Royal Shakespeare Company

Neil Hannon: 'I always get everything wrong on stage. The audience

You think twice about even letting kids walk the dog round the block these days which is a shame. I don't know whether Swallows and Amazons [Hannon has written the music for a new stage version] was quite fanciful for the 1930s – to let children go off on their own for a fortnight – but it wouldn't happen now. There's a lot of interesting themes going on [in Arthur Ransome's book] – mores concerning what you can let children do. I don't how much has really changed and how much is media-induced paranoia.

The Homecoming, Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

When Peter Hall founded the RSC in 1961, one of his guiding principles was that Shakespeare should be presented in dynamic, mutually illuminating relation to new playwrights. Harold Pinter was the linchpin of this policy. So, as the company celebrates its 50th birthday, it's fitting that it should programme a major revival of one the classic Pinter plays premiered under its auspices – even if the Swan Theatre, with its thrust stage and stacked, horse-shoe-shaped seating is an awkward space for such an intrinsically proscenium arch drama as The Homecoming (1965).

The Winter's Tale, Roundhouse, London

Now that we know that the Royal Shakespeare Company will present their Stratford-upon-Avon productions in the Roundhouse from 2012, we can start to get used to the occupation with this taster season.

More headlines