The RSC brings Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary year in Stratford-upon-Avon to a close with a powerful programme, matching two major Shakespeare titles with two irreverent Jacobean comedies and a new play from Anders Lustgarten, which plays out across 400 years between Caravaggio’s Naples and the housing estates of Bootle.

RSC Artistic Director, Gregory Doran, said:

“We will draw this extraordinary jubilee year in Stratford-upon-Avon to a close by staging two of Shakespeare’s greatest plays - King Lear and The Tempest – and by marking the 30th anniversary of our Swan Theatre with two new productions of plays from its very first season and a visceral new play by Anders Lustgarten.

“Inspired by the spectacular masques of Shakespeare’s day, we have set ourselves the challenge of creating the most technologically advanced production we have ever staged in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, working with Intel and The Imaginarium Studios.  We will blend ancient theatre skills with innovative digital technology to conjure up Prospero’s island, inhabited by fantastical characters, in Shakespeare’s most magical late play The Tempest

“I cannot think of a clearer way of showing the ‘infinite variety’ of Shakespeare’s work and the inspiration he has provided over the centuries. Shakespeare is for everyone and we want to share his legacy with the widest possible audience.  His inheritance is for the many, not the few. 

“Earlier in 2016, all over the UK, people can come and see our landmark production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, tune in on Shakespeare’s birthday to ‘The Shakespeare Show’, celebrating his influence in all the arts and broadcast live on BBC Two,  or encourage their children to watch our free Schools’ Broadcasts in the classroom.  

“And, of course, the whole town of Stratford-upon-Avon will be buzzing with live theatre, events, workshops, films and exhibitions as we continue to celebrate its greatest son here, across the UK and in cinemas and on tour around the world. If you’ve never been to his home town in Stratford-upon-Avon, or seen his work on stage, this surely must be the time to do so.”