Boss Michael Boyd's farewell season looks a real treat. Marion McMullen speaks to a man who has kept the RSC artistically and financially in rude health.
It’s All’s Well That Ends Well for Royal Shakespeare Company boss Michael Boyd as some of the UK’s top directors, writers and performers headline his final theatre season.
The RSC artistic director, who began his early career in the Midlands at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry, has revealed his farewell season in Stratford will be a bumper treat of top theatre.
It includes major Shakespeare productions including RSC leading actor Jonathan Slinger as Hamlet, All’s Well That Ends Well directed by Nancy Meckler, The Winter’s Tale directed by Lucy Bailey and As You Like It directed by Maria Aberg.
The 2013 summer season also includes a Jacobean classic and the world premiere of two new plays. Plans are under way as well to transfer Matilda The Musical - the most awarded West End musical in history - to Broadway next year. Michael lists the opening of the new multi-million pound Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, David Tennant’s Hamlet, The Histories, Matilda at the Courtyard Theatre and the Complete Works Festival as some of his personal highlights over the last 10 years.
He said: “Our transformed Royal Shakespeare Theatre has really got into its stride this year, setting the pattern for how we celebrate Shakespeare’s work.
“We’ve created a space which is perfectly balanced on the tightrope between the Renaissance and now and truly does bring the actors closer to the audience.”
The world famous theatre has seen more than 500,000 visitors walk through the doors in the last year. The World Shakespeare Festival was also launched in April with the Bard being celebrated all over the country with more than 70 productions as well as events and exhibitions. The RSC has already sold more than 250,000 tickets as part of the festival and picked up seven Olivier awards in April. The new season also includes Christmas show The Mouse And His Child.
Michael said: “It’s not exactly going to be a quiet walk out of the door. It’s madness at the moment. Ten years, oh, blimey, I think being able to quite quickly turn the company around and keep it in the black has been a highlight and making the RSC a happy place to work.