NEWS: Mark Ravenhill, Robbie Williams & Guy Chambers will pen new musical version of David Walliams’ The Boy in the Dress in RSC winter season

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Artistic director Gregory Doran has announced the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Winter 2019 season. 

Highlights include:

  • The Boy in the Dress – a new musical. From the novel by David Walliams. Book by Mark Ravenhill. Music and lyrics by Robbie Williams and Guy Chambers. Directed by Gregory Doran
  • King John by William Shakespeare, directed by Eleanor Rhode
  • A Museum in Baghdad by Hannah Khalil, directed by Erica Whyman
  • The Whip by Juliet Gilkes Romero, directed by Kimberley Sykes
  • First Encounters With Shakespeare: The Merchant of Venice tours schools and theatres nationwide and plays in the Swan Theatre, directed and edited by Robin Belfield
  • Live At The RSC – Stand-up Comedy: A fortnight of stand-up comedy announced in association with Underbelly

RSC artistic director Gregory Doran said: “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.”

In the Royal Shakespeare Theatre

The world stage premiere of a new musical adaptation of The Boy in the Dress is 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 18 weeks from from November 2019 to March 2020.

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 okay 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!”

In the Swan Theatre

Deputy artistic director Erica Whyman will curate a new season of work in the Swan Theatre including King John, directed by Eleanor Rhode; A Museum in Baghdad by Hannah Khalil, directed by Whyman in a co-commission with Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum Theatre; and The Whip by Juliet Gilkes Romero which will be directed by Kimberley Sykes.

Deputy artistic director Erica Whyman said: Like Shakespeare’s King John, A Museum in Baghdad and The Whip are plays which aren’t afraid to confront big issues and ideas. What does it mean to be a post-imperial nation? Black-British? Middle Eastern British? Fundamentally, this is a season about what it means to be ‘British’ and what responsibility must we take for our past as we embark on an uncertain future.

“It’s particularly thrilling to have two ambitious, historical works by women performed alongside the epic yet intimate King John in the Swan Theatre.”

First Encounters with Shakespeare: The Merchant of Venice

Building on the success of the 2018 production of The Comedy of Errors, the RSC First Encounters with Shakespeare series continues with a new production of The Merchant of Venice directed and edited by Robin Belfield. The production will open at local schools followed by a week of performances in the Swan Theatre. The production will then embark upon a seven-week tour of schools and regional theatres across England.

Live at The RSC: Stand up Comedy

The RSC, in association with Underbelly, brings together some of the biggest names in UK stand-up comedy this autumn as part of a fortnight of live performance on the Royal Shakespeare Theatre stage. The programme, which runs from 12 to 21 September, forms part of Live at the RSC.

In summary:

Royal Shakespeare Theatre

The Boy in the Dress
8 November 2019 to 8 March 2020 (press night is 27 November 2019)

Live at The RSC: Stand Up Comedy
12 to 21 September 2019

Swan Theatre

King John
19 September 2019 to 21 March 2020 (press night is 26 September)

A Museum in Baghdad
11 October 2019 to 25 January 2020 (press night is 22 October)

The Whip
1 February to 21 March 2020 (press night is 11 February 2020)

First Encounters with Shakespeare: The Merchant of Venice
30 September to Sat 5 October 2019 (press performance is 26 September)

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MyTheatreMates publishes a selection of daily press releases sent to us by publicists of the relevant show or theatre. We are not responsible for any inaccuracies contained within these materials.

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Press Releases on Twitter
Press Releases
MyTheatreMates publishes a selection of daily press releases sent to us by publicists of the relevant show or theatre. We are not responsible for any inaccuracies contained within these materials.

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