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Robbie Williams to compose musical adaptation of David Walliams novel for RSC season

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Robbie Williams is to compose a new musical adaptation of David Walliams’ novel The Boy in the Dress as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s winter season.

The Boy in the Dress, which has music and lyrics by Williams and Guy Chambers and book by Mark Ravenhill, will run from November 8 to March 8, 2020.

RSC artistic director Gregory Doran directs the production which is about a 12-year-old boy who is a football enthusiast that also likes dresses. Choreography is by Aletta Collins.

Williams and Chambers said: “There’s a real freshness, cheekiness and heart to David’s writing which we’ve worked really hard to capture in the music.”

As part of the winter season, the RSC’s deputy artistic director Erica Whyman will curate a programme of work in the Swan Theatre.

This will include King John, directed by Eleanor Rhode, and A Museum in Baghdad by Hannah Khalil, directed by Whyman in a co-commission with Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum Theatre.

The Swan Theatre programme is completed by The Whip by Juliet Gilkes Romero, which is directed by Kimberley Sykes.

Whyman said: “As we approach 2019, there’s no way of escaping the fact that we, as a nation, are looking long and hard at our position within the wider world, which is why it feels like an appropriate moment to reflect, not only upon the state of our own nation, but also upon what nationhood means to us today.

“Like Shakespeare’s King John, A Museum in Baghdad and The Whip are plays which aren’t afraid to confront big issues and ideas.”

Also announced as part of the season is First Encounters with Shakespeare: The Merchant of Venice, directed and edited by Robin Belfield, which will open at local schools followed by performances at the Swan Theatre.

The production will then embark upon a seven-week tour of schools and regional theatres across England

From September 12 to 21, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre will host a fortnight of comedy as part of its Live at The RSC: Stand up Comedy programme in association with Underbelly.


Season at a glance:

The Boy in the Dress by Robbie Williams, Guy Chambers and Mark Ravenhill

Directed by Gregory Doran
November 8 to March 8, 2020, with press night on November 27
Royal Shakespeare Theatre

King John by William Shakespeare

Directed by Eleanor Rhode
September 19 to March 21, 2020, with press night on September 26
Swan Theatre

A Museum in Baghdad by Hannah Khalil

Directed by Erica Whyman
October 11 to January 25, 2020
Swan Theatre

The Whip by Juliet Gilkes Romero

Directed by Kimberley Sykes
February 1 to March 21, 2020, with press night on February 11
Swan Theatre

First Encounters with Shakespeare: The Merchant of Venice by Robin Belfield

Directed by Robin Velfield
September 30 to October 5, with press night on September 26
Swan Theatre and tour of local schools and regional theatres

Live at The RSC: Stand Up Comedy

September 12 to 21
Royal Shakespeare Theatre


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