Archive for the ‘Shakespeare’ Category

We thought you would be interested in a forthcoming fundraising event taking place at Shakespeare’ Birthplace,  sounds like a lovely way to spend an evening.

Shakespeare’s World in Wine

Shakespeare’s World in Wine
Friday 16 November, 7.30pm, The Shakespeare Centre

Join us on a light hearted and entertaining journey through Shakespeare’s most famous speeches accompanied by wine tastings and canapés. Led by renowned wine expert Alastair MacBrayne and Shakespearian Paul Edmondson you will be entertained with witticisms, banter and performances from our resident acting company Shakespeare Aloud! Professor Stanley Wells has also promised to make a cameo appearance.

£20 per person. Or special offer when booking a table: £144 for a table of 8 or £180 for a table of 10.

Money raised from this fundraising event will go towards supporting the work of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Booking is essential. To book your place please phone Jessica Hill on 01789 204016, email fundraising@shakespeare.org.uk or call into the Shakespeare Centre on Henley Street.


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If you are an RSC Friend you will have recently received either a letter or email detailing the below events. We hope you can join us for one.

Julius Caesar Q&A
Saturday 18 August, 11am
Noël Coward Theatre, London

The current production of Julius Caesar, set in modern day Africa, has won many accolades including “an outstanding contribution to the World Shakespeare Festival’’ and “a superb cast conveying the verse with clarity and passion”. We are delighted that we have been able to arrange for a Q&A session with Adjoa Andoh, Ray Fearon, Jeffery Kissoon and Cyril Nri whilst the production is in London.  Why not take advantage of the return to normality after the Olympics and join us to talk to the cast about what it’s like to be a part of this unique production.

Tickets £5 Friends/£6 Guests/ under 18s £2.50. Booking closes on 16 August at 11am.

Book Tickets

Bruce Mackinnon and Felix Hayes
Friday 5 October, 4pm
Holy Trinity Parish Centre, Stratford-upon-Avon

Just before the close of the season we have not one, but two actors from the ‘Shipwreck Trilogy’ coming to speak to us.  Felix Hayes plays Fabian in Twelfth Night and Trinculo in

The Tempest.  Bruce Mackinnon is Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night and Stephano in The Tempest.   Together they play the extremely funny, lovable Dromio twins in The Comedy of Errors.  Come and see if you can tell them apart!

Tickets £5 Friends/£6 Guests/Under 18s £2.50, booking closes on 3 October at 4pm.

Book Tickets 

We look forward to welcoming you to a Friends’ event soon.

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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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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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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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This weekend join us in Stratford-upon-Avon for three more events celebrating the history of the RSC.

Howard Davies: The Place, The Other Place and The Warehouse
Saturday 26 November, 10am
Swan Theatre, £8
Howard Davies, director of productions including Les Liaisons Dangereuses, was the catalyst for big changes at the RSC. The (Donmar) Warehouse first opened in 1976, modelled on The Other Place in Stratford, under his visionary leadership. The Warehouse played host to some of the most important and urgent new plays of the 1970s and 1980s. Howard will be talking about his work to Chris Campbell, Literary Manager of the Royal Court Theatre.

A Celebration: Educating Rita
Sunday 27 November, 11.30am
Swan Theatre, £15
Educating Rita was commisioned and premiered by the RSC in 1980 and went on to becoming one of the nation’s best loved stories. Join Willy Russell as he talks to Company Dramaturg Jeanie O’Hare about how Educating Rita made it onto the stage at the RSC.

In Conversation: Adrian Noble
Sunday 27 November, 7.30pm
Swan Theatre, £15
Adrian Noble, RSC Artistic Director 1990-2003, talks to Michael Attenborough about his time with the Company. Adrian’s productions for the Company include The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, The Plantagenets and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, later turned into a successful film.

To book, call the RSC Ticket Hotline on 0844 800 1110 or book online at www.rsc.org.uk/rsc50events

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Celebrate the Swan Theatre

Celebrate the Swan Theatre

Join us next Saturday for two events revelling in the playwrights who adore the Swan Theare – past and present

The Swan and the Lost Library of Jacobethan Plays
Sunday 21 August, 11.30am
Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

RSC Chief Associate Director Gregory Doran hosts a mischievous reunion of the writers who were Shakespeare’s contemporaries.

Ben Jonson, Christopher Marlowe, John Webster, Thomas Middleton and John Fletcherwill be brought to life by actors Oliver Rix, Alex Hassell, Michael Grady-Hall, Simeon Moore and Felix Hayes.

In addition to the writers, a guest appearance by Antony Sher, who will join Gregory to discuss an actor’s perspective on these writers, having performed in plays by each of them.

