Michael Boyd unveils his final RSC season

Michael Boyd Michael Boyd has been in his current role since 2002

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Michael Boyd has announced his final season as artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The season will open next January with The Winter's Tale and will include a new production of Hamlet, starring Jonathan Slinger in the title role.

Writer-in-residence Mark Ravenhill will also create a new work inspired by Voltaire's Candide.

Boyd steps down in September, when he will hand over to his long-time chief associate director Gregory Doran.

His swansong season will also see productions of As You Like It and All's Well That Ends Well at The Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

They will run in repertoire with Hamlet - with all three productions performed by a single, cross-cast company.

The Swan Theatre's 2013 programme will begin with the premiere of The Empress, a new play by Tanika Gupta, making her RSC debut.

The play centres on Queen Victoria and her growing attachment to one of her Indian manservants in the royal household.

The production will be part of another three-play repertoire, comprising Ravenhill's as-yet untitled play, Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus and Thomas Middleton's satirical Jacobean classic, A Mad World My Masters, which has never before been performed at the RSC.

In a statement, Boyd said: "The last twelve months, in which we've celebrated the RSC's 50th birthday in Stratford, opened the most awarded West End musical in history, and launched the World Shakespeare Festival right across the UK, point to the healthiest possible future for theatre.

"I'm very proud to be programming my last season... with many of the theatre artists who have contributed to its success in the last year, before handing over to Greg Doran who will take the Company on to its next decade."

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