Director Bill Alexander will this weekend join David Bradley and other actors from the Royal Shakespeare Company's upcoming production of Titus Andronicus in a special event to raise funds for further excavation and restoration of the historic Rose Theatre on London's Bankside. The first-ever recorded performance of the play - Shakespeare's first tragedy and, according to Alexander, "the biggest blood bath in (his) canon" - took place at the Rose on 23 January 1594. It was hugely popular according to box office receipts, cheering people up after a freezing winter and plague epidemic. The acting company, the Earl of Sussex's men, which may well have included Richard Burbage and Shakespeare himself, was to form the core of The Lord Chamberlain's Men, the foremost company of the time. At the 4.00pm event this Sunday, Bradley - who plays the title role in Bradley's production, which opens at Stratford's Royal Shakespeare Theatre on 12 September 2003 - and his peers will perform extracts from the play. Tickets cost £20 and are available by emailing mailto:[email protected] or telephoning 020 7261 9565.