All Aboard ‘Shakespeare Specials’ to Stratford???Date: 11 May 2009
Rigid train timetables have long been an obstacle for London-based theatregoers keen to catch Royal Shakespeare Company productions in Stratford-upon-Avon. But there is, at last, a light at the end of the tunnel. The RSC have managed to come to an agreement with Chiltern Railways which, as part of a trial starting this month, have set up a series of late night trains aimed at helping theatregoers get home after the show.
The so-called “Shakespeare Specials” will leave Stratford station at 11.20pm, giving theatregoers plenty of time after the show to catch their train to London Marylebone or any other stations en route (Leamington Spa, Banbury, Bicester North and Haddenham and Thame Parkway and High Wycombe).
RSC executive director said the service represents “one small step” towards improving theatregoers’ “whole experience of visiting us in our Stratford-upon-Avon home”. Kirsteen Robertson, head of marketing and PR at Chiltern Railways admitted that the various bodies – Chiltern, the RSC and Network Rail, which controls the tracks – “have been trying to find a way to give theatregoers the late night service they need for some time”.
So far, only six dates (all Saturdays) have been confirmed for the “Shakespeare Specials” - 30 May, 27 June, 11 July, 8 August, 19 September and 3 October – and they coincide with RSC performances of As You Like It, The Winter’s Tale, Julius Caesar and the new Russian play The Drunks. Train tickets can be booked at www.chilternrailways.co.uk.
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