Posts Tagged ‘RSC Friends’

We recently sent out an email and newsletter with the below forthcoming events detailed, these are all on sale now. You can either book online at http://www.rsc.org.uk, call the Box Office on 0844 800 1110 or book in person at the theatre.  Events are open to all RSC Friends and RSC Supporters.

Walking Shakespeare’s London Theatreland – Book Online
Saturday 10 November 2012, 10am
Meet at Southwark Cathedral London

Julian Bowsher’s recently published Shakespeare’s London Theatreland is a mine of attractively presented information on the archaeology, history and drama of the Elizabethan theatre. Julian will meet us at Southwark Cathedral (coffee and a quick look at Ned Shakespeare’s memorial) at 10am and then walk us about 1.5 miles taking in the main sites to Shakespeare’s Globe; it’s roughly Walk 1 in his book. At the Globe we shall have lunch, a tour of the theatre and spend time in the exhibition. There will be a lot of walking and standing in this event. Comfortable shoes, and umbrellas just in case, please.

Tickets £20 Friends / £23 Guests, without food or transport. Booking closes on 5 November at 10am.

We can arrange transport from Stratford, if Friends require it, in the region of £20 return. Email Coreen at housesteads1@btinternet.com for details. If you book a ticket for this event, please email Coreen with your contact details, or phone 01789 268775. This information is vital to ensure the smooth running of the event.

Afternoon Tea – Book Online
Thursday 6 December, 5pm
Ruinart Circle Bar, Royal Shakespeare Theatre

We enjoyed pre-Christmas tea with the The Heart of Robin Hood Company last year and thought we would like to arrange a similar event this year after a matinee performance of The Merry Wives of Windsor. We will be inviting members of that company to join us between their two performances – you may wish to take the opportunity to see the show too.

Tickets £10 Friends / £11 guests, to include coffee/ tea, sandwiches, cake and mince pies. Booking closes on 28 November.


Sylvestra Le Touzel – Mistress Page – Book Online
Saturday 12 January 2013, 11am
Holy Trinity Parish Centre 

We are delighted that one the ‘Merry Wives’ has agreed to be our guest. Silvestra le Touzel has been a familiar face on television and at an early age in Dr Who, going on to perform in many programmes and most recently in Parade’s End. Her stage career too has been impressive, fond memories of seeing her in Simon Callow’s adaptation for the RSC of Les Enfants du Paradis. Please join us!

Tickets £5 Friends / £6 Guests / £2.50 under 18s. Booking closes on 10 January.

Tour of the Garrick Club – Book Online
Tuesday 12 February 2013, 10am
Garrick Club, 15 Garrick Street, London WC2E 9AY

We will tour the Garrick Club, which houses the most significant collection of British theatrical works of art, with over 1,000 paintings, drawings and pieces of sculpture on display. Pictures of every British actor of note, from Garrick to Gielgud, can be found hanging on the Club walls. The tour ends with a visit to the club’s Theatrical Library, with its rich collection of theatrical books, plays, prints and manuscripts, and includes coffee and biscuits. Women are allowed in the club for this tour!  There will be time in the afternoon to attend a matinee of your choice.

Tickets £20 Friends / £23 Guests, without food or transport. Booking closes on 7 February 2013.

If you book a ticket for this event, please email Coreen athousesteads1@btinternet.com with your contact details, or phone 01789 268775. This information is vital to ensure the smooth running of the event. We can arrange transport from Stratford, if friends require it, approximately £20 return.

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

Tarell Alvin McCraney is International Playwright in Residence for the RSC.  I asked him to tell us a bit about himself and his work for the RSC.

Tarell Alvin McCraney, Director, RSC Hamlet, 2010 by Ellie Kurttz

Q: Can you tell us a bit about your role?

A: The International Playwright in Residence gets to observe the world of Shakespeare being created by the RSC and hopefully gain understanding and knowledge of the tools William Shakespeare uses to tell his sometimes epic and at the same time detailed stories. By the end of the tenure the hope is to have a new play that has been inspired by those tools and story telling.

Q: Your adaptation of Hamlet for state schools in London is being described as a ‘high-energy version of Shakespeare’s play’.  Could you explain how you adaptation aims to ‘remove the obstacles’ preventing young people from seeing and enjoying Shakespeare?

A: I think the obstacles preventing most young people from enjoying Shakespeare is access and engagement. The RSC as a whole has already worked really hard to allow for the barrier of accessibility to be brought down. So I am just helping with this paired down Hamlet to engage students, hopefully.

Q: Can you tell us about other projects you are working on or planning for the RSC in 2010?

A: I am writing a play for the RSC about some very adult themes. 😉

Q: What was your first ever play about?

A: My first play ever was about Two boys – the Son of a drug Dealer, and the Son of a Baptist Minister, who fall in love.

Q: Tell us something unusual about yourself.

A: I LOVE PEANUT BUTTER. And I can’t stand Fish pie.

