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Posts Tagged ‘Merchant of Venice’

I went to watch C.P.Taylor’s script-in-hand reading of Good on Sunday. Accompanied by two Stratford ladies who both originally came from Germany, we were all very moved by this brilliant reading of the award winning play. Having lived in Germany for several years I know how since the end of the horrible Nazi times the citizens have constructed one of the most decent countries in the world, the cornerstone of a peace which has lasted in Western Europe ( if not elsewhere) for the 66 years I have been alive. This has been achieved despite the physical ruin and moral degradation that the country had in 1945. Basically the people of Germany believe in peace but are aware of the 12 year or so madness in their history. And they are not complacent and that is where this wonderful play is so important .

The cast were excellent and the music superb. Tom Goodman-Hill, as Halder, was outstanding and he told us afterwards that there will be a production of the play in Manchester which sadly he won’t be able to be in-he was asked- but because of other work has had to decline. It is such a pity.

The play is all about the nature of evil; it is both intelligent and serious and shows how humane people can be drawn into terrible situations. It is a warning to us all not to be complacent about evil and we must all hope mankind will not be led into a nuclear holocaust which C.P.Taylor and many of us fear. The timing of this play could not be more perfect and what it makes me appreciate is how Mr. Taylor shared the humanitarian views of Shakespeare.

Thank you RSC for presenting this and allowing us the opportunity to be there.

The Merchant of Venice –Monday 16th May, RST.

Bravo Rupert Goold for presenting this adaptation which was inspired by John Logan. In our modern world where we need to be reminded constantly about the dangers of pigeon-holing people, this production certainly makes one think and examine hypocrisy. Clearly the brilliant Patrick Stewart had researched his role so well despite his extensive experience of playing the character.

 I was very impressed, also, with Howard Charles as Gratiano (the real villain). It is a very difficult part. Susannah Fielding in her RSC debut was superb as Portia and like it or not Jamie Beamish as Launcelot(Elvis) made Shakespeare’s usually gloomy Fool help to make the play a great success. And it is still only in preview, can’t wait to see it again when they will have ironed out some technical matters.

Now if they take the play across the pond, they might have to change Vegas for Blackpool- now there is a thought. Will the Americans understand the Lancashire Fylde accent?

Congratulations RSC, the entire cast and production team.

by David Stevens

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23rd February to 2nd April were marvellous weeks in RSC History. The productions of KING LEAR and ROMEO AND JULIET on our new main stage deservedly received great acclaim as did the brilliant restaging by Michael and his company of ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA in the Swan. The final performance of that production was indeed a night to be proud of and to remember.

However, there were more treats in store. The YPS productions of HAMLET and THE COMEDY OF ERRORS were successfully revived, with much praise from the older members of the audiences in addition to that from the youngsters present. Both productions confirmed the riches and strengths of our 2009-2011 ensemble and underlined what splendid results are obtained when  a company stays together for such a period of time.

Secondly, this hugely talented company allowed us to see them in an entirely different light when they gave us THE RSC ENSEMBLE REVEALED. And then as if to crown it all, we had two further sensational staging’s – THE TEMPEST (a welcome return of Little Angel Theatre in association with the RSC ) and the first RSC Studio production -THE RAPE OF LUCRECE. Now this makes a total of eight events in our theatres in just over five weeks!! Certainly, a fitting start to the momentous year of our 50th Birthday Celebrations.

However, all this was just the beginning. As I write this, the ensemble are back in London for a season of new work prior to their visit to New York and the first members of our new acting ensemble are settling down with us and the previews of Macbeth and Cardenio are well under way. These early performances are proving most enjoyable, exciting and a first  rate start to the new productions which are marking our 50th Birthday Season. We are being treated to yet more outstanding acting/technical talent as well as fantastic direction from Michael and Greg.

If any readers have not yet booked for these productions, then I advise a visit to our hard working Box Office colleagues as quickly as possible. And the arrival of additional acting ensemble members for The Merchant of Venice and The City Madam companies indicates further treats are in store!

To all who have been with the RSC before, welcome back! To all who are with us for the first time, welcome indeed! We hope you all enjoy this very special time in Stratford and do please be assured of our support and best wishes.

Tony Boyd-Williams

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