RSC Press Night ‘Curse’ Hits Cleopatra???
Date: 20 April 2006
Blimey. Has someone broken a few mirrors at the Royal Shakespeare Company? For the second time in a matter of weeks, actors and theatregoers alike were forced to evacuate the Swan Theatre minutes into a press night, this time the much-anticipated Antony and Cleopatra, the second production in the year-long Complete Works festival, which stars Patrick Stewart and Harriet Walter. Last night's false alarm follows a similar alert at the press night at the Swan for the Penelope Wilton-headed production of Women Beware Women in February (See The Goss, 24 Feb 2006). Startled passers-by stood as a soothsayer, a eunuch, the Queen of the Nile herself, Mark Antony, Octavus Caesar and other toga-ed 'Romans' and bare-chested 'Egyptians' hurried across Waterside to the sanctuary of RSC offices. Happily for all concerned, the break lasted only around 15 minutes and the cast picked up from where they left off. Before they resumed, director Gregory Doran, who was in the audience, announced wryly: "It is live theatre. I'm expecting tomorrow to see all the critics say we set the house alight."
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