Q: What makes you laugh?

A: When my friends catch each other in awkward moments. The repetition of awkward is hilarious. That and when Dominic Cook gets shy. It’s funny.

Q: Describe your perfect day.

A: Beach, Words. Beach. Movies. Beach Dance. Dance. Sleep. Perfect.

Q: What do you regard as the highlight of your career so far?

A: I’m still living em… I’ll get back to you in about 30 years.

Q: Favourite RSC moments?

A: Richard II performance at the Gala last year.

Q: Favourite Shakespeare?

A: King John

Q: What is your favourite thing about working at the RSC?

A: Being made fun of for being the American. It’s the best.

Read Full Post »

Hooked on Shakespeare

People often talk of the moment they realised that they loved Shakespeare. For me, it took a collection of men in black on their hands and knees, plugging artificial flowers into artificial turf.

As You Like It at Stratford wasn’t, strictly speaking, my first experience of Shakespeare. That had come the previous evening, when my mother and I saw Ron Daniels’ production of Romeo & Juliet. I remember that Anton Lesser as Romeo wore a leather jacket, which I thought was impossibly cool (well, it was 1980). I also remember Judy Buxton as Juliet reaching down from the top of an enormous wall to Romeo far below. And I think I was a bit shocked that they died in the end. But other than that – nothing. Not a flicker.

My mother was seriously worried. I was 13, the age her own parents had introduced her to Shakespeare with a production of The Tempest starring John Gielgud. My grandmother had quietly dozed through most of it but my mother was hooked. And she was desperate for me to feel the same way. So she brought me to Stratford for the first time and booked tickets for two plays. This wasn’t a good start.

She didn’t hold out much hope for As You Like It the following evening. If Romeo & Juliet didn’t get me, what would? She took some comfort in the meantime that Stratford was at least working its magic. I remember unexpected treats; Joe Cocks’ photographic studio, full of pictures of RSC productions, and outrageous cream cakes in the beamed Cobweb Tearoom on Sheep Street. That evening, I put on my best dress once again and we strolled from the hotel down to the theatre.

My mother tells me that the first half of Terry Hands’ production was monochrome and the stage was covered in fur. I can’t remember that at all. At some point (I know now) the action must have moved to the Forest of Arden, where a huge tree grew out of a grassy knoll in the middle of the stage. But during the interval, spring arrived. We watched as a small group of stage crew crawled all over the little grassy hill, placing what felt like hundreds of tiny flowers into the grass. When they finished, the audience burst into applause.

I remember the rest of the play like it was yesterday. Above all I remember the moment when Susan Fleetwood, disguised as Ganymede, teased melancholy Jacques. John Bowe as Orlando ran up behind her, thrusting a bunch of flowers under her arm. ‘Good day and happiness, dear Rosa-lind,’ he said, punctuating her name with a flamboyant kiss on either cheek. A long pause as Jacques took in the scene and they dared him to speak. I laughed. Everyone laughed. I don’t want this to end, I thought.

That’s still my idea of great production these days – if I think, I don’t want this to end. And there have been many, most of them at Stratford: the Michael Bogdanov Romeo & Juliet where Tybalt drove a red sports car and Mercutio jumped into a swimming pool during the Capulet ball; that brilliant Midsummer Night’s Dream where the fairies wore tutus and bovver boots; Anthony Sher as Richard III; Kenneth Branagh as Henry V; the History series (both times).

Since then I’ve seen every Shakespeare play bar one (Timon of Athens – will someone put it on, please?). I’ve seen something like 30 Hamlets and I never miss a Romeo & Juliet. And one day about nine years ago, while I was watching Henry VI dying on the Swan stage I thought, I love it here, so I moved.  All because of Shakespeare, and those men in black.

By RSC Friend Liz Fisher

Read Full Post »

    Hi to all bloggers,

Learning how to blog

Volunteer Friends learning how to blog

My name is Geraldine Caulfield and I have been a Friend of the RSC, off and mainly on, since the organisation first began in London in 1983. For the last 4 years, I’ve been the co-organiser, with Kim, of the London Friends’ events. The aims of the Friends now are the same as then: to encourage a closer relationship between the RSC’s audience and the company. It’s just the means of communication that have altered!

We’re setting up this blog so that, initially, Friends can talk about shows they’ve seen, share photos, read (and write) articles about the theatre, get all the latest news about the RSC, find quick links to other useful sites. We also hope that we will have regular editorials from senior RSC staff and, perhaps, alumni telling us what they are doing and where.

But that’s just to start. Essentially, we want the blog to do what you, our members, want and find helpful and useful.

We will always be looking for LOTS of input and feedback from YOU.

The current editorial board, formed solely from volunteers is: Angela Cooper, Gill Davis, Susan Finch, Liz Fisher, Jackie Geen, Jane Nead, Violet Rook, Sue Taylor, Tony Boyd-Williams, Adele Wills and me.

Here’s OUR first attempt!

Read Full Post »