Archive for the ‘News’ Category

We have recently sent out our December Friends newsletter with information on future events, they are listed below and are open for booking now.

Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all the RSC Friends

Friends Events 2013

Sylvestra Le Touzel - Mistress Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor

Sylvestra Le Touzel – Mistress Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor

Sylvestra Le Touzel – Mistress Page – Book Online
Saturday 12 January 2013, 11am
Holy Trinity Parish Centre
We are delighted that one the ‘Merry Wives’ has agreed to be our guest. Silvestra le Touzel has been a familiar face on television and at an early age in Dr Who, going on to perform in many programmes and most recently in Parade’s End. Her stage career too has been impressive, fond memories of seeing her in Simon Callow’s adaptation for the RSC of Les Enfants du Paradis. Please join us!

Tickets £5 Friends / £6 Guests / £2.50 under 18s. Booking closes on 10 January.


RSC Fight

RSC Fight Workshop

Fight Workshop
Saturday 16 March 2013, 3pm
Clore Learning Centre, above Carluccios on Waterside

We are delighted to announce that we will have a demonstration (and maybe some participation!) by this unusual but very necessary part of the RSC. We are indebted to Matt Armstrong, the RSC’s new Trusts and Foundations Manager for arranging this event.

Tickets £5 Friends/£6 Guests/£2.50 under 18s (limited capacity so book early). Booking closes on 14 March at 3pm.

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Catherine Mallyon RSC Executive Director

Catherine Mallyon RSC Executive Director

Catherine Mallyon – RSC Executive Director
Saturday 23 March 2013, 11am
Holy Trinity Parish Centre

We are very pleased that our new Executive Director, Catherine Mallyon, has agreed to meet with us. Catherine took over from Vikki Heywood in September and I’m sure you will appreciate hearing what she has to say about her new role.

Tickets £5 Friends/£6 Guests/£2.50 under 18s.  Booking closes on 21 March at 11am.

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Dear Friend of the RSC,

You are warmly invited to our annual showcase of work by schools involved in The Learning and Performance Network (LPN). The production is called This Poor Trash of Venice and takes place on Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4 July in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. On 3 July six schools will be performing The Merchant of Venice and on 4 July a different six schools will be performing Othello. The cast of 200 young people ranges from six to eighteen years old. Tickets for both performances are just £3.

The LPN was launched in 2006 and to date 400 schools from across England have been involved. The LPN seeks to work with schools in areas of relatively high social and economic deprivation and gives students the opportunity to approach Shakespeare as actors do in a rehearsal room, using active and exploratory methods. Working in this way, students tell us that they find Shakespeare more relevant, more exciting and that it increases their enjoyment of school.

The schools performing this year are from Weston-super-Mare to County Durham and have been working with us over the past two years.

We would be delighted if you could join us for what will be a wonderful celebration of young people claiming Shakespeare as their own.

Tickets are available from the RSC Ticket Hotline on 0844 800 1110, 10am-6pm, Monday – Saturday. The performance will begin at 2.45pm and finish at approximately 5pm.

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Jonathan Slinger as Malvolio in Twelfth Night

Jonathan Slinger as Malvolio in Twelfth Night


All RSC Friends’ will shortly be receiving a letter with information about forthcoming Friends’ events. We have events taking place in London, Stratford and Newcastle so make sure you come along to hear direct from the actors about what it’s like to be part of this year’s international celebration of Shakespeare.  The events are available to book online now.


What Country Friends Is This? Company TeaTuesday 19 June Circle Bar,  Roundhouse, London, 5pm
The schedule for the What Country Friends Is This? Company during their stay at the Roundhouse, London is incredibly busy. We thought it would be friendly to acknowledge their hard work by giving them tea and cake! This has been arranged for 5pm on 19 June as the Company prepare to rehearse for an understudy performance. They would be delighted if Friends joined them to chat about the shows and to eat cake. Tickets £9.50 Friends / £10 Guests to include tea/coffee, sandwiches and cake. Booking closes on 17 June at 5pm. – Book Online


Jonathan SlingerSaturday 14 July Holy Trinity Parish Centre, 10am
When Jonathan spoke to us last year he said he would be willing to come back and tell us about the varied roles he is playing this season. True to his word, he has agreed to spend some time with us in July and I am sure there will be plenty of questions you will want to ask about the parts he is playing in the What Country Friends Is This? trilogy – The Comedy of Errors, Twelfth Night(some unforgettable images in that one!!) and The Tempest. Please note that this event will begin at the earlier time of 10am. Ticket £5 Friends/£6 Guests/£2.50 under 18s. Booking closes on 12 July at 10am. – Book Online

