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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: October ::
Re: The Royal Shakespeare Theatre
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2423  Wednesday, 24 October 2001

[1]     From:   Graham Hall <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Oct 2001 16:11:42 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2415 Dark House

[2]     From:   Mary Jane Miller <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Oct 2001 13:40:45 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2415 Re: The Royal Shakespeare Theatre

[3]     From:   Skip Nicholson <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Oct 2001 20:05:38 -0700
        Subj:   RE: SHK 12.2415 Re: The Royal Shakespeare Theatre

[4]     From:   Laura Blankenship <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Oct 2001 15:07:53 -0400
        Subj:   RE: SHK 12.2415 Re: The Royal Shakespeare Theatre

[5]     From:   Terence Hawkes <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 24 Oct 2001 07:24:05 -0400
        Subj:   SHK 12.2415 Re: The Royal Shakespeare Theatre


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Graham Hall <
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Date:           Tuesday, 23 Oct 2001 16:11:42 +0000
Subject: 12.2415 Dark House
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2415 Dark House

The RST has certainly had its day and a revamp is now much needed.
Notwithstanding the excellent points made about the backstage area and
Mr. Noble tearing his hair out about how dangerous the place is, may I
make two pleas to the architect in relation to those who actually pay to
get in?  The first is by command of my superior authority: Build more
ladies lavatories. (Given that the original architect was a lady, I'd
have thought that would have been attended to after the fire.) The
second is for human anatomy: Place the front row of the stalls ten feet
further back and make the curvature of the rows permit all the seats to
take a perspective point to the stage and not, as at present, cause
those on the periphery to face the fly walls.

Ta.

Oh! and leave TOP alone - except for the bar which needs a change of
bitter.

Best wishes,
Graham Hall

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mary Jane Miller <
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Date:           Tuesday, 23 Oct 2001 13:40:45 -0400
Subject: 12.2415 Re: The Royal Shakespeare Theatre
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2415 Re: The Royal Shakespeare Theatre

Having seen most of my Shakespeare from the age of 13 in the Stratford
Ont tent and then theatre and having watched six weeks of rehearsals for
the 1963 season, I was primed as a grad student in 1966 to enjoy
Shakespeare in his original home. I have never forgotten my
disappointment. The actors were all behind this frame, trapped inside a
box set. Some of the actors dressed the set, holding torches and hardly
moving. The dialogue that would have been inaudible if I had not known
the play.

Obviously the RSC performances have improved (I see as many as I can in
London) and the recent Henry V at the Avon in Stratford Ont demonstrated
that a proscenium arch can work. Still a new house for the RSC in
Stratford seems to me like a good idea and probably overdue.

Mary Jane Miller,
Professor of Dramatic Literature
Brock University,

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Skip Nicholson <
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Date:           Tuesday, 23 Oct 2001 20:05:38 -0700
Subject: 12.2415 Re: The Royal Shakespeare Theatre
Comment:        RE: SHK 12.2415 Re: The Royal Shakespeare Theatre

> Stuart Manger writes:
> Might be very interesting to hear what overseas visitors feel about
> the RST.

I can't speak for others, but here's one 'Overseas Member' of the RSC
who votes to preserve the boards that have been trod by the greats of
our age. Maybe in an appropriate display, or even as part of the stage,
in one of the new theaters built on the waterside site.

Cheers,
Skip Nicholson
South Pasadena (CA) HS

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[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Laura Blankenship <
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Date:           Tuesday, 23 Oct 2001 15:07:53 -0400
Subject: 12.2415 Re: The Royal Shakespeare Theatre
Comment:        RE: SHK 12.2415 Re: The Royal Shakespeare Theatre

>Might be very interesting to hear what overseas visitors feel about the
>RST.

One overseas visitor comment: I had the great fortune to make my first
visit to Stratford and to all the theatres there.  I agree with what's
been said so far that the RST is the weakest of the three.  I saw
Twelfth Night there, which is my favorite play, and though the acting
was generally good, the space prevented me from enjoying it entirely.  I
forget who commented that actors could not project well in that theater
and that was the main problem for me.

The Swan was fabulous.  I saw King John there and thoroughly enjoyed the
experience.

Laura Blankenship


[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <
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Date:           Wednesday, 24 Oct 2001 07:24:05 -0400
Subject: Re: The Royal Shakespeare Theatre
Comment:        SHK 12.2415 Re: The Royal Shakespeare Theatre

One might have greater confidence in the plan to bulldoze the Royal
Shakespeare Theatre if the account of its proposed replacement involved
something other than a dreary rehearsal of the  hooray terms used to
dignify a good deal of middle-class theatrical nonsense from the
nineteen-sixties on; 'space', 'community', 'workshop' and the like. It's
always been a mystery to me why we tolerate the appalling pretensions of
the stage-struck as to their activities. Some of them, scarcely inclined
to do a hand's turn in the industrial Midlands where Stratford now lies,
even have the temerity to call it 'work'.

Terence Hawkes

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