RSC Stratford Overhaul Abandoned for Good???
Date: 10 November 2003
A report in yesterday's Sunday Times has got the Royal Shakespeare Company's press office fighting fires again. Last week, the RSC announced that its chairman Lord (Bob) Alexander would be stepping down in December at the end of his three-year term. Alexander was one of the architects behind plans to demolish the Grade II-listed Royal Shakespeare Theatre as part of £100 million plans to build a modern "waterfront theatre village" at Stratford-upon-Avon (See News, 18 Oct 2001). Two of the other principals involved have already left - then artistic director Adrian Noble left this past April while managing director Chris Foy departed in September. According to the Sunday Times, Alexander's resignation coincides with the abandonment this weekend of the controversial redevelopment in favour of a £60 million refurbishment of the RST. It's true that, ever since Noble announced his resignation in April 2002, the RSC management has been rethinking the proposal (See News, 29 Apr 2002), while the new artistic director Michael Boyd has repeatedly said that they are now looking at and testing numerous options for Stratford (See "Changing of the Guard", Features, 6 Oct 2003). An RSC spokesman told Whatsonstage.com this morning that, while RST demolition was indeed now unlikely, no final decision had been made and, contrary to the Sunday Times report, the chairman's departure was unconnected to the ongoing debate.
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