SHAKESPEARE’S spirit is alive and well and remains a source of inspiration.
That was the message spelled out by Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) chiefs at the AGM in Stratford today. Reflecting on a successful year, artistic director Gregory Doran and executive director Catherine Mallyon issued a joint statement.
They said: “We’re proud to have inspired so many people this year. Shakespeare’s plays continue to be powerfully resonant for audiences and theatre artists and our work in classrooms all over the country, which has grown once again, demonstrates every day that engaging with Shakespeare’s words can transform lives. Our very wide range of new work reminds us that Shakespeare’s ambitious and diverse spirit is alive and well in the theatre voices of today.
“We produced 27 productions and co-productions, including five new plays, performed for 92 weeks in London, delivered 17 weeks of UK touring and shared Live from Stratford-upon-Avon broadcasts in 28 countries. Worldwide we sold 1.6million tickets.
“We give young people an inspirational first experience of Shakespeare, and this year we reached over 500,000 young people across the country, through our 12 partner theatres and 257 Associate Schools across the country. It was brilliant to be joined by 17,000 students at our first Live Lesson, streamed straight from the rehearsal room of Romeo and Juliet – 300 schools took part that day creating a fabulous nationwide classroom.
“The RSC has always trained generations of the best theatre-makers and the launch of RSC Next Generation develops this even further. We recognise that people from low-income backgrounds remain under-represented across our industry and Next Generation starts to address this, both backstage and on stage.
“We thank our many funders and supporters, our theatre and education partners across the country, our creative teams, and every one of our colleagues, for making everything we achieve possible.”
The company’s most commercially successful ever production Matilda The Musical continues to pull in audiences. A UK & Ireland tour launched in the summer, while North America, Australia and New Zealand tours concluded having visited 56 cities.
Almost 8million people have now seen the production worldwide in over 6,000 performances.
The RSC continued its cultural exchange with China through a production of King Lear at the National Centre for Performing Arts in Beijing using our actor and audience-friendly new translations.
The company also hopes to create a new edition of Chinese translations of Shakespeare’s works in time to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the publication of Shakespeare’s First Folio in 2023.
And the RSC welcomed Chinese playwrights and classical translators to Stratford who are creating the company’s next English version of a Chinese classical drama which will be staged in 2021.
The charity’s income from core operations was £66.8million. Self-generated income was 77 per cent, including box office revenue of £34.7million and trading income of £6.6million.
Visit www.rsc.org.uk for further details.