Meera SyalSaturday 11 AugustHoly Trinity Parish Centre, 10.30am
Actress, comedienne, writer and singer, Meera Syal MBE is also a Governor of the RSC and will be playing the part of Beatrice (a favourite role for so many women!) in the forthcoming production of Much Ado About Nothing at The Courtyard Theatre. We are delighted that she has agreed to speak to us in August. Tickets £5 Friends/£6 Guests/ under 18s £2.50. Booking closes on 9 August at 10.30am. Book Online


Ray FearonWednesday 25th July 2012Theatre Royal Newcastle, 4.30pm
Julius Caesar will open in Newcastle on the 19 July – Ray has kindly taken time out to come and talk to us about his role as Mark Antony in the production and his career to date. Tickets £5 Friends/£6 Guests/£2.50 under 18s. Booking closes on 23 July at 4.30pm. Book Online

Don’t forget Ray Fearon is also meeting the Stratford Friends on 22 June at 4pm, there are still a few tickets remaining for this talk. Book Online

We look forward to welcoming you to one of the Friends’ events soon.

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Shakespeare's Birthplace logo

Inspired by Shakespeare – Wednesday evenings across the county

Many writers, artists and filmmakers have been inspired by Shakespeare and now you can be too.

This series of evening classes taught by a variety of expert practitioners lets you try your hand at creative writing, calligraphy and filmmaking, learning about those who have been inspired by Shakespeare, discovering some basic techniques and being invited to have a go for yourselves.  Designed by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust this course is available at 3 venues, Stratford-Upon-Avon (Stratford Business Services) Hinckley (north Warwickshire and Hinckley college) and Leamington Spa (Warwickshire College) on Wednesday evenings from 7-9pm starting Wednesday September 19th. Course costs £110 for 10 weeks.

Call 01789 207131 to book a place

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Artist impression of landing stage and stone steps. Original painting by kind permission of www.gatehouse prints.com

Artist impression of landing stage and stone steps. Original
painting by kind permission of http://www.gatehouse prints.com

The Avon Navigation Trust and Holy Trinity Church are raising funds for the construction of a landing stage and stone steps from the banks of the River Avon to the grounds of Holy Trinity Church.

This project has been inspired by the determination and vision of the late David Hutchings MBE who masterminded the restoration of the southern Stratford Canal, re-opened in 1964 by HM the Queen Mother, and led the restoration of the Upper Avon navigation from Evesham to Stratford, completed and also re-opened by the Queen Mother in 1974.

The steps will incorporate a 15m landing stage to give access from the river to boats of all types, enabling them to drop off and pick up passengers who wish to visit the church and see Shakespeare’s memorial, though it is not intended for them to moor there. It will be a particularly attractive facility for wedding parties.

Composed and read by Sir John Betjeman at the re-opening of the Upper Avon Navigation, 1st June 1974.

He who by peaceful inland waters steers
Bestirs himself when a new lock appears
Slow swing the gates: slow sinks the water down
This lower Stratford seems another town
These meadows which the youthful Shakespeare knew
Are left behind, and sliding into view
Come reaches of the Avon, mile on mile,
Church, farm and mill and lover leaned-on style
Till where the tower of Tewkesbury soars to heaven
Our homely Avon joins the haughty Severn
Sweet is the fluting of the blackbird’s note,
Sweet is the ripple from the narrow boat,
Your Majesty, our friend of many years,
Confirms this triumph now the moment nears-
The lock you will re-open will set free
The heart of England to the open sea.

Further information

For further information email hugh@charityview.co.uk

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by David Stevens


March 22: – Standing ovation first night preview, even better performance when I took Ingrid on the 27th March and sure to be better and better. Beg, steal or borrow a ticket. Great Richard and brilliant cast and direction.

 Jonjo shines as Richard III at RSC’s Swan | Stratford Observer


Richard III RSC Swan Theatre Stratford JONJO O’Neill, with a little help from his friends, ensures The World Shakespeare Festival gets off to a gripping start

April 9: – You will be absolutely blown away by Pippa Nixon in King John– as the reviewer writes the role of a lifetime.

King John Reviews at Swan Theatre – Stratford-Upon-Avon – Whatsonstage.com


Luckily for a reviewer, there are nights in the theatre that completely reaffirm your love for the magic of live performance. Tonight is one of those nights. Maria Aberg’s production of King John is nothing short of a triumph. It is a vital and vibrant reworking of a neglected play that transfor…

April 23: – And today the Company welcomed the Iraqi Theatre Company who will be performing Romeo And Juliet in Bagdad at the Swan from 26 April to May5. This version of the play is in Arabic with English surtitles. Directed by Monadhil Daood. Sounds really exciting – music, poetry and ritual. Met them today- what a lovely group of people

May 1st: – Romeo and Juliet in Baghdad. Last night was wonderful both the performance at The Swan and the superb party at the Duck. An outstanding achievement from the Iraqi Theatre Company, It was pure joy. Rhythm, feeling and proof that, via Shakespeare, we are all Brothers. To Monadihil Daood and his team of actors and musicians all I can say is shukran (thank you).

