RSC to adapt Hilary Mantel novels

Ella Hickson's 'Wendy and Peter Pan' to world preem


Adaptations of “Wolf Hall” and “Bring Up the Bodies,” Hilary Mantel’s historical novels of Tudor plotting, will get world preem stagings by the Royal Shakespeare Company as part of its winter 2013-14 season, announced Wednesday.

Commissioned by Playful Prods., Mike Poulton (“Luise Miller,” “Fortune’s Fool”) has adapted the novels, which netted two Man Booker prizes and the Costa Novel Award in the U.K. and the National Book Critics Circle Award in the U.S.

The two linked plays dramatize the machinations of Henry VIII’s henchman Thomas Cromwell during the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn. Helmed by Jeremy Herrin in his RSC debut, the plays will run in rep at the RSC’s mid-scale house the Swan at the company’s Stratford-upon-Avon home Dec. 11 to March 29, 2014.

“Wendy and Peter Pan,” a world preem adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s “Peter Pan,” will also be presented. Ella Hickson’s play reimagines Barrie’s classic tale from the perspective of the original story’s only girl. Directed by rising U.K. helmer Jonathan Munby (currently directing “Julius Caesar” at Chicago Shakespeare Theater) and designed by Colin Richmond, the play runs on the RSC’s main stage Dec. 10 to March 2, 2014.

Popular on Variety

Incoming a.d. Gregory Doran will open the season with his own new production of “Richard II.” Running Oct. 10 to Nov. 16 on the RSC main stage and transferring to London’s Barbican theater Dec. 9 to Jan. 25, the production sees the return of stage and screen thesp David Tennant (BBC’s “Doctor Who”), who previously played Hamlet for Doran at the RSC.

Announcing his opening season, Doran pointed to the company’s continuing international presence. Its tuner hit “Matilda — the Musical” is running in the West End and readying its Broadway bow on April 11 in a week that will also see the arrival at BAM of Doran’s RSC staging of “Julius Caesar” set in Africa with an all-black cast.

Outlining the company’s ambitions, which include staging the entire Shakespeare canon of 37 plays over the next five years plus a search for a new and permanent London home to show the work in the capital, Doran argued that his plans for the company were not expansionist.

Referring to criticisms that the company returned to the same plays too often, he said: “I don’t want us to repeat plays. I want to avoid the conveyor-belt mentality. I want us to do less and to concentrate more on the craftsmanship around it.”

More Legit

  • Gregg Smith, Dancer and Choreographer Assistant,

    Gregg Smith, Dancer and Choreographer Assistant, Dies at 73

    Gregg Smith, a dancer, casting director and assistant choreographer who had a long association with director Kenny Ortega, has died. He was 73. Smith died on Jan. 1. The industry veteran worked as a performer in the national touring company of the musical “Hair” and in a Los Angeles production of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” He [...]

  • Frozen review musical

    Warmth and Humor Pervade Pantages Production of 'Frozen' the Musical

    In 2013, Disney’s “Frozen” hit screens like a 100 mile-per-hour snowball, sparking a pop cultural phenomenon in which little girls and boys pranced about dressed in Anna and Elsa and Olaf costumes while belting aloud “Let It Go,” Elsa’s feminist anthemic response to ice powers rendering her a societal outcast. The animated movie won two [...]

  • My Name Is Lucy Barton review

    'My Name is Lucy Barton': Theater Review

    Laura Linney is in love. Just watch the radiant expression on her face as she wraps her arms around the character of Lucy Barton, a role she played in two separate engagements at the Bridge Theater in London, and is now reprising on Broadway in “My Name is Lucy Barton.” The feeling is obviously mutual, [...]

  • 'Broadway Profiles with Tamsen Fadal' to

    'Broadway Profiles with Tamsen Fadal' to Air Weekly, Syndicate Nationally (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Broadway Profiles with Tamsen Fadal” will become nationally syndicated, marking a first for a program about the Great White Way. Beginning in fall 2020, the monthly show will increase frequency to air weekly. The show is hosted and executive-produced by 12-time Emmy Award winner Tamsen Fadal, a news anchor at WPIX, the channel that initially [...]

  • Laura Linney My Name Is Lucy

    Listen: What Laura Linney Learns From Bad Shows

    For Laura Linney, every stage experience is a learning experience. “Even the bad ones!” she cheerfully declared on the new episode of Stagecraft, Variety’s theater podcast. Listen to this week’s podcast below: “Even the ones that are really bad, and I’ve been really bad in some things,” continued the Emmy winner, currently back on Broadway [...]

  • 'Betrayal' Star Zawe Ashton Signs With

    'Betrayal' Star Zawe Ashton Signs With CAA (EXCLUSIVE)

    Zawe Ashton has signed with CAA, Variety has learned. Most recently seen on Broadway in the hit revival of Harold Pinter’s “Betryal,” Ashton is the definition of a multi-hyphenate. In addition to being an in-demand actress, Ashton is a director, playwright and author. While earning critical raves for “Betrayal,” Ashton made her debut as a [...]

  • Michael Feinstein Kristin Chenoweth Sutton Foster

    Jerry Herman Memorial Set for Feb. 3 at Lunt-Fontanne Theatre

    A memorial service for Broadway composer and lyricist Jerry Herman will be held at 3 p.m. on Feb. 3 at Broadway’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. Michael Feinstein is producing the tribute, which will feature performances from a number of notable legit stars, including Kristin Chenoweth, Harvey Fierstein, Sutton Foster, Kelli O’Hara, Bernadette Peters and Betty Buckley. Angela [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content