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10.1.2 London Venues Information: The RSC And The RNT




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This article is from the Theatre FAQ, by aku@leland.Stanford.EDU (Andrew Chia-Tso Ku) with numerous contributions by others.

10.1.2 London Venues Information: The RSC And The RNT

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and the Royal National Theatre
(RNT) are the real jewels in the crown of British theatre. Although
often lumped together with the West End, the RSC and RNT are different
from the other, commercial theatres, in that they are subsidized, which
allows them to mount more adventurous productions with less attention
to the bottom line, and both present plays in repertory, with several
different shows being mounted over the course of a week. Although the
RSC does, as it's name implies, concentrate on Shakespeare, both
theatres perform plays from all periods, including new works. The
RSC's home in London is the Barbican Centre, with two theatres -- the
large Barbican Theatre and the smaller Pit. The RNT is based in the
South Bank Centre, with three theatres -- the large Olivier, with its
unusual fan-shape, the more conventional Lyttleton, and the small,
flexible Cottesloe. Both the Barbican Centre and the South Bank Centre
are huge, concrete, post-war architectural monstrosities, but the
theatres themselves are quite nice. Ticket prices range from a high of
22 pounds down to 5 pounds; the top ticket price for weekday matinees
at both the RSC and RNT is only 10 pounds.

The RSC has a second home in Stratford-upon-Avon, where it has three
more theatres, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, the Swan, and The Other
Place. Many RSC productions start in Stratford and run there for a
season before transferring to London. Stratford is less than two hours
from London and is well worth a trip; the RSC even runs a shuttle which
allows you to visit for a day and catch a show.

 

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