Tag Archives: The RSC

2016: reminiscing

29 Dec

As we reach the end of 2017 and I take a bit of time to sort things out and tie up loose ends, I like to look back on theatrical adventures throughout the year.. then I realised that on this blog I didn’t do it for 2016! I realise this sort of post is not really interesting to anyone else but I like to do it as it means I have a record somewhere other than my head of the things I got up to.

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I’m going to do 2016 first and hope my memory serves me ok.

So.. ACTING: I was in 3 plays –

Thaisa/Bawd/Fisherman in Pericles with YSP in the Spring

Lucy in The Beggar’s Opera with York Theatre Royal for their Secret Play in May.

Lysandra/Flute in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Well Fangled in July.

[Then teacher training took over for a while..]

DIRECTING:

I adapted and directed Much Ado About Nothing for my school’s Drama group concert.

I also assisted on A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Youth Theatre and assisted on Gates of Gold with Wildgoose Theatre (more from them in 2017).

No writing this year! At least nothing performed.

I did do some filming for I Am Tim (for their episode, The Hugalope) and did some radio recording for Henry V though.

And some things I WATCHED (unlikely to be an exhaustive list!):

When We Are Married, 9 to 5, The Rivals, The Mystery Plays, Let it Be, The Mai, Wild, Barnbow Canaries, Rent, King Lear, The Donmar’s Shakespeare Trilogy.

HIGHLIGHTS OF 2016: Without a doubt, a trip to Stratford Upon Avon to perform Pericles on their outdoor stage, The Dell. Belting out Once More Unto the Breach at the top of a deserted Middleham Castle for Radio York. Being invited to the York Cultural Awards as Henry V was shortlisted for an award. As an audience member, watching Harriet Walter and her band of sisters in Julius Caesar, Henry IV and The Tempest in the Kings Cross Theatre (Donmar Warehouse). Best £50 I’ve ever spent. Thoroughly inspired. 

LOWLIGHTS: Getting phone and purse nicked backstage, dripping with sweat in Friargate during the year’s heatwave, not meeting Harriet Walter.

 

 

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Much Ado about Nothing?

8 Jan

It was confirmed today that David Tennant and Catherine Tate are to star in Much Ado about Nothing at the Wyndham’s theatre this summer (where Avenue Q has sadly recently departed). The online ticket system has been down already and tickets are already selling like hotcakes. A similar frenzy surrounded Tennant in the RSC production of Hamlet in 2008. We cannot naively hope that the speed at which tickets are being snapped up is purely down the Bard’s talents. The lure of a famous name, let alone one who is in any way attractive (swoon), often makes people pick up the phone and hurry down to the box office quicker than the same play with less than household names.

Many of these people are going to see the face, or other body part perhaps in the case of Daniel Radcliffe in Equus, and we can only hope that they will come out with an appreciation for the play itself and the standard of the acting, being able to distinguish Tennant from the Doctor and Radcliffe from the Boy Wizard (not that I am in any way comparing the standard of Radcliffe’s acting to Tennant). If bringing big names into the theatre brings more people in to the theatre this can only be a good thing. I know many people who would normally only venture into the theatre during panto season and a big name can help lure them into watching a show they perhaps wouldn’t normally. Indeed, one of the comments today on twitter read: “Wanna change from panto – Tennant and Tate in Much Ado About Nothing in London – wanna go with me?”. Sat in York Theatre Royal the other day, a lady next to me asked if they did other productions at other parts of the year- a question which amazed and astonished me as there is a wealth of great productions out there which may get overlooked simply because they don’t all have the pull of a former Doctor Who and the bright lights of London.

This is also not to say that actors like Tennant should feel like they cannot return to their roots in the theatre or that actors like Radcliffe and Keira Knightly should not experiment treading the boards. TV and film are very different from theatre, sure- but if theatre can get the audiences of TV and film then the industry is on to a winner. Just please do not turn up at stage door with a cardboard cut out of a Dalek to sign. Cheers.

Happy New Theatrical Year!

4 Jan

It’s 2011 which means lots of theatre for us to gobble up! I’ll be in Germany until the end of May and I promise I will update you with the shows I’ve seen so far but until then here is a small selection of some of my picks for the coming year and what will be going in my diary…

So first up, my home town theatre, York Theatre Royal who have released a really exciting programme for 2011! From April to November, the main theatre will be transformed in to a magical ‘in the round’ space which it saw this summer for its lavish Wind in the Willows and the equally beautiful Youth Theatre production of Coram Boy. The theatre looks entirely different in this state and opens up a world of possibilities for actors as well as designers. Whilst there are still Proscenium Arch type shows before this period and events in the Studio space, I would recommend seeing at least one of the productions in this configuration.

I’m especially excited about Peter Pan (29th July-3 Sept), adapted by Mike Kenny, who adapted both The Railway Children and Wind in the Willows for the theatre, and which I can almost guarantee will be a truly magical delight for all the family and no doubt also a visual spectacle. Following that, I’m definitely booking a seat for 40 Years On (23rd Sept-15th Oct) purely because it is written by Alan Bennett. Can’t really go wrong there.

Further South, in Oxford at The Oxford Playhouse where I spend a lot of my time and where I was a student rep last year there also seems to be a varied and interesting programme. I’ve got my eye on Aykbourn’s The Life of Riley (7th-12th Feb) and Polly Teale’s Bronte (24th March – 2nd April) although I’m not sure I could get back to see them.

As a Shakespeare geek I’m also looking forward to the new shows on at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford, especially because of the recent transformation of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. The first ‘new’ production in the space will be good old Macbeth (16th April-6th Oct) which was, incidentally, the first play I ever saw by the RSC in the old Royal Shakespeare. I’m not sure if I will go down for this, purely because I have seen the play so many times, but I’m sure it will be well worth it if I do. Although it’s not Shakespeare, one play I will definitely be seeing there this year is Marat/Sade by Peter Weiss (14th Oct-5th Nov). I’m hoping to do my dissertation on German theatre post Brecht and the opportunity to see one of the set texts in the flesh, albeit not auf Deutsch, will be foolish to miss. A play which is shocking and challenging, I think my challenge will be persuading a virgin of German theatre to come along with me! Other straight Shakespeare offerings include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (29th July-5th Nov) which I have a feeling will have a handy Oxford student coach-trip along with it… (16-25 year olds can also check out the RSC Key scheme which you can find on their website and which I will blog about soon)

Unfortunately I don’t often get the chance to see much theatre in the capital, but a long and lazy summer might lend itself to a few trips! Having followed the ‘Dorothys’ I would quite like to see The Wizard of Oz (from Feb 7th) with my favourite Dorothy, although there are many other musicals I should really catch as well. As for straight plays, I’d really like to see Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch alternate the roles of Frankenstein and his monster in Frankenstein (from Feb 5th) at the Olivier/National Theatre after all I really ought to see something there at some point. The downside, or perhaps the upside?, of this of course is that if you want to see Miller and Cumberbatch play both roles opposite each other you have to go twice! Closing on the 19th Feb is Wilde’s An Ideal Husband at the Vaudeville featuring Elliot Cowan who should be seen around more in my opinion! I’m off to educate myself in London theatre happenings now seeing as I clearly do not know enough. Please post your tips here.

Happy Theatre-going!!