What’s the idea?
How to enjoy the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) at home in a Summer of theatre closures.
What’s the story?
Shakespeare in summer is a joy. Visiting Stratford-upon-Avon with its river walks and centuries-old architecture is a delight on a sunny day.
In addition, you can enjoy one of Royal Shakespeare Company’s three theatres to end the trip.
This year the emergence of the Covid-19 virus has closed the theatres and limited visitors.
The wonderful Globe theatre in London, for example, is closed indefinitely.
In mid-summer so many outdoor theatres put on A Midsummer’s Night Dream but not this year.
Yet the Bard can still be enjoyed at home. RSC has teamed up with the BBC and Marquee TV channels to show a series of the best-loved plays.
And there’s more! RSC’s actors have come together to perform Sonnets in Solitude – all 90 of them – available on YouTube throughout the summer.
Besides this, see how others celebrated Shakespeare’s birthday on April 23rd also on YouTube.
Fancy doing a bit of acting? Go behind the scenes with renowned actors or take a live lesson on the RSC’s Learning Zone.
You can also upload your video and become part of the RSC’s global community through ‘Share your Shakespeare’.
Perform your own Midsummer Night’s Dream at home. Full scripts can be found online.
People should do this because…?
Shakespeare in the summer can still be a joy.
The whole company has got together to bring Shakespeare to homes this summer.
Therefore, take the opportunity to watch some of the finest performances of Shakespeare for free at home.
Additional features and educational resources can also be enjoyed on the website.
Many contracts have had to be cancelled and the theatres are under threat of long-term closure.
This is a chance to show support, fundraise online or donate to help theatres survive after Covid-19.
How do you do it?
It’s possible to schedule a time to join in a live lesson (for the young or young at heart).
Another option is to view these RSC productions on BBC iPlayer’s Culture in Quarantine series.
Visit the RSC’s website for all the details: www.rsc.org.uk.
All pieces were recorded at The Globe Theatre or The Royal Opera House and are available throughout the summer:
- A Midsummer’s Night Dream
- Romeo and Juliet
- The Tempest
- Much Ado About Nothing
- The Merchant of Venice
RSC performances are also available on Marquee TV. You can register for a small monthly subscription of $8.99 with a 14-day free trial included. Watch on a computer or most mobile devices. Eighteen recent RSC performances are currently available.
Get in the mood with Tudor costumes; set out a long table with simple platters and try out Tudor recipes or a full Elizabethan meal. Plenty of ideas on YouTube.
Stuff you may need
- Laptop and Wi-fi
- Connection to a large monitor
- Elizabethan-style food (optional)
- Tudor costume (optional)
- Shakespeare scripts