The Royal Shakespeare Company’s winter 2018 season ‘full of dark comedy & satire’

Our winter season is full of dark comedy and satire, with productions exploring abuse of power, greed, lechery and human potential for change.

The Royal Shakespeare Company’s 2018 winter season, announced today, sees a return of A Christmas Carol alongside Troilus and Cressida, dedicated to the memory of the RSC’s co-founder, John Barton who died last week.

The season also includes Christopher Marlowe’s Tamburlaine, directed by Michael Boyd, Kathryn Hunter in Timon of Athens and Tartuffe, a new version of Molière’s classic, by Anil Gupta and Richard Pinto, directed by Iqbal Khan and set in Birmingham’s Pakistani Muslim community.

Gregory Doran, RSC Artistic Director, said: “Continuing our mission to ensure Shakespeare and theatre are for everyone, this season is packed with exciting theatre artists and has bite, humour and powerful resonances in our volatile world.”

He added: “We are halfway through our project to stage every one of Shakespeare’s plays in the First Folio, presenting work in a radically different way and making every play an event and celebrating Shakespeare’s continuing relevance to a contemporary audience.

“We have staged 19 Shakespeare productions since 2013, reaching a worldwide audience of 2.1 million.

“We open our winter season with my production of Troilus and Cressida, which I have chosen to dedicate to John Barton.

“John was both a great director and teacher and simply one of the greatest influences in the acting of Shakespeare of the last century.

“He always declared that his favourite play was Troilus and Cressida, which he first directed in 1960. When I told him I would be directing it this year, he shared some of his passion for the play with me.

“I regret that he won’t be around to tell me what I got wrong.

“I am enjoying collaborating with virtuoso percussionist, Dame Evelyn Glennie, whose input is inspiring the very design of the Troilus set, as we devise ways of making the whole theatre resound with the rhythm of war.

“We bring a gender-balanced cast to this testosterone-fuelled play on our main stage, exploring and challenging gender conventions for every character.

“Following the enormous success of David Edgar’s wonderful adaptation of A Christmas Carol, we are responding to popular demand and bringing it back for next Christmas.

“It is wonderful to have Michael Boyd back with us, staging his powerful version of Marlowe’s Tamburlaine – the story of the ultimate career imperialist.

“Michael first staged this edit of Tamburlaine with a US cast in New York in 2014 with our friends at Theatre for a New Audience.

“Anil Gupta and Richard Pinto’s hilarious new version of Molière’s Tartuffe, set up the road from us in Birmingham, promises to be a biting take on those who use religion for their own ends to prey on people looking for meaning in their lives.

“And I am so pleased Kathryn Hunter is returning to us to play Timon, Shakespeare’s philanthropist-turned-misanthrope in Simon Godwin’s production of Timon of Athens”.


Troilus and Cressida by William Shakespeare, October 12 – November 17; Broadcast ‘Live from Stratford-upon-Avon’ to cinemas, November 14.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, December 4 – January 20.


Tamburlaine, August 16 – December 1.
Tartuffe, September 7 – February 23.
Timon of Athens, December 7 – February 22.

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