Royal Shakespeare Company returns to the Barbican from October 2019 to January 2020

Joseph Arkley and Claire Price in The Taming of the Shrew. Photo by Ikin Yum © RSC

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) has announced that it will return to the Barbican from 26 October 2019 to 18 January 2020, presenting three productions from its Summer 2019 Stratford season and featuring a company of 27 actors.

The Barbican season will include: As You Like It, directed by Kimberley Sykes and starring Lucy Phelps (Rosalind) and David Ajao (Orlando), from 26 October 2019 to 18 January 2020The Taming of the Shrew, directed by Justin Audibert and starring Claire Price (Petruchia) and Joseph Arkley (Katherine), from 5 November 2019 to 18 January 2020; and Measure for Measure, directed by Gregory Doran and starring Sandy Grierson (Angelo), Antony Byrne (The Duke) and Lucy Phelps (Isabella), from 12 November 2019 to 16 January 2020.

The three productions will also be going on tour to Salford in 2019, before visiting Canterbury, Plymouth, Nottingham, Newcastle upon Tyne and Blackpool in 2020.

Gregory Doran, RSC Artistic Director, said about the season:

“This season we have worked particularly hard to assemble a company which reflects the nation in ways it has never done before. We have introduced a 50/50 gender balanced ensemble across the entire season for the very first time and brought together talent from all corners of the United Kingdom, reflecting both the ethnic, geographical and cultural diversity of Britain today and those artists that are underrepresented on our stages. We want to create a season of work which places contemporary audiences at its heart, which speaks directly to the present moment. I’ve always been struck by Shakespeare’s use of the word ‘now’. It’s his favourite word. He starts plays with it (“Now is the winter of our discontent”), introduces choruses with it (‘Now entertain conjecture of a time”). “Now, now, very now”! It takes you right into the moment. The stories he tells may have been written down hundreds of years ago but they’re happening now, to all of us. I hope this season will express the Now, now, very now-ness of Shakespeare’s plays.”

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