Posts Tagged ‘Sam Troughton’

Richard Cordery is currently appearing in the West End transfer of the Chichester musical “Love Story”. It runs at the Duchess Theatre until 26th February.
There’s a great interview with Sam Troughton and Mariah Gale to coincide with the opening of “Romeo & Juliet” at the Roundhouse. Check it out on http://www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk/
And finally, for those who love “Matilda” and I’m with Tony on this: it is FANTASTIC, there’s an interview with Tim Minchin, who wrote the music and lyrics in this wonderful show, on the Whatsonstage website http://www.whatsonstage.com/index.php?pg=198&types=Z&site=D


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During a recent holiday to visit our youngest son and family in Switzerland, we stopped off in Paris for a couple of nights and found an excellent hotel just around the corner from the Comedie-Francaise. Alas, the theatre was closed in July but it was interesting to note that during the 2010/2011season, the company are presenting LES JOYEUSES COMMERES DE WINDSOR . A day or so later, a train journey took us alongside Lake Geneva and to Lausanne. Aha! THE ROUGH GUIDE TO SWITZERLAND told us that the celebrated Shakespearian actor, John Philip Kemble (especially famous in his day and age as Hamlet and Macbeth) was buried in that town in 1823.

Two references to Shakespeare across the channel within three days! Before the week was out, we were just entering Marylebone Station en route for Stratford. What was the first major poster that caught the eye? A large version of the RSC brochure cover FALL IN LOVE WITH SHAKESPEARE THIS SUMMER IN STRATFORD -UPON -AVON, complete with the now iconic photo of Sam Troughton and Mariah Gale as Romeo and Juliet.

Three holiday references to our William within a week ! That reminds me. Sometime, I must tell you about the version of the Globe Theatre in Rome….HE really is everywhere, but then he did pen those words “All the WORLD’S a stage”.

Tony Boyd-Williams

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It is good to see Mike Poulton writing again for the RSC after the staging in 2005/06 of his two part adaptation of THE CANTERBURY TALES. The age of knights and chivalry is once more the theme for his latest adaptation, the epic MORTE D ‘ARTHUR. Just as Chaucer provided a rich theatrical event, thanks to the adapting skills of Mike Poulton and the staging skills of Greg Doran (and team of assistants ), so Malory provides -thanks to the same successful partnership -an evening (or matinee!) in the theatre which is equally rich and enjoyable.

Unlike THE CANTERBURY TALES, we now have just one play which lasts with interval three and a quarter hours. An epic indeed, but this production is fast paced, thrilling, spectacular and a feast for the eye.

I shall comment more in later blogs, but it is a nostalgic experience as at times the staging reminds one of both THE HISTORIES in 2006/08 and THE WARS OF THE ROSES in 1963/4.Whilst it is again a splendid company effort, mention must be made of Sam Troughton’s stunning performance as Arthur, beginning as a young man and by the end of a play an aged ruler who still has the strength to fight a battle and as death approaches, to give firm command as to the disposal of his sword, Excalibur.

This “new work from an old book ” has come at the right time of the journey being undertaken by this current ensemble. As with the other new productions this season, Michael Boyd’s visionary plans for an ensemble at work continue to bear much memorable theatrical fruit to be relished again and again. In MORTE D’ARTHUR, every member of the company seizes with relish the splendid dramatic possibilities suggested by the script. It is richly satisfying to see each actor being given a chance to shine and shine they do ! Like the former HISTORIES ensemble, and present ensemble colleagues in KING LEAR and ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA, this MORTE D’ARTHUR/ROMEO AND JULIET company provide ensemble work par excellence -just the kind Sir Peter Hall must have envisaged when he founded the RSC fifty years ago.

 Bravo indeed!

by Tony Boyd-Williams

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Photograph by Ellie Kurttz


Having thoroughly enjoyed the preview performance on 15th March, one can justifiably say – they certainly do! I have long admired Terry King’s fight arrangements, but this time he has excelled in every possible way, supported by the committed members of the ensemble who are involved. You really feel they mean business with their weaponry and if David Carr’s magisterial Escalus had not intervened during the first brawl there might have been more corpses on the stage than called for in the text. As it was the deaths of Mercutio, Tybalt and Paris are symptomatic of a  community where cold steel (and a rope) are used to settle disputes in preference to parley. It is also the first production of the play I have seen where Lady Capulet and Lady Montague are quite ready to inflict damage on each other during the first brawl, whilst their husbands show they can certainly stand alongside the younger members of their houses when it comes to swordplay.

I was interested to note that Michael Billington has drawn comparisons with Zefferelli’s1960 production. Like the latter (as well as the fights) the Capulet’s ball is quite memorable as are the performances (in my view, much stronger in this fantastic RSC staging by Rupert Goold).

The title roles are splendidly played with great aplomb and depth by Sam Troughton and Mariah Gale supported by memorable performances from all the other major characters and the company  in general. As with the recently opened KING LEAR, we have ensemble work par excellence and a text spoken with great meaning and relish. Bravo to all concerned! I now eagerly await the Public Understudy performance on 30th March.

by Tony Boyd Williams

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