At long last, a decision on the future of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Stratford-upon-Avon appears to be nigh. Speaking at today’s press conference about 2005 programming (See Today’s News), RSC artistic director Michael Boyd confirmed that a “significant step” would be agreed at a board meeting scheduled for 22 September, after which an announcement would be made. Appointments have already been made to brief Stratford planning bodies on 29 September and to address local residents on 4 October. Plans to demolish Stratford’s Grade II-listed Royal Shakespeare Theatre in favour of a 21st-century “theatrical village” – as well as the company’s withdrawal from London’s Barbican Centre - caused an uproar which eventually led to previous artistic director Adrian Noble’s resignation in April 2002 (See News, 24 Apr 2002). Since succeeding him in April 2003 (See News, 31 Mar 2003), Boyd has been dealing with the consequences of Noble’s shake-up, most of which has now been overturned. Today Boyd promised that the search for a permanent London home would swiftly follow the Stratford solution, though any major renovation works are unlikely to begin until after the planned year-long Complete Works of Shakespeare Festival in 2006/2007 (See Today’s News). “One redevelopment at a time, sweet Jesus,” Boyd said.
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