In the 450th year since Shakespeare was born, the Royal Shakespeare Company has announced its winter 2014 season. Highlights include Emmy winner Eileen Atkins' return to the RSC in the domestic tragedy The Witch of Edmonton.
As part of a season marking the centenary of the First World War, Christopher Luscombe will direct Love’s Labour’s Lost and Love’s Labour’s Won (usually known as Much Ado About Nothing). Both will play in repertory at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre (RST) and star Edward Bennett and Olivier winner Michelle Terry. The productions will be designed by Simon Higlett, with lighting design by Oliver Fenwick and music by Nigel Hess. Love’s Labour’s Lost will run from September 23 and Love’s Labour’s Won from October 3. The shows will both officially open on October 15 and close on March 14, 2015.
Erica Whyman will direct the same company at the RST for Phil Porter’s The Christmas Truce. The story is inspired by real events 100 years ago, when soldiers along the Western Front left their trenches on Christmas Eve to meet their enemies in No Man’s Land to talk, exchange gifts and play football. The production will be designed by Tom Piper, with lighting by Charles Balfour and music by Sam Kenyon and run November 29 through January 31, 2015. Opening night is set for December 9.
At the Swan Theatre, Gregory Doran will direct Emmy winner Eileen Atkins in a new production of the rarely-performed Jacobean domestic tragedy by Dekker, Ford and Rowley, The Witch of Edmonton. The production will be designed by Nikki Turner, with lighting by Tim Mitchell and music by Paul Englishby. The Witch of Edmonton will run October 23 through November 29 with opening night set for October 29 and play in repertory with an extended run of The White Devil, directed by Maria Aberg.
The Swan is then set to play host to Thomas Dekker’s Jacobean festive comedy The Shoemaker’s Holiday, directed by Phillip Breen, which will play in repertory with Oppenheimer, a new play by Tom Morton-Smith about ‘the father of the atom bomb,’ J. Robert Oppenheimer. The Shoemaker’s Holiday will run December 11 through March 7, 2015 with opening night set for December 18. Oppenheimer will play January 15, 2015 through March 7, 2015, with opening night set for January 22, 2015.