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Posts Tagged ‘Greg Hicks’

BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night is Music Night joins in the RSC’s 50th Birthday celebrations with music from some of the many films, musicals, ballets and operas inspired by Shakespeares plays. With members of the RSC performing some of the most famous soliloquies from his plays and the 60 piece BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Roderick Dunk, the programme features music ranging from Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, Verdi’s Ballet Macbeth, William Walton’s Henry V and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet; to Cole Porter’s Kiss Me Kate, Rodgers and Harts The Boys From Syracuse, West Side Story and the film Shakespeare in Love’.

Presented by Samantha Bond, the concert was recorded at the Mermaid Theatre last Saturday – and will be broadcast this Friday evening (10th June.) RSC ensemble members and alumni involved in the recording include: Greg Hicks, Susannah Fielding, Brian Doherty, Rupert Evans, Desmond Barrit, Darrell D’Silva, Brian Doherty and Noma Dumezweni.

 Radio 2 are also producing an interval feature which includes interviews with John Woolf talking about RSC music, Dennis Kelly on Matilda, The Musical, Cis Berry about voice work, Greg Doran on the RSC and Cardenio, Jonathan Slinger on Macbeth and The Homecoming and acting for the RSC, and Jacqui O’Hanlon on the RSC’s Education work.

 It’s Pick of the week in this week’s Radio Times…

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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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I expect many of you will know about this but I wanted to draw your attention to the 57th Poetry Festival that will be taking place in and around Stratford from July 14th to 1st August. The varied and interesting programme includes many RSC Alumni including Janet Suzman, David Troughton, Anton Lesser, Greg Doran, Kelly Hunter, Greg Hicks, Rory Kinnear, Mariah Gale and Jane Lapotaire. Wow! Details can be found at:

http://shakespeare.org.uk/files/Poetry_v6_8pp.pdf

If any of you manage to attend some of the events do post in a review of them.

Jane Cromack

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Monday 21 June witnessed another splendid Public Understudy Performance – this time it was the turn of the ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA company. Prior to the action, Assistant Director Helen Leblique told us she was proud of these members of the ensemble for what they have achieved in a short space of time. A most enjoyable and stimulating afternoon confirmed that such pride was more than justified.

Indeed. the enjoyment was (in a most professional sense ) clearly evident on stage as Kathryn Hunter, Darrell D’Silva, John Mackay and Brian Doherty appeared in cameo roles whilst unselfishly supporting their colleagues appearing in the parts normally taken by them. What strength in an ensemble which can field such main performances as well as those from understudies Katy Stephens, Geoffrey Freshwater, Charles Aitken and Phillip Edgerley.

Special mention must also be made of Greg Hicks and Paul Hamilton who each played three roles! However, as accolade is due for the whole cast (and they were appearing in their usual roles that evening).

This never to be repeated performance crowned a series of quite unforgettable Public Understudy Performances by our 2009/2010 ensemble. What a further feast of theatrical memories. Ah, the privilege of now being able to tell the grandchildren “I WAS THERE”.

Tony Boyd-Williams

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Greg Hicks

Reviewing an RSC production in 1965, the drama critic Hugh Leonard ended thus “…from me a loud cheer and a second visit as soon as possible “. These words came back to me when watching the exciting first preview of KING LEAR on 18th February and I made a second visit on the 23rd February so I could join in the loud cheers again for what is an outstanding evening in the theatre.

David Farr and his designer Jon Bausor have come up with a most original and powerful staging which so superbly takes us from the time of Lear’s dynasty to the age of the younger generation when betrayal, treason, invasion and greed for power tear the country apart and with devastating consequences. There are some coups de theatre reminding one of the crashing bookcases in THE WINTER’S TALE but I shall not spoil the effects by revealing them.

How right Michael Boyd was when he stated that by now the work of the ensemble would begin to cook. Every character has their own special moment and as was the case with THE HISTORIES ensemble one year on we see teamwork and performances par excellence. The rehearsal period has resulted  in an absolutely splendid speaking of the text, so much so that anyone seeing the play for the first time, comes to a story so clearly told. In fact, it is so clear that so much inflection and stage business comes straight from the text. It will be fascinating to see this cast in ANTHONY AND CLEOPATRA, not forgetting the two public understudy performances.

It is an ensemble production, but Greg Hick’s performance of Lear must be given individual mention for many reasons. His first entrance is most striking and original as are his relationships with his daughters, the Fool, Kent and Gloucester. He finds meanings both powerful and moving in the text, all of which come across as so fresh and memorable. In Greg Hicks, we also see the humour of the man, his ability to relate to those who are loyal to him and his baffled hurt and pain on being rejected -rejection so cruel that madness follows. I also came away from this production thinking that THIS Lear would indeed have been a strong and mighty ruler in his prime and realizing why his loyal subjects were so heartbroken by his death.

A terrific start to the new season !

by Tony Boyd-Williams, RSC Friends, Stratford

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