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productions at the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama

Festen

Trauma thrives in darkness.

Helge, the patriarch of a chain of restaurants, is celebrating his sixtieth birthday and everyone is coming home from the party including Helge's sons, Christian, Michael and his daughter Helene.

Missing from the roster of invitees is Christian's twin sister, Linda, who recently committed suicide. The reason for her action and the repercussions from it, form the basis of the shocking and painful events that transpire during a twenty-four hour period. In the midst of dinner, Christian makes a startling accusation and, even as the disbelieving guests are choosing sides, the play slowly unwraps the truth.

David Eldridge powerful new play is adapted from Thomas Vinterborg's screenplay of the very successful film, Dogme. 

Director: Catherine Alexander & Jemima James

Widows

In a war-torn village the men have disappeared. The women – their mothers, wives, daughters – wait by the river, hope and mourn. Their anguish is unspoken until bruised and broken bodies begin being washed up on the banks and the women defy the military in the only form of protest left to them.

A smouldering political allegory about a political protest in a country ruled by a military junta. From the author of Death and the Maiden, written in collaboration with Tony Kushner, author of Angels in America.

Director: Dominic Rouse

Hamlet

Hamlet is not only one of Shakespeare's greatest plays, but also the most fascinatingly problematical tragedy in world literature.

First performed around 1600, this a gripping and exuberant drama of revenge, rich in contrasts and conflicts. Its violence alternates with introspection, its melancholy with humour, and its subtlety with spectacle. The Prince, Hamlet himself, is depicted as a complex, divided, introspective character. His reflections on death, morality and the very status of human beings make him ‘the first modern man’.

In this new stark stripped back version of the play, 5 actors share the role of Hamlet in his soliloquies, allowing us a deeper insight into different aspects of his psyche.  

Director: Sinead Rushe 

Blackbird Pie

Devised by the company and based on the works by great American poet and short story writer Raymond Carver, Blackbird Pie weaves together the intricate lives of rural America. 

Director: Catherine Alexander & Yael Shavit

Tartuffe

One of his most frequently performed plays, Tartuffe highlights Molière's exquisite wit and poetry in this  much loved Restoration comedy. 

Orgon, a rich bourgeois, has become a bigot and a prude in his middle age. Tartuffe, a wily opportunist and swindler, affects sanctity and gains complete ascendancy over Orgon, who not only attempts to turn over his fortune to him but also offers his daughter in marraige to his new "spiritual guide" 

It is only when the family plot to uncover this deceit of Tartuffe and Orgon see's him tying to seduce his wife, does he finally come to his senses. 

Director: Grainne Byrne

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Fool For Love

In a stark motel room on the edge of the Mojave Desert, May, a dishevelled young woman sits dejectedly on a rumpled bed while Eddie, a rough-spoken rodeo performer crouches in a corner fiddling with his riding gear.

 

When he attempts to console May, who is distressed by Eddie’s frequent absences and affairs, she seems at first to soften but then suddenly attacks him. As the recriminations pour out, the desperate nature of their relationship becomes apparent - they cannot get along with or without one another, yet neither can subdue their burning passion.

 

Eventually May and Eddie tire of their struggle and embrace, but it is apparent that the respite is temporary and that their love, the curse of the past which haunts them, will remain forever damned and hopeless.

Director: Dominic Rouse

 
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Twelfth Night

'I am all the daughters of my father's house,
And all the brothers too.'

Twelfth Night is a tale of unrequited love – hilarious and heartbreaking. Twins are separated in a shipwreck, and forced to fend for themselves in a strange land. The first twin, Viola, falls in love with Orsino, who dotes on OIivia, who falls for Viola but is idolised by Malvolio. Enter Sebastian, who is the spitting image of his twin sister...

Director: Grainne Byrne

The Seagull

'Young girl lives on shore of lake since childhood - like you. Loves the lake - like the seagull. Is happy and free - like the seagull. Then one day a man turns up, sees her, and mindlessly destroys her.'

 

Martin Crimp's pared down version of Chekhov's first great play reveals the full force of its comedy and cruelty - whether it's love, sex, incredible fame, or simply a trip into town, each character is denied the thing they most crave. 

Director: Yael Shavit

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