The looming presence of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre

One of the constant sources of complaint in Stratford upon Avon over the years has been the overwhelming (some might say) presence of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

Stratford upon Avon

Now of course, most of us realise that the RSC is part of the driving force of what makes Stratford, Stratford. The truth of the matter is a lot of people come to Stratford because of Shakespeare.

Tourists spend money here because of the fact that he was born in Stratford. His plays are performed here by a world-renowned company and let’s face it; Stratford is quite pretty. And all that is what keeps what is essentially a small market town, going.

However, the question that is constantly on the lips of many is, ‘shouldn’t such a gargantuan presence (the RSC) being doing more for the community rather than just sitting there, resting on its commercial laurels?’

It has to be said that the RSC has done little to imbed itself in the everyday life of Stratford upon Avon.

There are some that see it as an all-consuming monster, buying up property for its own use throughout the town. Any space that can be readjusted for use by the ‘Shakespeare industry’ is soon swept up by the well-monied Shakespeare alliances that exist throughout the Town. Meanwhile, and for instance, small theatre groups have to make do with Church and parish halls to rehearse in, of which there are few to choose from.

The fact that there are others ‘doing theatre’ does not appear to matter much to the Mighty Royal Shakespeare’…a recent example of a small professional theatre flooded out and appealing for help and space was met with silence from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, an organisation that has at any given time, unused space available.

Personally, I would like to see Shakespeare’s theatre begin to make efforts to become part of the community. It is not for me to suggest how. There is enough talent and imagination down the road at the RSC. And please note, that this is not an appeal for money. We all have our problems in today’s monetary climate.

No. Not money.

I reiterate… There is enough talent and imagination down the road (Waterside)…

…maybe someone in the bowels of the edifice might have a brainwave and think of ways that they could share expertise and skills for the betterment of the community.

Do you agree/disagree? Comment below or send me an email thestratfordian@outlook.com


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Author: IanF

Ian is a Stratfordian and quite angry about all sorts of things, Local, National and in fact, everything World-Wide. For the sake of his mental health he has chosen to Vent his Spleen in a blog. He advises YOU dear reader to do the same.

2 thoughts on “The looming presence of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre”

  1. Do you remember The Dillen? 1983, repeated in 1985, and involved hundreds of local people especially the youth. Directed by Barry Kyle. I remember what a buzz there was in the town while it was on. It was a great community project and a pity that the company didn’t really build on all the goodwill it generated.

    1. Yes I remember the Dillen very well. I was working backstage at the RSC at the time. I remember going to check the outdoor set. I guess those days are over where actors had two (or three plays) whizzing around their heads. I think the RSC are guilty of Community neglect and don’t understand why as it would put bums on seats.

I would be interested to know your thoughts...

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