New socially-distanced, self-guided family trail comes to The Bancroft Terrace from the creators of ‘Inside Out’ and ‘The Swirl’

Inspired by the themes, characters and plot of William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors


Family Theatre Trail
RSC actors Greg Haiste and Jonathan Broadbent celebrate the opening of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s new socially distanced family trail.

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) has today announced details of an exciting new installation for families, arriving on The Bancroft Terrace from Wed 26 August.

Designed by Andrew Lock and Fiona Barlow – whose previous work for the RSC includes ‘The Swirl’ and ‘Inside Out’ – this fully immersive family trail has been specifically designed with social-distancing in mind and takes its inspiration from the plot, themes and characters of William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, which was due to run in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre this Spring but was postponed in March due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19.

Featuring a series of interconnected floor-based vinyls, families are invited to join estranged twins Antipholus of Syracuse and Antipholus of Ephesus and their servants Dromio of Ephesus and Dromio of Syracuse on a perilous journey across the ocean in search of their long lost brothers.

Follow in the footsteps of Shakespeare’s hapless heroes as they brave storm, shipwreck, strange new worlds, high-seas and high-jinks to be re-united with their long-lost family once more with this fun and colourful journey through Shakespeare’s fairy-tale farce!

This new piece of work, sponsored by Darwin Escapes, builds upon the RSC’s Inside Out programme, a new area of free events and activities on the Bancroft Terrace which aims to bring the world of theatre from inside the Royal Shakespeare Theatre to the outside.

Geraldine Collinge, Director of Events and Exhibitions at the Royal Shakespeare Company, said: “As families across the region return to Stratford-upon-Avon for their Summer Holidays, we wanted to create a piece of work which captured the spirit of our ‘Inside Out’ programme of free pop-up activities on the Bancroft Terrace, that didn’t rely on visitors having to touch or engage with a structure of any kind. Working with our brilliant Designers Andrew Lock and Fiona Barlow and Creative Consultant Hal Chambers, who is also Assistant Director of The Comedy of Errors, we have come up with a fun, floor-based alternative which can be enjoyed in a fully socially-distanced way. We hope this specially-adapted family trail will offer added reassurance to visitors whilst, at the same time, entertaining and inspiring young people through their discovery of Shakespeare’s characters and works!”

Visitors can continue to enjoy a daily takeaway service from the RSC’s Riverside Café and ‘Rocket’ Ice Cream which is open from 10am to 4pm daily.

Both will serve a wide range of drinks, ice cream, crisps and cakes. The Riverside Cafe will offer a full range of fair-trade tea and coffee. Alcohol will also be served from 12noon.

Customers are asked that they observe social distancing throughout their visit, using the markings on the pavement and payment is by contactless card only. The riverside furniture and the tables at the front of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre have been removed, for the safety of visitors.