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Just to let you know that the next quarters Friends’ Events are already open for booking. The first two events are very soon on April 16th – Greg Doran is meeting Friends in Stratford and in Newcastle there will be Birthday celebrations (a little early).

The newsletter with details of these events and others will be with you very soon but to see more details and book now follow the link above to RSC Friends Events.

Jane Cromack

RSC Friends Co-Ordinator

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The Friends of the RSC in Newcastle got together for a Coffee Morning chat in the Theatre Royal recently. Tea and a friendly talk by Yvonne Richardson about the RSC and the Theatre Royal going dark until September were the topics.

Everyone was interested about when the RSC would be coming to Newcastle and there were many questions concerning the new theatre at Stratford Upon Avon and who had seen it, what was it like and when would the RSC return to Newcastle after their stated holiday from the venue for this year.

The Theatre Royal is going dark from 14th March for six months to restore the auditorium to its former glory. All the seats which have been present since about the 1950’s are being replaced with new specially designed seats similar to those of the original 1901 Edwardian theatre. With this in mind, the old seats are to be auctioned, anyone who has a name on a seat is being given the name plate and also given the chance to buy a new seat. Some of the Friends at the coffee morning have seats so were discussing this topic.

Yvonne talked of the new plays in Stratford and who might be in them. Mention was made of Jonathan Slinger who is to play Macbeth, a popular figure since playing Puck at the Theatre Royal, while some of the Friends mentioned his performances as Richard 11 and Richard 111 at The Courtyard.

There was anxiety about when the RSC would return to Newcastle, the Friends being keen to get their annual compliment of the Bard. But with the arrangements for the Birthday Party in April and the promise of future talks by visiting parts of the company, everyone was feeling reassured.

Ideas concerning contact with the RSC were discussed, topics about recent plays, actors of the RSC and general theatre interests kept those presented interested until Lunchtime, when everyone then made their way home or into the town to shop.

For further information on the Restoration of the Theatre Royal Auditorium please visit their website at http://www.theatreroyal.co.uk/restoration

 by Violet Rook.

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There is now a special section on the RSC website where you can find an interview with Michael Boyd in which he discusses the benefit of ensemble to the company and audiences. The same site features interviews with members of the current ensemble talking about their experiences in Stratford and looking forward to the current season in Newcastle as well as the imminent visit to London. In addition, the same actors share their thoughts about the performances in New York next year. The fact that all these interviews are filmed is a real bonus and they are exciting to experience at this historic time in the history of the RSC. Just log on to www.rsc.org.uk/about-us/ensemble/

So enjoyable in fact, that I think I shall log on again.

 Tony Boyd-Williams

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