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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 October, 2003, 15:23 GMT 16:23 UK
RSC seeking home in the capital
Michael Boyd
Boyd called for "a spirit of experimentation"
The Royal Shakespeare Company has announced it plans to seek a long-term London home.

Unveiling its new season, artistic director Michael Boyd said the company wanted to find a venue to call its own for the next five years.

It left its previous base at London's Barbican under controversial former head Adrian Noble, who left last year.

In a retreat from the past Mr Boyd also announced he would reform a permanent company of at least 36 actors.

The RSC's permanent home remains at the Shakespeare theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, with a smaller base in Newcastle.

In London, Mr Noble's decision to take the company away from The Barbican last year, after 20 years, led to some resentment among staff.

It currently has an itinerant status in the capital, moving from venue to venue. This has reportedly hit box office receipts and, say critics, caused the company to lose its identity.

Mr Boyd signalled a move away from the past, saying: "The aim is to put that spirit of experimentation and enquiry back at the heart of the RSC."

Dame Judi Dench, Sir Antony Sher and Toby Stephens are among the stars who are to appear with the company.

For a season of Spanish plays at Stratford next year, men and women will sit apart to recreate the atmosphere of theatres in 17th Century Spain.

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