry VI Part 3

The Chaos
Henry VI concedes that the House of York shall inherit the crown after his death, angering his wife Margaret who fights for the House of Lancaster. The House of York prevails and Edward IV is crowned, unaware that his brother Richard, Duke of Gloucester, is already plotting his downfall.

Cast also includes: Nicholas Asbury, David Beames, Tom Beard, Fiona Bell, Philip Brook, Edward Clayton, Richard Cordery, Sarah D'Arcy, Richard Dillane, Christopher Ettridge, Geff Francis, John Kane, Andrew Lewis, Neil Madden, Gavin Marshall, Aidan McArdle, Aislín McGuckin, Deirdra Morris, Jake Nightingale, Elaine Pyke, Rhashan Stone, Geoffrey Streatfeild, Sam Troughton, James Tucker and Clive Wood.
Performances: 23 November 2000 - 10 February 2001
Press Performances: Wednesday 13 December at 10.30am, 3pm and 7.30pm

The Other Place


by William Shakespeare
directed by James Macdonald

Mystical, spiritual and often comic, The Tempest is generally thought to be Shakespeare's final play and his most personal meditation on his own art. This production transfers to Stratford directly from London before commencing an extensive UK tour.

For full details please see the London section.

Stratford Performances: 30 November 2000 - 6 January 2001
Regional Press Night: Tuesday 5 December at 7.30pm


Back to top  
On stage  Buy online  About  Visiting us  News and Events  Beyond the stage  Shakespeare  Membership  Support  Press  Home