Shakespeare Company opens garden theater near River Avon


STRATFORD-UPON-AVON, England, July 13 (Reuters) – Britain’s Royal Shakespeare Company opened an open-air theater on Tuesday with a new take on ‘The Comedy of Mistakes’, its first full-scale production to a live audience in more than a year.

Based in Stratford-upon-Avon, the hometown of playwright William Shakespeare, the company, known as RSC, built the Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Garden Theater outside its Swan Theater near the River Avon.

‘The Comedy of Mistakes’ was due to begin performances in April 2020, but the RSC, like theaters in Britain and elsewhere, has had to close its doors to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

The production has now been adapted by director Phillip Breen for the new temporary outdoor location.

“It’s a beautiful place here … right by the river, so we get heckling from swans sometimes,” said actor Greg Haiste, who plays Dromio of Ephesus.

As part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap to get out of lockdown, entertainment venues in England have been welcoming audiences since mid-May, but at 50% capacity. From Monday, they will no longer face number restrictions. Read more

The RSC Garden Theater seats 500 people – or 310 with social distancing.

“I felt that there were two really powerful reasons for building this theater, one of which was as a kind of symbol of regeneration … but also as a transition to make people feel very comfortable. sitting outside in the open, “artistic RSC told Reuters director Gregory Doran.

“And that could then give them more confidence when we open (musical)” The Magician’s Elephant “in October at the Royal Shakespeare Theater to go back inside.”

In London’s West End, major productions including hit musicals such as “Jersey Boys” and “The Lion King” have waited until July 19 to fully reopen, as running at 50% capacity is no longer available. not financially viable.

Reporting by Mindy Burrows; Writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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