Thursday, June 02, 2011

RSC at stratford

I love live theatre. I love the possibility of witnessing something very special (ok, sometimes it doesn’t work out quite like that, but…); a unique experience - being captivated by a piece of theatre or by particular actors or by wonderful stage design.
Moira+I have just spent two days in Stratford, where we were really blessed to be able to see two shows by the Royal Shakespeare Company (“Cardenio” and “The City Madam”). They both proved to be completely captivating productions – simply wonderful acting; brilliantly devised and performed. We saw both productions on the same day (two three-hour shows). It was also lovely that great friends Bob+Christine were able to join us for the “Cardenio” matinee. What made the day even more special was that it was the first time that Felix (daughter Hannah’s husband) had been part of the RSC. He didn’t disappoint! Indeed, Libby Purves’s “City Madam” review in “The Times” concluded thus: “Felix Hayes wins my 2011 award for Best Use of Yorkshire Accent while wearing purple ribbons and lace-trimmed boots” (you have to see the play to appreciate this fully!)! She respectively described the two productions as being “a treat” and “a hoot” and I wouldn’t disagree. Having watched the actors in two utterly contrasting plays, their adaptability and all-round talent was breathtakingly impressive.
Magical theatre at its very best.
PS: This same group of actors has also just started rehearsing the THIRD play in this season’s run (“Midsummer Night’s Dream”).
PPS: It was the first time that Moira+I had been to see a performance at “The Swan” and we were very impressed (it’s a beautiful space); “Midsummer Night’s Dream” will be in the recently re-modelled main theatre, so we can’t wait to return to see that in July/August.
PPPS: The one depressing note was the lack of young people in the audience for both plays (sadly, the average age seemed to be very much older than us!); hardly ANY teenagers or twenty-somethings – despite the fact that the RSC offer special tickets for 16-25 year olds at £5 each.
Photo: a rather poor photograph of the beautiful “Swan” auditorium (but, hopefully, it gives you a "feel" of the space).

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