RSC to screen Richard II to UK cinemas and schools

David Tennant in Richard II at the RSC.
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The Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon is to screen productions live across the UK from this winter, starting with Shakespeare’s Richard II.

The venue will collaborate with Picturehouse Entertainment, the distribution arm of City Screen – which owns and operates Picturehouse Cinemas – to broadcast three of its shows.

Called Live from Stratford-upon-Avon, the programme will begin with the RSC’s production of Richard II, starring David Tennant in the title role and directed by the company’s artistic director Gregory Doran.

It will be live screened on November 13 to around 100 Picturehouse Cinemas in the UK, followed by other countries around the world including North America, Australia, Japan and northern Europe.

Ahead of the live broadcast, there will be a series of short films, which will include behind-the-scenes footage at the RSC, available online.

Two other productions featuring in the programme will be announced in September.

The shows will be filmed using multiple cameras around the stage and auditorium and will be produced by John Wyver, who has previously collaborated with the RSC on its filmed versions of Macbeth and Hamlet for television.

Meanwhile, Richard II will also be streamed online for free to around 1,000 schools on November 15.

In a collaboration with digital technology university Ravensbourne College and education and research network Janet, the webcast will also include a live online question and answer session with Doran and Tennant.

Doran said: “We want to bring the work we make in Stratford-upon-Avon to the widest possible audience. Taking our productions live into cinemas and direct into schools is the next logical step. We will start with Richard II.

“I have enjoyed a long and creative relationship with John Wyver and his company, Illuminations, working on filmed versions of my past RSC productions of Macbeth, Hamlet and Julius Caesar, and I’m looking forward to these new broadcasts, which are part of our commitment to celebrate our ‘one-room spaces’ in Stratford and capture the thrill of sitting in the audience and experiencing theatre live.”