The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is inviting people to join a live ‘watch along’ from their living rooms on Saturday, 11 April of a recording of their 2017 production of Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night, featuring Adrian Edmondson as Malvolio and Kara Tointon as Olivia. The production will premiere on Marquee TV at 7.15pm (UK time).
Marquee TV, the international multi-genre performing arts streaming service, working with the RSC and other arts organisations, is responding to the current closure of theatres by offering everyone a no obligation free 30 day trial to watch some of the best in theatre, dance and opera. There are already 17 RSC productions available to stream, including Richard II and King Lear with, respectively, David Tennant and Antony Sher in the title roles. Marquee TV will also be streaming ‘premieres’ of productions that are new to the platform, including Twelfth Night, each Saturday.
The RSC is inviting everyone to join the ‘watch along’ by posting their comments live on Twitter during the performance. People can get involved by following the RSC - @theRSC - and by using the hashtag #AlmostLiveFromTheRSC
Directed by Christopher Luscombe and set in 1890s England, Twelfth Night originally opened in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon in November 2017. As with all of its Shakespeare productions since 2013, the RSC also broadcast Twelfth Night into cinemas across the world, and into schools for free.
Christopher Luscombe, director of Twelfth Night, said: “In these testing times it’s wonderful that theatres are sharing such a range of their productions online. I do hope Twelfth Night will help to keep everyone entertained. As the play centres on two lost souls trying to find their way in an unfamiliar world, it may well speak to us all as never before! I was blessed with a fantastic cast and production team on this show, and I’m thrilled that their work is being celebrated - especially at a time when live theatre has had to be put on hold. A ‘watch along’, with the audience commenting on Twitter, sounds like a great idea to me - it’ll be fascinating to hear what everyone has to say!”
Susannah Simons from Marquee TV said: “Twelfth Night is just the right play to lift the spirits, and this is a wonderful production. We are thrilled to be able to bring it to a wider audience, cross garters and all.”
The RSC is also taking part in the BBC's Culture in Quarantine plans to keep bringing arts to audiences during the pandemic, as viewers will be able to watch the below RSC shows in the coming months:
- Macbeth directed by Polly Findlay and starring Christopher Eccleston and Niamh Cusack
- Hamlet directed by Simon Godwin and starring Paapa Essiedu
- Romeo and Juliet directed by our Deputy Artistic Director Erica Whyman
- Much Ado About Nothing directed by Christopher Luscombe
- Othello directed by Iqbal Khan and starring Hugh Quarshie and Lucian Msamati
- The Merchant of Venice directed by Polly Findlay
Alongside the productions the RSC Education team are also creating activities to support and engage students as they watch the plays in their homes. Using the Company’s Shakespeare Learning Zone, which already offers lots of content, videos, games and activities around each of the plays, as well as providing homework help with actors available online to help students with their work, answering questions and sharing experiences. Dates to be announced.