May 4: – Having attended the understudy performance of The Comedy of Errors, it just confirms what a strong Ensemble of Actors and technical management team the Royal Shakespeare Company have available. Jonathan Slinger giving us an “Accrington” accent, the joy of Amer Hlehel playing Angelo, Sandy Grierson excelling with an English accent and his twin Sargon Yelda so strong in his part. It was clear that they along with the magnificent lady members deserved the applause from the audience. However ANKUR BAHL playing both Dromios stole the show- not easy when one considers how brilliant Felix Hayes and Bruce Mackinnon are in the usual show. Privilege to have been there and Ankur is one to watch out for. Bravo. Recommend to everyone to try and get to an understudy performance.

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Well how very exciting that all was – hope you were able to work the red button on the Beeb and enjoyed the show. A fantastic evening for the RSC indeed – Congratulations to all those involved: –

‘RSC’s stage version of children’s novel takes record seven prizes at UK theatre’s most prestigious awards ceremony

The Royal Shakespeare Company show, based on Roald Dahl‘s 1988 children’s novel, had been nominated in 10 categories and was easily the biggest winner on the night.

Matilda’s success meant the RSC beat its own record for the number of Oliviers won by one show, previously held by Nicholas Nickleby, which won six in 1980.’

For details see http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2012/apr/15/matilda-the-musical-dominates-oliviers?newsfeed=true

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At last, Will Houston is back in London town! He’ll be appearing with Iain Glen and Charlotte Emmerson in Uncle Vanya at the Print Room from 21st March until 28th April. Lucy Bailey directs a new translation by Mike Poulton. Those with VERY long memories can also look forward to seeing David Shaw-Parker.



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Following yesterdays announcement that Greg has been appointed the new Artistic Director – what great news for one and all –

Many congratulations from RSC Friends!

Gregory Doran named as RSC chief

Gregory Doran
Gregory Doran is to take over from Michael Boyd as artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Doran, who joined the company 25 years ago – as an actor – is currently chief associate director at the RSC.
Boyd said he was “pleased to be leaving the Company in such good hands”. “He is a first rate director, and nobody knows and loves the company more than him.”
Doran hailed his “long-term commitment … to the astonishing plays of our ‘Star of Poets’, William Shakespeare”.
Doran – who won an Olivier award for outstanding achievement for the RSC’s season of Jacobean plays in 2002 – will take over from Boyd in September.
“I am delighted to be appointed as artistic director of this great company,” said Doran.
“Michael Boyd and Vikki Heywood have done an exceptional job in the last decade, rebuilding the theatre and reasserting the principles of ensemble and collaboration, which I hope to continue and extend.”
“My first task is to assemble an exciting new artistic team, with whom I shall start planning the Company’s future from 2014.”
‘True commitment’
RSC Chairman Nigel Hugill paid tribute to Doran’s “deep understanding of Shakespeare and a true commitment to theatre-making”.
Critically acclaimed productions for the RSC include Patrick Stewart and Harriet Walter in Anthony and Cleopatra in 2006, and Love’s Labour’s Lost, starring David Tennant, in 2008.
Doran was also instrumental in bringing his 2000 production of Macbeth – starring his partner Anthony Sher in the title role – to Channel 4, while his 2008 production of Hamlet, starring David Tennant, was broadcast on the BBC.
His predecessor Boyd is credited with reviving the fortunes of the RSC which was debt-written and demoralised when he took over in 2002.
Success stories include his year-long Complete Works festival in Stratford-upon-Avon, and the award-winning musical Matilda, which transferred to London’s West End last year.
He also oversaw the £112m renovation project to the Stratford-upon-Avon theatres and the RSC’s 50th birthday.


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Bram Stoker Centenary Conference

To mark 100 years since Bram Stoker’s death a group of Stoker enthusiasts, including some Shakespeare Birthplace Trust staff, are inviting you to join them in celebrating his life, his works and his Shakespearian connections.

They invite you to join them for a 6 course meal on Saturday 14 April inspired by menus held in the collection followed by a conference on Sunday 15 April with guest speakers Dacre Stoker, Elizabeth Miller and Michael Kilgarriff.  All proceeds raised from this event will help support vital work to catalogue and digitise the Bram Stoker collection cared for by The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

If you would like to attend either the dinner, the conference or both please email stoker100@virginmedia.com or call 01789 204016.

Find out more

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