Rsc New Team - Same As The Old Team ?
Posted 13 November 2012 - 07:59 AM
I think when Boyd left he said the long-term London question is one for his successor. I think the most recent suggestion was a version of the Courtyard, freestanding somewhere.
Posted 13 November 2012 - 10:49 AM
The rebuilt Courtyard within the Roundhouse, have they continued with that? I thought that worked well.
Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:06 PM
Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:23 PM
Yes, I think that's what they used this year. They also had a slightly different set-up which they used for their US shows a couple of years ago, and I seem to remember this was what they were talking about using.
It would seem appropriate to me to propose building a new RSC Courtyard theatre in the former Olympic park in the other Stratford.
Posted 16 November 2012 - 02:12 PM
When they talk about moving the Courtyard to London, they don't mean the rusty shed exterior, they mean the framework and wood of the seating and stage. And the redevelopment involves gutting the shed anyway, in order to put in a floor half-way up. So it's perfectly possible to ship the interior of the Courtyard to London and install it in a shed on an industrial estate, while putting TOP, rehearsal spaces and costume stores into the resulting shell.
Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:31 AM
They have used the Roundhouse on and off for a decade. The last Tempest there (Farr/Slinger) seemed to be no better attended than the previous one (Boyd/Storry) ten years before which we know in hindsight was part of a financially disastrous Andrian Noble season there. I think for reasons rehearsed many times it is not financially viable to rely on that venue for transfers. Like it or not they need to construct their RST replica inside a building in the West End and there can't be that many available.
Posted 19 November 2012 - 08:21 AM
This company used to have a permanent residence at the Barbican which was, I think, rent free and with all the facilities of the Barbican at its disposal. For some reason the RSC decided to cut itself off from the biggest potential audence for its productions.
I am a regular theatregoer and have completely lost touch with the RSC now - its productions come to London (where I live) but I seem never to even notice them.
I visit Stratford on an irregular basis and many tourists do too, but only a regular and substantial London season will restore the RSC to the position it was meant to have as the home of the Shakespeare legacy.
Posted 19 November 2012 - 09:50 AM
Their core London audience has virtually disappeared, the last Shipwrecked season at the Roundhouse had lots of empty seats yet the plays were only running for 2-3 weeks each. The Histories were sold out there but each play in the sequence was only doing 1-2 weeks of performances. That indicates the size of their loyal core London audience. Between those two, in their 2011 anniversary season, they didn't transfer a single production to London or Newcastle or anywhere else - such a lack of continuity is bound to alienate their core audience outside Stratford and mean that casual theatregoers are just not aware of what the RSC are doing and where and when they are doing it.
The importance of having a core London audience is obvious, it means that they can stage challenging and more adventurous work which will get an audience irresepective of how commercial it may be. This would include new plays. I think their Stratford core audience is simply not big enough or varied enough on its own to allow this. Bad as Damned by Despair was I commend the NT for programming it and as audiences for it seemed to be quite good (based on pre-bookers) I doubt that the financial impact of it is noticeable - if the RSC staged a similar turkey in the RST I suspect it would be far more of a problem for them and so, of course, they prefer to put on yet another As You Like It.
Posted 19 November 2012 - 11:44 AM
I agree that sustainability of RSC London seasons would require a new core audience. But those regular attenders don't justify regular RSC London seasons because those regulars are already superserved by all the current London theatre.
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