Royal Shakespeare Company to Present The Magician's Elephant Musical and The Wars of the Roses | Playbill

International News Royal Shakespeare Company to Present The Magician's Elephant Musical and The Wars of the Roses The titles comprise the London company's winter 2020 season, announced in the wake of the death of former Artistic Director Terry Hands.
Sarah Tipple in a workshop for The Magician's Elephant Sam Allard/RSC

Royal Shakespeare Company will continue its presentation of Shakespeare's history cycle, with The Wars of the Roses taking the Swan Theatre stage in the newly announced winter 2020 season. The triple bill—comprised of all three parts of Henry VI—will be helmed by Owen Horsley and Artistic Director Gregory Doran. The two performance cycles will run October 10–January 2, 2021.

The production will reconfigure the Swan, with grandstanding seating and standing arena spaces. Stephen Brimson Lewis will design the staging, featuring costumes by Hannah Clark and original music by Paul Englishby.

The upcoming lineup also includes the world premiere of a new musical adaptation of the Kate DiCamillo children's novel The Magician's Elephant, adapted by Nancy Harris and Marc Teitler. Sarah Tipple directs the family presentation, scheduled for October 29–January 17, 2021, in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

The staging, featuring life-size puppetry, is designed by Colin Richmond with lighting by Oliver Fenwick.

Prior to the two productions, the First Encounters With Shakespeare cycle will return with Twelfth Night, directed and adapted by Robin Belfield. The collaborative staging will play local schools, the Swan, and a host of partner schools and theatres across the U.K.


The announcement arrives in the wake of the death of longtime Artistic Director Terry Hands, who was with the company in various capacities from 1966 until 2001. His numerous accolades include two Olivier Awards and three Tony nominations.

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