Archive for the ‘RSC Events’ Category

DUNSINANE –  I quote what Ingrid wrote.  “We watched Dunsinane today in Stratford, at the matinee: What a fantastic performance! It was tremendous, powerful, playing incredible tricks with one’s mind. Brian Ferguson, the Malcom/Karzai who came over as the true realist, quite lovable and just a little despicable, Jonny Phillips as the noble warrior, so naive and yet so cruel, Tom Gill, little Sojo who was told…, and the wonderful Siobhan Redmond as Gruach, she had me in tears at the end.“ What a production! Bravo! Thank you National Theatre of Scotland! Thank you RSC for putting it on at The Swan. I enjoyed it again. Tonight is the last performance in Stratford. Congratulations to all the National Theatre of Scotland team and good luck for the next performances of the play. Thought provoking and wonderful acting.

SCOTT HANDY TALK FOR THE RSC FRIENDS –  It was a privilege to be present, when Scott Handy gave a mesmerizing talk to the RSC Friends. Everyone there appeared impressed by his sincerity and relevant comments including how actors bring the written lines to life. We should thank him for taking time to talk to us despite his busy schedule. Scott is such an intelligent, pleasant, unassuming gentleman and a credit to his profession.  And thank you Jane for your pertinent questions –so good a host and for organising the Event along with Penny who also deserves our thanks.

UNWRAPPED AND SCRIPT- IN – HAND PERFORMANCES – We have been enjoying going to the various Unwrapped Events that have been staged at the RSC and also the script in hand readings. I am looking forward to Saturday which starts with Unwrapped Cardenio at 10.30, followed by a weekend created by Mark Ravenhill – script in hand readings Poppy at 2pm (a musical set during the 19th century Opium Wars) and Fashion at 7pm (a satire re political spin as an advertising tycoon bids for the job of re-modelling the Tories in 1987).

My goodness we are being spoilt for choice.

by  David Stevens

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by David Stevens, RSC Friend Stratford-upon-Avon


The City Madam is receiving great reviews from all who have been to see the production. I very much enjoyed the opening night and can’t wait to go again when they will have done a bit of tweaking here and there. There were excellent performances by Jo Stone-Fewings, Nick Day, Alex Hassall and Sara Crowe. For me the highlight was the wonderful performance by Chris Godwin who was just brilliant as Sir John Frugal.  A lovely production- just what you need when you are feeling sad. Super set designed by Tom Piper and fabulous costumes. I loved the ending and really felt sorry for Chris and Nick having to wear those high heels. Almost forgot Pippa Nixon who played Shave’em played her part in this marvellous satire.



 We enjoyed the script-in-hand performance and were very impressed by the cast. It is hoped that they will now have a further full production. The Q&A, after the reading, was very much of interest to those of us who stayed. Christopher Hampton explained how he had adapted the original novel. The great advantage for him was that in the original scandalous book by Choderlos de Laclos there was no dialogue, just a series of letters.. Hence Christopher was able to adapt and write a brilliant play. He talked about the original production which was premiered by the RSC at The Other Place in 1985, directed by Howard Davies with a superb cast. This play went on to success in London and Broadway. The play has won many awards. Sadly I never saw the original but did see the film in 1988. There is a lot of hope that the play will be produced again in the West End and to this end Kim Poster of Stanhope productions is endeavouring to ensure this happens. I hope they consider the same director, as for the script-in-hand adaptation shown here- Gérald Garutti- as it is understood that Howard Davies has declined. Oh please have Raymond Coulthard who was brilliant as Le Vicomte de Valmont. Indeed the entire cast if available would be great – Una Stubbs who I first saw 48 years ago was so good and also Rachael Stirling should be applauded for the difficult part of La Marquise De Merteuil. The play is about a sophisticated couple who have sexual affairs with others and then share their experiences with the other. There was one rule never to fall in love. The play of course results in Le Vicomte de Valmont falling in love and Merteuil declaring war on him. The novel was written just before the French Revolution so it is somewhat to say the least about decadence of the nobility and very political.

Yes it about using sex as a weapon to humiliate others but it also about decadence and war.

Please bring the play to Stratford again first.  It was a privilege to have been there and to have listened to the genius of Christopher Hampton afterwards. Gosh the RSC are really spoiling us with their 50 birthday celebrations.

by David Stevens

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RSC Open Day 2011

RSC Open Day 2011

On Sunday 12 June the we are opening the doors to our new home in Stratford-upon-Avon and giving you the chance to see behind the scenes at the RSC.

Open Day gives you the unique opportunity to delve into the world of theatre making and see how the company works.

This is the first Open Day in our transformed theatres and is a great chance for us to celebrate our 50th birthday with you. The day will include a packed programme of exciting events, drop-in sessions, one off performances and fascinating onstage talks and debates.

There are a range of free and paid events throughout the day to keep everyone entertained, from the dressing up box to
RSC Artistic Director Michael Boyd in conversation. Paid for events start at just £5 and along with a selection of the free events can be booked in advance.

We hope you can join us on Sunday 12 June and help us celebrate 50 years of theatre making at the RSC.
To find out more visit www.rsc.org.uk/openday

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See Backstage

Arabian Night's picture by Keith Pattison

I’ve just returned from taking a small group of visitors on a tour of the Courtyard Theatre. They were very enthusiastic about being able to go onto the stage and to see back stage, especially when there are so many costumes and props on display. What they did see reminded me of the tremendous work that goes on behind the scenes with any RSC production to ensure that audiences experience the very best.

Arabian Nights is a great example of this when you look at the splendid costumes and props, not forgetting the puppets made specially for this show. No matter what the age, we all enjoy pure theatrical magic, and this wonderful seasonal show certainly provides that.
A tour of the Courtyard Theatre also enables visitors to consider the contribution of musicians, wigs/make up, dressers and running wardrobe, not forgetting the technicians up aloft and the stage management team. Indeed, on the current stage manager’s desk the copy of the script reminds us at the very beginning of this show that whilst we may marvel at what we see with our eyes, we also need to be aware of the words of the story:
An important reminder for us to do exactly that, whatever the show, so that the theatrical magic intended by the storytellers/dramatists may be experienced the very moment a performance begins.
A visit backstage before a performance really gets one in the theatrical mood and reminds us of all who so faithfully and professionally prepare for performance.
Tony Boyd-Williams RSC Friend and Volunteer Tour Guide
To find out more about tours of the Courtyard Theatre visit www.rsc.org.uk/theatretours


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