Rose Theatre’s Artistic Director, Christopher Haydon, is delighted to announce the first Rose Productions in the 2022/23 Season, beginning on 9 September with the London premiere of Anthony McCarten’s The Two Popes starring Anton Lesser and Nicholas Woodeson. This is followed by Haydon’s own production of Bertolt Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle in a new version by Steve Waters, with music by Michael Henry and with a cast featuring Carrie Hope Fletcher as Grusha Vashnadze. The Importance of Being Earnest is being retold in a Rose Original, ETT and Leeds Playhouse co-production directed by the 2021 RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award-winner, Denzel Westley-Sanderson. Rounding off 2022 will be a new version of A Christmas Carol by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, with music by Eamonn O’Dwyer and directed by Rosie Jones.

Christopher Haydon said of the new season, “Nothing beats the shared collective experience that comes from one group of humans telling gripping tales to another group of humans – live and in real-time. I want the Rose to become a place that takes the familiar and makes it feel fierce and fresh. So, I am delighted that this season includes radical reinterpretations of some of the greatest stories from around the world. We have work that will fire the imaginations of young and old alike, and I hope audiences will discover that every show is as entertaining as it is enriching.  So, put a date with the Rose in your diary this season – we’re ready to transport you, we’re ready to surprise you and, most importantly, we’re ready to offer you a great night out.”

Ahead of the autumn season, Kingston International Film Festival and three new plays co-produced by Rose Theatre and Paines Plough in the Roundabout Festival are coming to Kingston from 24 to 26 June and 11 to 24 July respectively.


9 – 23 September 2022

Press Night: Tuesday 13 September 2022, 7.30pm

London Premiere

Rose Theatre in association with Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham and Oxford Playhouse present a Royal & Derngate, Northampton and Anthology Theatre co-production in association with Tara Finney Productions 

By Anthony McCarten 

Director: James Dacre

Composer: Anne Dudley
Associate Director: Sarah Stacey
Set & Costume Designer: Jonathan Fensom
Lighting Designer: Charles Balfour
Sound Designer: David Gregory
Video Designer: Duncan McLean

Cast includes: Anton Lesser and Nicholas Woodeson

From the writer of the Academy Award-winning Bohemian Rhapsody, Darkest Hour and The Theory of Everything, comes the play that sparked a major motion picture.

Nine years ago, Pope Benedict XVI stunned the world by resigning, the first Pope in 700 years to do so. What drove this archconservative to break with sacred tradition and make way for a former tango club bouncer and football-loving reformer with the common touch, to become Pope Francis?

Starring Anton Lesser (Game of Thrones, The Crown, Endeavour) and Nicholas Woodeson (Baptiste, The Death of Stalin, The Danish Girl), this gripping and entertaining new play from Anthony McCarten premiered at Royal & Derngate, Northampton in 2019 and was adapted into the multi-award-winning film, for which McCarten was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay at the Academy, Golden Globe, and BAFTA Awards. It now receives its London premiere at the Rose ahead of a UK tour.  

Directed by James Dacre (2020 Olivier Award-nominated Our Lady of Kibeho), with original music by Grammy and BRIT Award-winning composer Anne Dudley.

The Two Popes is a fascinating and humorous story that shines a light into one of the world’s most secretive institutions. At its heart lies a timeless question: in moments of crisis, should we follow the rules or our conscience?

Booking link:


1 – 22 October 2022

Press Night: Thursday 6 October, 7.30pm

Captioned Performance: Saturday 15 October, 2.30pm

Audio Described Performance: Monday 17 October, 7.30pm

A Rose Original Production

By Bertolt Brecht

A new version by Steve Waters

Music by Michael Henry 

Director: Christopher Haydon

Designer: Oli Townsend

Movement Director: Lucy Cullingford

Lighting Designer: David Plater

Sound Designer: Gareth Fry

Assistant Director: Layla Madanat

Casting Director: Christopher Worrall

Casting Consultant: Stuart Burt CDG

Cast includes: Carrie Hope Fletcher

In this new version by Steve Waters (Limehouse, Donmar Warehouse), an epic and entertaining tale about justice and humanity is propelled into the present, with original songs by Michael Henry (Barber Shop Chronicles, National Theatre) and a cast featuring Carrie Hope Fletcher as Grusha Vashnadze.

A thrilling and romantic adventure, The Caucasian Chalk Circle is a story of hope emerging in a time of chaos. In the midst of a bloody revolution, a young woman risks all to raise the abandoned child of the Governor and his wife. Years later, when the Governor’s wife returns seeking her son, a rogue judge turns justice on its head. Can the test of the chalk circle determine which of the two women is the boy’s true mother?

This production, developed in association with MGC, is directed by Rose’s Artistic Director Christopher Haydon and is the first major London production of Brecht’s tragicomic masterpiece for 25 years. 

Booking Link:


1 – 12 November 2022

Guest Night: 2 November 2022, 7.30pm

A Rose Original, ETT and Leeds Playhouse production

By Oscar Wilde

Director: Denzel Westley-Sanderson

Set & Costume Designer: Lily Arnold

Lighting Designer: Zoe Spurr

Sound Designer: Beth Duke

Assistant Director: Becca Chadder

Dramaturg: Phillippe Cato

Oscar Wilde’s genius humour meets contemporary culture in a theatrical rollercoaster packed with shade, wit and plenty of gags.

2021 RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award-winner, Denzel Westley-Sanderson, breathes fresh new life into Wilde’s sharpest and wittiest comedy.

This is a classic satire, vibrantly retold, about dysfunctional families, class, gender and sexuality.  

Denzel won the chance to direct the show as the recipient of the Royal Theatrical Support Trust’s Sir Peter Hall Director Award 2021. 

Supported by a grant from The Royal Theatrical Support Trust (RTST), the show will premiere this September at Leeds Playhouse, and embark on a tour to Cambridge Arts Theatre, New Wolsey Theatre, Northern Stage, Liverpool Playhouse, Theatre Royal Bath before playing the Rose for a strictly limited run in November

Booking Link:


2 December 2022 – 2 January 2023

Press Night: 8 December 2022, 7.30pm

BSL Interpreted Performance:  27 December 2022, 11.30am

Audio Described Performance: 17 December 2022, 11.30am

Relaxed Performance: 29 December 2022, 11.30am

A Rose Original Production

By Charles Dickens

A new version by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm

Music by Eamonn O’Dwyer

Lyrics by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm & Eamonn O’Dwyer

Director: Rosie Jones

Set and Costume Designer: Frankie Bradshaw

From Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, writer of the Olivier Award-winning Emilia, comes a brand-new retelling of Charles Dickens’s timeless tale, with all new songs by Eamonn O’Dwyer (Beauty and The Beast).

It’s a cold Christmas Eve on the snowy streets of Victorian London, and preparations for another meagre Christmas are well underway – but not for Ebenezer Scrooge. The cruellest, wealthiest woman in town; Scrooge hates charity, she hates carol singers and most of all… she hates Christmas. 

Join the children of the town and Charles Dickens, as they take Scrooge on a time-bending, enchanting journey of self-discovery to confront her past, present and future. Can Scrooge open her heart to undo years of misdeeds before it’s too late?

This Rose Original Production features a wealth of local talent from the Rose Youth Theatre performing alongside a professional cast.

Booking Link:

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