A new place to play  

To the other great British institution, the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford, where the new, impressive Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres finally open for their first performances in February. There has been a bit of a racket about the thrust stage, but anyone who has been to the Courtyard, knows that this is simply the best way to see theatre, bringing it alive and in your face. King Lear opens on February 23 with Greg Hicks in the lead role, while the Young People’s Shakespeare production of Hamlet opens at the Swan on the next day. On March 3, Rupert Goold’s Romeo and Juliet opens at the RST. For details, visit www.rsc.org