Tickets £10

Buy tickets

Play Reading: Singer
Sunday 21 August, 2pm
Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

Rejoin us in the Swan Theatre at 2pm for a script-in-hand reading of Peter Flannery’s heartbreaking play Singer, directed by Peter himself.

Written for the Swan stage and first produced there by the RSC in 1989, Singer tells the story of Peter Singer and his journey from racketeer in Auschwitz to the high society of London.

The play brilliantly gives the definitive master-class in how to take dramatic techniques from Shakespeare and make them your own on the Swan Stage.

Wild humour, graceful language with sharp and unbearable heartbreak.

Cast includes: Marcus Cunningham, Andrew French, Miranda Stewart, Ellie Taylor

Buy Tickets

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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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I am sure many of you will recall the first performances in 1994 of this sparkling anthology of sketches and songs inspired by Shakespeare and devised by Christopher Luscombe with Malcolm McKee. Well for those who do and for those who may not have yet encountered this marvellous miscellany for all lovers of our William, there will be a chance to see (and hopefully enjoy) THE SHAKESPEARE REVUE on SATURDAY 13th NOVEMBER when the Trinity Players of Holy Trinity Church present two performances at 2pm and 7.30pm in The Parish Centre, Old Town, Stratford upon Avon.

Tickets £7.50 (£6 concessions) are available from Holy Trinity Church Shop or The Parish Office (tel:01789 266316).

Modesty forbids me to mention the name of a certain individual who is taking part, but I have to confess that rehearsals are great fun, especially for the song THE NIGHT I APPEARED AS MACBETH!

Tony Boyd-Williams

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Hooked on Shakespeare

People often talk of the moment they realised that they loved Shakespeare. For me, it took a collection of men in black on their hands and knees, plugging artificial flowers into artificial turf.

As You Like It at Stratford wasn’t, strictly speaking, my first experience of Shakespeare. That had come the previous evening, when my mother and I saw Ron Daniels’ production of Romeo & Juliet. I remember that Anton Lesser as Romeo wore a leather jacket, which I thought was impossibly cool (well, it was 1980). I also remember Judy Buxton as Juliet reaching down from the top of an enormous wall to Romeo far below. And I think I was a bit shocked that they died in the end. But other than that – nothing. Not a flicker.

My mother was seriously worried. I was 13, the age her own parents had introduced her to Shakespeare with a production of The Tempest starring John Gielgud. My grandmother had quietly dozed through most of it but my mother was hooked. And she was desperate for me to feel the same way. So she brought me to Stratford for the first time and booked tickets for two plays. This wasn’t a good start.

She didn’t hold out much hope for As You Like It the following evening. If Romeo & Juliet didn’t get me, what would? She took some comfort in the meantime that Stratford was at least working its magic. I remember unexpected treats; Joe Cocks’ photographic studio, full of pictures of RSC productions, and outrageous cream cakes in the beamed Cobweb Tearoom on Sheep Street. That evening, I put on my best dress once again and we strolled from the hotel down to the theatre.

My mother tells me that the first half of Terry Hands’ production was monochrome and the stage was covered in fur. I can’t remember that at all. At some point (I know now) the action must have moved to the Forest of Arden, where a huge tree grew out of a grassy knoll in the middle of the stage. But during the interval, spring arrived. We watched as a small group of stage crew crawled all over the little grassy hill, placing what felt like hundreds of tiny flowers into the grass. When they finished, the audience burst into applause.

I remember the rest of the play like it was yesterday. Above all I remember the moment when Susan Fleetwood, disguised as Ganymede, teased melancholy Jacques. John Bowe as Orlando ran up behind her, thrusting a bunch of flowers under her arm. ‘Good day and happiness, dear Rosa-lind,’ he said, punctuating her name with a flamboyant kiss on either cheek. A long pause as Jacques took in the scene and they dared him to speak. I laughed. Everyone laughed. I don’t want this to end, I thought.

That’s still my idea of great production these days – if I think, I don’t want this to end. And there have been many, most of them at Stratford: the Michael Bogdanov Romeo & Juliet where Tybalt drove a red sports car and Mercutio jumped into a swimming pool during the Capulet ball; that brilliant Midsummer Night’s Dream where the fairies wore tutus and bovver boots; Anthony Sher as Richard III; Kenneth Branagh as Henry V; the History series (both times).

Since then I’ve seen every Shakespeare play bar one (Timon of Athens – will someone put it on, please?). I’ve seen something like 30 Hamlets and I never miss a Romeo & Juliet. And one day about nine years ago, while I was watching Henry VI dying on the Swan stage I thought, I love it here, so I moved.  All because of Shakespeare, and those men in black.

By RSC Friend Liz Fisher

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