THE ROYAL Shakespeare Company (RSC) has cancelled all performances, events and activities until June 30.
The date will be under constant review following government, Public Health England and industry advice, and it may lead to the RSC extending these cancellation dates.
Due to the financial impact of the crisis the company has also made the decision to close the Swan Theatre, adjoining the main Royal Shakespeare Theatre (RST) in Stratford, until the autumn.
Projekt Europa, which was due to open in the Swan Theatre in April and run throughout the summer, is cancelled. This season of work included Europeana, Peer Gynt and Blindness and Seeing and a production of Decameron 2020 performed by the RSC’s Next Generation Act young company.
If the RSC is able to re-open during the summer months, the company will open the RST) with the planned productions of The Winter’s Tale and The Comedy of Errors. Pericles, which was due to open in the RST in August, has been postponed.
The box office team will contact ticket holders over the coming weeks to discuss donation, credit or refund options. Ticket buyers will be contacted on a rolling weekly basis and people are asked not to contact the box office directly due to the volume of activity during this time.
RSC artistic director Gregory Doran, and executive director and Catherine Mallyon said: “This is a situation without parallel for all, and the health of the public and our staff continues to be our number one priority.
“It is incredibly sad to see our stages empty, productions cancelled, and our buildings closed. In particular the remarkable Projekt Europa, involving so many creative artists from across Europe, is a huge loss. We have considered this very carefully, but it is sadly unavoidable.
“Our mission is to transform lives through amazing experiences of Shakespeare and great theatre. For us to deliver our mission and to give us the best chance of re-opening as soon as we can, we have to make difficult decisions to ensure the survival of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
“In the face of the considerable challenges posed by Covid-19, we have also made the hard decision to furlough the majority of roles at the RSC under the UK Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. We are working hard to ensure that staff feel fully supported through this process and thank them for their resilience and understanding as we continue to adapt to the rapidly changing situation.
“We are exploring every possibility to secure income from other government schemes, our donors and audiences and we ask you all to join us in doing whatever you can to secure the future of the RSC for everyone.
“As a registered charity we rely on a mix of income to fund our activity, from the productions on stage to the important work we do with over 500,000 young people, and our partner schools and theatres around the country. We ask that anyone able to do so considers donating the value of their tickets – in full or in part – to help support the Company to continue this work.”