Posts Tagged ‘Terry Hands’

Something that sounds really interesting coming up over the next couple of weeks on Radio 4 – 

Over the past 10 months the RSC have been working with Radio 4’s James Naughtie and his Producer, Beaty Rubens to create a three part documentary about the Company being 50.

As part of the series James explores how the Company first came into being in 1961;  the creation of the Ensemble system;  some landmark productions and the opening production, Macbeth, in the RST.  The RSC have worked with James and Beaty to give exclusive breadth of access to the key people from the last half century including the voices of all five of the artistic directors –  Peter Hall, Trevor Nunn, Terry Hands, Adrian Noble and Michael Boyd;  as well as Peter Brook, Cicely Berry, Judi Dench, Patrick Stewart and David Tennant; plus the wider team of artists, technicians and specialists who support the actors on stage.   The transmission dates are below:

The Ensemble:            Tuesday 5th April 11.30 am

The First Ten Years:   Tuesday 12th April 11.30 am

The  New Theatre       Tuesday 19th April 11.30 am

Happy Listening   http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0101p01

by Jane Cromack

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In the summer of 1968,the RSC began a series of “new work “productions at the Aldwych Theatre to mark the occasion of the USA Presidential elections that autumn. The first of the new plays was INDIANS by Arthur Kopit and I was fortunate to obtain a ticket for the First Night -no previews in those days. I still have vivid memories of the production which was based on Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and remember the telling monologue from the actor playing the captured Geronimo -my first experience of Geoffrey Hutchings as a member of the RSC.

Earlier that year, the company had presented two new productions in Stratford and then transferred them to London after a short run by the Avon. The plays were JULIUS CAESAR (directed by John Barton) and THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR (the first RSC production from Terry Hands).Geoffrey appeared in both and they ran into the following year. He showed  his remarkable versatility with the doubling of Cicero/Octavius Caesar and the comic servant Simple, the latter being given a walk out of Mack Sennett which brought the house down. Geoffrey’s flair for comedy continued with a splendid cameo as Dr Serringe in the revival of THE RELAPSE which joined the Aldwych repertoire in the spring of 1969.

His flair for playing politicians on the rising tide of fame continued back in Stratford later that year when he played Cromwell in the RSC’s first production of HENRY VIII, and my wife and I also recall his double faced tribune, Sicinius Veletus twenty years later in a production of CORIOLANUS directed by John Barton and Terry Hands. 

Geoffrey had special gifts for comedy/comic voices and we recall  with additional pleasure, his Autolycus (with Gilbert and Sullivan type patter songs) in Ronald Eyre’s 1981 production of THE WINTER’S TALE as well as his Captain Andy Hawks in the RSC/Opera North production of SHOWBOAT.

Splendid theatrical memories indeed!

Tony Boyd-Williams

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