I agree wholeheartedly with Lyn Gardner about the importance of opportunities for everyone to participate and learn.
The educational work of the Royal Shakespeare Company has always been a central part of our identity and it will continue to be so for as long as we are performing Shakespeare’s plays.
The work we do with more than 500,000 young people every year, in close collaboration with our partner theatres and associate schools across the country, is a deep-rooted and long-term commitment.
I regularly meet those we work with who tell me about their first encounters with Shakespeare’s plays and RSC practice, and how, through our education activity, it is making a profound difference to their lives.
Our own work and our partnerships give us an acute understanding of the pressures, vulnerability and precariousness of the arts in our education system, and we continue to campaign with and on behalf of our young people.
Through our educational work in classrooms and on stages all over the nation, we unlock the potency of Shakespeare’s language to release the potential of children and young people wherever they live and whatever their background.
That is an essential job, and one that is at the heart of the RSC.
Artistic director, Royal Shakespeare Company
Oh, how I relate to the letter from Dawn Bush. I started acting in my late 40s and, despite having some good TV and film credits and a very hard-working agent, I am now finding it near impossible to get ‘in the room’ for auditions.
I too have been told that there is a small circle of mature actresses over 60 that casting directors only use and one even told me that they are not interested in ‘new’ old talent. This comment made me even more determined to keep going.
Ageism needs to be addressed more. It is the one ‘ism’ that affects us all and as an ageing society we ‘oldies’ need to be more represented in the arts and hopefully by a few more new old faces.
Keep going Dawn – I certainly am.
Email address supplied
Lunchbox gave thousands of professionals paid employment both on and off the stage.
It’s a tragedy for all parties that the company went under – particularly the creditors – but if we want theatre to thrive, we should be supportive of producers like James Cundall, who have to take risks. There’s no need to write a mean personal article about him, quoting numerous catty “unnamed sources”.
Let’s not forget that Cundall’s ventures over the years had not only created thousands of industry jobs, but also made significant headway establishing popular big-brand theatre in parts of the world that were otherwise under-served. The demise of Lunchbox hurts not only those who have suffered losses directly, but also the industry professionals, venues and audiences who no longer have a reliable source of commercial product – or at least now have a lesser pool of it.
What an excellent and insightful piece of journalism. Well done, Giverny Masso.
Hats off to Sheffield Theatre and RYTDS for launching the associate artistic director scheme. Theatre has lost many things over the past 20 years, but the inability of theatres to employ associate artistic directors (and resident and associate designers) has had a hugely detrimental effect on training the next generation of leaders.
The best new play of the year was Shook by Samuel Bailey. This year’s Papatango winner, which ran at Southwark Playhouse before a short tour, is a groundbreaking play about “people not like us”. Hopefully, it will return next year to a bigger theatre and receive the acclaim it deserves.
I was surprised to read in Rosemary Waugh’s review of Cinderella at the Cambridge Arts Theatre that the “ex-ballerina Wayne Sleep” is in the cast. I can only suggest that Rosemary keeps ‘more on her toes’ with her future reviews. I hope she and The Stage have apologised as the error is tutu bad.
Email address supplied
“If places are physically inaccessible, the majority of those things can be fixed. If you put disability at the heart of the latest film, the latest show, you reduce the fear — which can include people being terrified of offending or saying the wrong thing.” – Actor Ruth Madeley (Evening Standard)
“Inserting a woman into a traditionally male narrative complicates things. It creates more edges and obstacles.
It highlights the way in which women still operate in a world designed by and for men, and how their very presence can send a story… into strange and exciting directions.” – Playwright Chris Bush (Guardian)
“The local pantomime, I couldn’t get in. The school plays I couldn’t get in, and somehow I knew that it didn’t mean I couldn’t do this profession… A lot of people might have been put off… so that is why I think it is so important to have self-belief.” – Actor Karen Gillan (BBC Scotland’s the Edit)
“I tasked our designer with a multi-level set that our lead actress, Saida [Ahmed], a wheelchair user, could use every inch of – and looked contemporary and joyful. Our designer checked the angles of ramps, built potential railings into the design, and made it all look like a gorgeous 1990s playground-skate park. The first day Saida came on set, she screamed with delight – she’d never been on a set that wasn’t a flat floor.” – Director Debbie Hannan on staging Little Miss Burden at the Bunker (Twitter)
“Among the delights of meeting Big Short author Michael Lewis was the look on his face while telling him people were paying to experience the racist, sexist and criminal financial world of The Wolf of Wall Street.” – Journalist Samira Ahmed (Twitter)
Email your views to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please mark your email as ‘for publication’. The Stage reserves the right to edit letters for publication.