October 12, 2009, by Peter Kirwan

RSC 2010

Writing about web page http://www.rsc.org.uk/press/420_8861.aspx

The RSC’s plans for 2010 have been announced in a little more detail now, and it’s looking to be an interesting year! On the Shakespeare front, David Farr’s Lear should be interesting, particularly as it’s the first play this ensemble are performing that is usually a star vehicle. Rupert Goold’s Romeo appeals, not because I’m particularly a fan of Goold’s work (Lear – poor, Macbeth – decent, Tempest – flashes of brilliance, but dull), but because there are apparently going to be a couple of decent, experienced actors playing the star-crossed lovers, Sam Troughton and Mariah Gale (if my informants are correct…), which is all I’ve been wanting from a Romeo for years. Michael Boyd’s Antony, meanwhile, is another one I see no reason not to look forward for, particularly when Kathryn Hunter’s casting as Cleopatra goes so against the usual image of that role. Looking forward to them!

The announcement that Tarrell Alvin McCraney is directing a young person’s version of Hamlet is pretty mouth-watering too. I’ve met McCraney a couple of times, as he’s the CAPITAL Centre’s playwright-in-residence, and he’s enormously inspiring, and his play The Brothers Size was a remarkably powerful piece of work. I love the RSC’s young person’s Shakespeare, and the fact that they’re reviving Paul Hunter’s excellent Comedy of Errors alongside it should make for a very interestig double-bill.

The fact that I’m teaching medieval literature this year makes an adaptation of Morte d’Arthur hugely appealing, especially when adapted by Mike Poulton, who did such a top-notch job with The Canterbury Tales (an abbreviated version of which, incidentally, Northern Broadsides are producing next year).

The thing I’m so far devastated by, though, is the implication that Ben Power’sA Tender Thing is only going to be playing for a week, and in Newcastle. I would LOVE to see this, but there is no way I can get to Newcastle while it’s on. I love my Shakespearean adaptations, as regulars will know well, and the idea of a version of Romeo and Juliet reimagined for characters in their seventies, with those characters played by Kathryn Hunter and Forbes Masson, sounds like exactly the kind of thing I love. I can only hope and plead with any RSC suits that might be reading this that they PLEASE revive the play in Stratford – seeing as both actors are going to be here as part of the ensemble, surely it can’t be that difficult?!

Finally, a musical version of Roald Dahl’s Matilda as the Christmas show. Lovely.

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