Posts Tagged ‘Rape of Lucrece’

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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Just before we look at the new season work David and Ingrid Stevens, RSC Friends in Stratford wanted to share their review of a couple of pieces of work which came at the end of the transformation offerings. 


Having been so lucky to have attended the RSC Ensemble Revealed event on the 27th March, 2011 at the Swan Theatre we have now bought the book- photography by Asia Werbel and Lucy McLeod and as compiled by Hannah Young, Kelly Hunter and Asia Werbel. It is available from blurb.com. There is a great shot of Valerie Thompson and Penny Kirkwood at the main entrance of the RST.

It is a superb souvenir to remember the Long Ensemble 2009-2011 and for the very worthy cause for James Gale.

Congratulations to all members of the Ensemble for their brilliant efforts raising money for James Gale. As an audience we thoroughly enjoyed everything they did. There were so many memorable moments but I would like to mention Brian Doherty. This was a poignant piece and so apt for our turbulent times. The audience was one and ready to join in “And the band played Waltzing Matilda”. Well done Brian, brilliantly executed and even better than the Pogues. We should congratulate Hannah Young and Kelly Hunter for organising the event and also David Collins and the lovely ladies from his RSC Marketing team who were so much involved in helping create such a great and worthy event for a wonderful cause. And one should not forget the Box Office and FOH staff who clearly did their bit as well Congratulations.

Camille O’Sullivan in “The Rape of Lucrece”

A good friend of mine told me that Camille was not only delightful but extremely talented. So off we went to watch “Lucrece”. Ingrid, my wife, wrote the following.

“People, who had seen her before, highly recommended it. So trying to get an idea of the text, I read through it and, honestly, I was a bit sceptical about how this might be performable. Camille, though, carried me away from the very first moment. The lines that look a bit tedious in the book became one great magical spell. With only her touchingly sweet hands and feet for a wand, she enchanted the audience and brought this Roman crime in Elizabethan words to a thrilling and moving topicality that could easily match any of today’s thriller productions. At the same time, it got so thoroughly deep into the emotions of the victim as well as the perpetrator that it was much more than that. Her voice, oh her voice was hypnotizing and Feargal Murray’s music always ready to touch this one admissible chord…A truly great performance”.

Yes it was superb. This brilliant lady portrayed with music this beautiful, albeit violent, narrative poem so well. I was mesmerized, but as Ingrid told me, so was the entire audience.

David Stevens, RSC Friends, Stratford upon Avon

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