l THE new director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Gregory Doran, has unveiled his first tranche of programming since succeeding Michael Boyd as artistic director.

Topping the bill is a new production of Richard II, directed by Doran himself and with David Tennant in the title role, which will open in October. It is the first of a projected new cycle of Shakespeare's history plays.

Ella Hickson, whose writing has been acclaimed on Scotland's stages, is behind a new adaptation of JM Barrie, entitled Wendy & Peter Pan which will open in December. The RSC's touring schedule includes a visit to Edinburgh this spring with Lucy Bailey's staging of The Winters Tale.

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l PERHAPS in swift response to the announcement of an event in Englandshire with a very similar name, the Imaginate Festival of performance of dance and theatre for children and young people has unveiled a new logo and announced its 2013 dates. May 6 to 13 is the week to mark in your diary.


l Clyde shipworkers' leader Jimmy Reid once observed that "folk music has no meaning unless it expresses the lives and struggles of ordinary people" and that sentiment is behind Songs of Struggle, a Celtic Connections concert at the Mitchell Theatre on Tuesday. It has just been announced that Rab Noakes, the musical director of this year's Michael Marra tribute event the previous evening and of last year's acclaimed concert of the music of Gerry Rafferty, has been added to an already strong bill that includes Alastair McDonald, Sheena Wellington and Dave Anderson.