Parents Bob and Fran have worked their fingers to the bone and with their four children grown and ready to fly the nest, it might be time to relax and enjoy the roses. But as each season brings about a new and devastating change, it becomes clear that life never works out as planned.
Hamlet, William Shakespeare's longest and most famous tragedy, was written some time between 1599 and 1602. It is considered to be one of the greatest and most influential works of literature in history.
Prince Hamlet sets out to avenge his beloved father's death at the hand of his uncle Claudius, who has married the Queen and seized the crown. But Hamlet's spiral into grief and madness has permanent and immutable consequences for the Kingdom of Denmark.
Based on the life of Laura Kieler, a close friend of Henrik Ibsen’s, and first performed in 1879, A Doll’s House initially met with controversy over the way it criticises nineteenth-century marital norms. Ibsen confronts the problems with an exclusively male society, and a woman’s place within that.
King Lear, first performed in 1606, is considered by many to be William Shakespeare’s finest tragedy. It draws on many of the same sources as the history plays, but also contains elements of classic fairy tales.
Lear is dividing his kingdom between his three daughters based upon their flattery when telling of their love for him. Cordelia’s honesty leads him to banish her from his kingdom, and madness descends upon the ageing king.
Glamorous divorcées, Elyot and Amanda, find that their love for one another is unexpectedly rekindled when they take adjoining suites of a French hotel while honeymooning with their new spouses five years later.
The Accrington Pals, based on the experiences of the East Lancashire 11th Battalion, tells the story of the young men who went to the Front in WW1 and the women they left behind.
A Midsummer Night's Dream is one of William Shakespeare's most beloved comedies. Shakespeare combined theatricality, Greek mythology and the supernatural to create what is arguably his most playfully imaginative work.
On the eve of the wedding between Theseus and Hippolyta, four lovers find themselves at the mercy of the fairies in the Athenian woods. Interconnecting with a ramshackle group of players rehearsing a play for the celebrations, the stories and confusions interweave and finally resolve.
This 1895 drama seems eerily prescient, as it explores the plight of a promising young politician, desperate to hide a secret in his past. With empathy and wit, Wilde explores the pitfalls of holding public figures to higher standards than the rest of us.
Antony and Cleopatra is one of William Shakespeare’s longest plays, at over 3,500 lines. Shakespeare takes Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans as his source text, but diverges in giving Cleopatra equal billing.
Roman general Mark Antony is in love with Cleopatra, the Egyptian empress, much to the disapproval of Octavius Caesar. Against conflicting backdrops of luxury and fame, versus death and war, the couple’s epic romance threatens to burn both Rome and Egypt to the ground.
Probably William Shakespeare’s last tragedy, Coiolanus shares its source material, Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans, with Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra. In a notable diversion from Plutarch’s text, Shakespeare dramatically develops the characterisation of Volumnia.
After winning the love of the Roman citizens with a spectacular display of bravery in battle, Coriolanus turns tyrant and, unable to conceal his contempt for the masses, is banished, causing him to unite with a former foe in vengeance.
Christopher Marlowe's most renowned play, The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, was first published in England in 1604. It tells the German story of a curious and brilliant doctor, whose fascination with dark magic leads him to make a pact with the devil.
Originally commissioned by the RSC, this classic comedy was inspired by Willy Russell’s own experiences and George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion.
Tired of her work and social life, hairdresser Susan signs up to an Open University course in English Literature where she meets her tutor Frank, a middle-aged university lecturer and borderline alcoholic. Following their relationship over the course of the year, the play delves into issues surrounding social class and cultural differences.
William Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part I and Henry IV, Part II are believed to have been written no later than 1597, and depict a span of history from 1402 to the crowning of Henry V in 1413.
Wracked by guilt and illness, King Henry IV fears for England’s future. The heir to the throne, Prince Hal, seems intent only on a life of debauchery. As war looms and the stakes increase, father and son struggle to face their destinies – and each other.