The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0412  Thursday, 12 February 2004

From:           Brian Willis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 11 Feb 2004 07:16:10 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 15.0397 RSC Revival
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0397 RSC Revival

James Doyle writes,

 >In King John, Jo Stone-Fewings blazed as the Bastard, but without taking
 >all the focus off the actor playing King John. I actually hadn't
 >realized Doran directed this, but commented to my wife as we came out
 >that the actor playing John reminded me of a younger (and taller)
 >Anthony Sher...

That would be Guy Henry, a superb actor and a superb Parolles in the
All's Well which heads to London next week. Exquisite comic timing.

Stuart Manger writes,

 >But, Al, anyone in UK theatre will tell you that the RSC will take a
 >long time to recover economically from the appalling 'own goal' (soccer
 >term) by quitting their London home at the Barbican. They now have NO
 >regular high-profile stage/dedicated space in London. The National
 >Theatre - their great rival, and anyone visiting London ought to do a
 >show at the National - is sweeping all before it.

Not to mention the Globe, which has been dominating the London tourist
Shakespeare scene increasingly more lately.

 >I mean, Judi Dench in 'All's Well' is terrific, but frankly not all
that big a deal in
 >terms of big names in big roles, is it? Many of the other leads on the
 >RSC summer menu are varieties of 'who?'.Not necessarily a recipe for
 >disaster at all, but many are largely unknown quantities in their
 >projected roles.

Well, she and Antony Sher did happen to sell out the entire runs of
their respective plays in October, approximately two and four months
before the respective plays began (Othello opens 11 Feb). And I wouldn't
exactly call Corin Redgrave, Toby Stephens and Greg Hicks "whos" in the
world of people who are on the lookout for a quality production.

 >Anyone travelling in and out of UK over a series of three years or so
 >might try to see any Shakespeare show by the Northern Broadsides

I agree. Daring, accessible and relevant all at the same time.

David Lindley writes,

 >Having seen all three of Doran's recent productions, and eagerly
 >awaiting the Othello, I can only agree that they have done much to
 >repair the RSC's reputation. But perhaps the reasons for the revival go
 >deeper than that - I was speaking to an actor in the Dirty Duck after
 >seeing the Shrew/Tamer Tamed double bill, and he told me that he had not
 >worked at the RSC for a number of years, and had only been tempted back
 >because he felt that under the new management the whole company
 >atmosphere had changed. Some of the credit must surely go to Michael
 >Boyd if he has indeed restored battered morale.

I absolutely agree with David. Michael Boyd has to receive the credit
for the immediate success. The RSC has also apparently cut their debt in
half under his tenure.

Brian Willis

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