The Old Vic is delighted to today announce a new Company in Residence: Emma Rice’s Wise Children. The Old Vic will be the London home for Emma Rice’s Wise Children as Company in Residence. Its first production, also titled Wise Children, will be a new adaptation of Angela Carter’s novel of the same name and will open Matthew Warchus’ fourth Season (2018/2019) as Artistic Director of The Old Vic, with a second production to follow. Exact dates are still to be confirmed.
Created and led by Emma Rice, outgoing artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe, Wise Children will become an Arts Council, National Portfolio Organisation for 2018-22, they will be based in the South West and have national significance. The Old Vic, London’s independent, not-for-profit theatre, celebrates its bicentenary in 2018. The theatre was the birthplace of Sadler’s Wells, English National Opera, the Royal Ballet and the National Theatre and will now be the first home to the Wise Children.
Wise Children will conceive, create and present world-class, innovative ensemble theatre; a culmination of the process and ethos Emma has developed over her theatrical career. Her bold, imaginative productions and gift for celebratory storytelling have made her one of the most important and acclaimed directors working today. Wise Children will work in partnership with venues to create ensemble work to tour nationally and internationally. Through a series of residencies, the company will develop and diversify audiences. The company will create a training and apprenticeship scheme, ‘Emma Rice’s School for Wise Children’. The scheme aims to develop skills across the sector, training independent artists and diversifying the creative workforce.
Matthew Warchus says: “In 2018 The Old Vic celebrates 200 years of independent, creatively adventurous theatre. I am thrilled to welcome Emma and her new company, Wise Children, as our Company in Residence for the bicentenary. Emma and all she stands for is symbolic of the optimism and irrepressible spirit that has kept The Old Vic at the forefront of artistic adventure for the last two centuries.”
Emma Rice says:
“I named my new company Wise Children after Angela Carter’s seminal novel, which is set in south London and is a love letter to theatre. It makes total narrative and thrilling sense to start the Wise Children journey at The Old Vic! This iconic, independent and proudly innovative theatre has hosted Shakespeare and variety, music and dance alike for almost 200 years, and it is the perfect first home for my company and for our first production. It will come as no surprise that this first production will be an adaptation of the novel, Wise Children – “What a joy it is to dance and sing!”. I am following in extraordinary footsteps and grateful to Matthew Warchus and his team for welcoming Wise Children with such brave and open arms.”
Emma Rice is the Artistic Director for Shakespeare’s Globe, stepping down from the position in April 2018. At the Globe, she most recently directed Twelfth Night and Tristan & Yseult, last year’s productions include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips and The Little Matchgirl (and Other Happier Tales). For the last 20 years, she has worked for Kneehigh as an actor, director and Artistic Director. Her productions for Kneehigh include: 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, The Red Shoes, The Wooden Frock, The Bacchae, Tristan & Yseult, Cymbeline (in association with RSC), A Matter of Life and Death (in association with National Theatre), Rapunzel (in association with Battersea Arts Centre), Brief Encounter (in association with David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers Productions), Don John (in association with the RSC and Bristol Old Vic), Midnight’s Pumpkin, The Wild Bride, Wah! Wah! Girls (in association with Sadler’s Wells and Theatre Royal Stratford East for World Stages) and Steptoe and Son. Other work includes: the West End production of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Oedipussy (Spymonkey); The Empress (RSC); and An Audience with Meow Meow (Berkeley Repertory Theatre).