Posts Tagged ‘David Farr’

Well we have been in Stratford for almost a year after our sojourn around the world. What a wonderful place. The RST, as my wife, Ingrid, so aptly puts it is an Olympus of Magic Places. I so much enjoy being an RSC Friend and am delighted to help where I can. Great memories of the last year  the “Visitor Counting’, the Candlelight Procession, the Builders Evening,  Backstopping for the Tours. the Costume Sale, the superb and so well organised RSC Events, the friendship and welcome by so many of you in particular the industrious Jane, Penny and Valerie. And not forgetting the friendliness and professional approach of the Guides, FOH, Box Office and the Marketing team. I have met so many interesting people. Becky Loftus, Head of Audience Insight, who was in charge of the Visitor Counting and Feedbacks like everyone in the Marketing Department, seems to work around the clock. Thank you all for making the last year so enjoyable.

The theatre is wonderful, the acoustics outstanding and the productions all great. I have been looking at some of the notes I made about them. 

Romeo and Juliet.                 “Jonjo was brilliant, the best Mercutio we have ever seen and Rupert Goold should be very pleased with his cast. Well done all of them. Listening to Mariah Gale with her back to us proved yet again how wonderful the acoustics are in this magnificent place.”  (3 March) “Our son, over from Germany, had the wonderful opportunity to watch R&J last night and like us thoroughly enjoyed the performance. He was really impressed by the theatre, the acoustics, the seating, the décor, the architecture etc. In addition, thank you to the superb box office team who were helpful and informative and went out of their way to help him as was evident to most people standing around the foyer.” (10 March)

Antony and Cleopatra               We very much enjoyed Antony and Cleopatra. There were outstanding dynamic performances by Katy Stephens and Darrell D’Silva. Very impressed by all the cast-well done in particular, Brian Doherty, Hannah Young and Sandy Neilson. We were very impressed too by the FOH lady who was so kind to an elderly gentleman sitting near us, in ensuring he found his way to his seat. Congratulations to the RSC and Michael Boyd. We enjoyed the production much more than last year at the Courtyard. (14 March)

King Lear                                 I watched this brilliant production twice within a week .Very impressed. Greg Hicks and the cast were outstanding. Darrell D’Silva, when Caius, proved yet again his acting skills and remembered his South Yorkshire roots. The director, David Farr, must be very pleased with what he has achieved. The casting director should also be commended-what joy to have Kelly and Katy as the evil sisters. We really enjoyed Geoffrey Freshwater as Gloucester, even better than his skinning a rabbit (AYLI). Yes, we were bowled over; just hope the England cricket team is not at the world cup! (16 March)

by David Stevens, RSC Friend, Stratford upon Avon

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Wednesday 14th July was a special day. Yes, I am well aware all French citizens and Francophiles celebrate it as Bastille Day but this year, the date was also special because it marked the first night of the revival of  David Farr’s production of THE WINTER’S TALE.

And what a night in the theatre! Some relatives from Australia were making their first visit to The Courtyard and also to a performance of the play. At the end of a marvellous evening in the theatre, their comment was “How wonderful to see so much talent on one stage”. It was in fact like a First Night in every sense  with performances, production and staging coming across as mint fresh. By the time, our splendid puppet bear made his entrance (I say “he “because it seems that back stage he is known as Bernard),the audience were ready to explode with enthusiasm. This was definitely a case of exit pursued by a bear, followed by spontaneous applause. Thereafter, much applause punctuated the performance with loud (and well deserved) cheers at the end.

There was so much panache on the part  of  every member of the ensemble , with rich relishing of Shakespeare’s text and totally committed and unselfish teamwork. Earlier this year, Michael Boyd wrote about this new season being the moment when the work of the entire ensemble really started to cook. Wednesday 14th July 2010 gave us yet another  real theatrical banquet and I am sure that the AS YOU LIKE IT ensemble will be supplying us with a similar rich theatrical feast when  the production is revived.

Hasten to The Courtyard box office all ye who have not yet purchased your tickets. 

Tony Boyd-Williams

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