Final Stratford Showcase

Okay, so Drama in the Dale was not chosen to represent our area but I still decided to go to the final showcase of the RSC Open Stages at Stratford upon Avon. This was a culmination of all the projects throughout the UK. Each area had a representative group and ours was Hand in Hand theatre company. The extracts ranged from Merchant of Venice to Julius Caesar, Comedy of Errors and Winter’s Tale but also included 2 pieces which had been written by the company. Both of these dealt with the influence of Anne Hathaway upon Shakespeare. The various performances were excellent and just brought home how many brilliant amateur actors there are around the country.

However…amongst the groups there were no young people except one boy who had a fleeting role. Such a contrast to our own group where we include all ages. If the RSC Open Stages project is really trying to get Shakespeare more accessible to all then surely the younger the performers are involved the better. I would venture to say that most of the actors were 30 plus? Next it is obvious that there are some very wealthy amateur groups around judging by the costumes, again this is difficult for us as Drama in the Dale is such a young group and as yet we have not built up a healthy bank account. Finally there were no innovative instruments, no saw, no water-phone!

RSC Open Stages project has been a brilliant experience for our company and has certainly given us a taste for Shakespeare so watch out for our next production.. A Midsummer Night’s Dream in summer 2016.