Royal Shakespeare Theater

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Royal Shakespeare Theater


an English theater of drama. It was opened in 1879 in Stratford-upon-Avon and is one of the country’s major theaters, where Shakespeare’s plays are staged and Shakespeare festivals have been held regularly since 1886.

Until 1961, the Royal Shakespeare Theater was called the Shakespeare Memorial Theater. Since 1960 the Royal Shakespeare Theater has had a branch in London, in the Aldwych Theater, in which English classical and modern plays are produced. The Royal Shakespeare Theater is administered by a board of trustees. The theater’s manager, appointed by the board, also serves as artistic director and as the theater’s principal stage director. The actors work on the basis of seasonal contracts. The following directors have headed the Royal Shakespeare Theater at various times: F. Benson, W. Bridges-Adams, B. I. Payne, B. Jackson, A. Quayle, G. Byam-Shaw, P. Hall, and T. Nunn (beginning in 1968). Directors who have worked in the theater include T. Guthrie, T. Komissarjevsky, P. Brook, and T. Richardson; actors who have performed there include E. Terry, H. Beerbohm Tree, J. Gielgud, L. Olivier, V. Leigh, R. Richardson, C. Laughton, M. Redgrave, and P. Scofield.

Among the Shakespearean plays staged in the 1960’s and the beginning of the 1970’s were the series of historical plays entitled The Wars of the Roses (directed by P. Hall, J. Barton, F. Evans, and others), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (directed by P. Brook), and Hamlet (directed by T. Nunn).

The Royal Shakespeare Theater was on tour in the USSR during the 1958–59 season and in 1964 and 1967.


Korolevskii Shekspirovskii teatr. Introductory article by A. Anikst. Moscow, 1967.
Boiadzhiev, G. “Vesna ν Stratforde-na-Eivone.” In Shekspirovskii sbornik 1967. Moscow [1968].
Ellis, R. The Shakespeare Memorial Theatre. London, 1948. Royal Shakespeare Theatre Company, 1960–1963. [Album.] London, 1964.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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