Shakespeare aficionados will be happy to learn that the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is performing all eight of the bard’s history-themed plays over the next few months. The plays—which span over 100 years of history—include Richard II, Henry IV Parts I and II, Henry V, Henry VI Parts I, II and III, and Richard III. They will be performed at the RSC’s Stratford-upon-Avon home until March 16, and then the company will make its way to the London Roundhouse, where performances will take place from April 1 to May 25.
The 30 actors bringing this performance marathon to life have been preparing for two and a half years. And Michael Boyd, RSC’s artistic director, believes that this is the first time the Shakespeare “history cycle” has been staged by one company of actors.
Globespotters takes us behind the scenes of this mega production by breaking down the following facts:
Across the 8 productions 34 actors play 264 parts, each part is understudied, which means a total of 528 parts have been rehearsed.
Each actor plays and understudies around 15 parts each. Between them they have learned roughly 210,000 words. 800 costumes are required and over 40 wigs and hairpieces. In all over fifteen liters of stage blood is needed – it’s made from glucose and ice-cream colouring.
Wow is all we have to say.
For more information on these performances, check out the Royal Shakespeare Company’s website.
- Nat Geo Expeditions
Photo: Tasha Rhoads via Flickr