Later this year, the three Shakespeare productions from the Royal Shakespeare Company’s current Stratford-upon-Avon season this spring will transfer into the Barbican Theatre from October.
Polly Findlay directs Christopher Eccleston in his RSC debut in the title role of Macbeth (press night, 23 October), with Niamh Cusack returning to the company to play Lady Macbeth and Edward Bennett as Macduff, in a contemporary production of Shakespeare’s darkest psychological thriller.
Erica Whyman directs Romeo and Juliet (press night, 6 November), with Bally Gill and Karen Fishwick as the star-crossed lovers. Young people from the RSC’s associate schools will play the Chorus, alongside the professional cast. The production will then tour in 2019, with more young people joining across the country. Romeo and Juliet builds on the achievements of Whyman’s 2016 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation which united 84 amateur performers, 580 children and a professional company.
Concluding the season with a change of tone, Fiona Laird directs the hilarious comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor (12 December 2018), with RSC associate artist David Troughton as Falstaff, in a contemporary setting – with more than a hint of reality TV – as the RSC continues to take audiences on its journey through Shakespeare’s canon. The RSC season plays in the Barbican Theatre from 15 October 2018 to 19 January 2019.
Catherine Mallyon, RSC executive director, said:
“We are thrilled to be able to bring Imperium to London alongside Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet and The Merry Wives of Windsor in our regular residency at the Barbican, and our continuing production of Matilda The Musical in the West End. Shakespeare and live theatre are for everyone and we are committed to sharing our work with the widest possible audience, so we are delighted to offer 30,000 tickets at £10 and under across all our productions, including our RSC Key £5 tickets for 16 to 25 years olds.”