Emma Rice is to follow her high-profile departure as the artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe by launching a new theatre company at London’s Old Vic.
Named after Angela Carter’s last novel, Wise Children will launch with a stage version of that novel that will itself launch the Old Vic’s 2018/2019 season.
Rice said the historic venue would be “the perfect first home for my company and for our first production.”
The director joined the Globe in 2016 but gave up her post later that year.
‘Optimism and irrepressible spirit’
Earlier this year Rice wrote an open letter to whomever succeeds her, in which she claimed the board had sought to impose “a new set of rules that I did not sign up to and could not stand by”.
It followed a dispute with the theatre’s board over her methods, which included reworking Shakespearean texts and using sound and lighting technology.
Rice will leave the Globe following its 2017/18 winter season, after which she will begin work on the two productions her company will stage at the Old Vic.
The Old Vic lies just a short distance up the Thames from the reconstruction of William Shakespeare’s 17th Century playhouse.
“I named my new company after Angela Carter’s seminal novel, which is set in south London and is a love letter to theatre,” said Rice in a statement.
“It makes total narrative and thrilling sense to start the Wise Children journey at The Old Vic.”
Matthew Warchus, the Old Vic’s artistic director, said he was “thrilled” to make Rice’s company its new “company in residence” in the year the theatre marks its bicentenary.
“Emma and all she stands for is symbolic of the optimism and irrepressible spirit that has kept The Old Vic at the forefront of artistic adventure for the last two centuries,” he said.
Published in 1991, Wise Children tells of two twin chorus girls, Dora and Nora Chance, whose fortunes become entwined with those of another theatrical family.
Carter, whose other novels include The Magic Toyshop and Nights at the Circus, died the following year of cancer at the age of 51.