British Universities Film & Video Council

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First Ten Years, The

Synopsis
Second episode in a three-part radio series exploring the story of the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Presenter James Naughtie looks at the RSC’s formative first decade interviewing Peter Hall and Peter Brook about the stultifying 1950s theatre culture which they inherited. As Brook recalls, "those old laddie codger actors just boomed away".

BBC programme information: "The two Peters discuss other aspects which were ripe for change - the need for a European-style ensemble, for training in verse-speaking, for longer and more open rehearsals, for productions which arose from a particular time rather than simply being wheeled out again and again - all RSC hallmarks which are now taken for granted. Veteran members of the company Patrick Stewart and Judi Dench recall the joys of that time, including, in Dench’s case, the indiscrete joys of affairs which inevitably arose due to the geographical isolation of Stratford. Contemporary Associate Director Greg Doran explains the attraction of working in Stratford - walking daily, on his way to rehearsals, past the church where Shakespeare was baptised and buried; while Hall explains how vital it was to start up a London season if he was to succeed in turning a group of actors into a world-class company."

Meanwhile, the current Company dramaturge Jeannie O’Hare explains how productions of new works by contemporary writers - Pinter, Bond, Hare - helped re-energise the RSC, culminating in what is often seen as its aesthetic high-point - Brook’s Dream in 1971 - which, in a rare interview, the great Peter Brook himself recalls for the programme." (30 minutes)
Series
RSC at 50, The
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Medium
Radio
Transmission details
12 Apr 2011 at 11:30 (Channel: BBC Radio 4)

Credits

Producer
Beaty Rubens
Contributor
Adrian Noble; Cicely Berry; Gregory Doran; James Naughtie; Jeanie O’Hare; John Evans (3); John Woolf; Judi Dench; Michael Boyd; Patrick Stewart; Peter Brook; Peter Hall
Cast
Alan HowardPuck (Robin Goodfellow)

Additional Details

Production type
Documentary/Educational/News
Plays
Midsummer Night’s Dream, A
Subjects
Drama
Keywords
actors; Royal Shakespeare Company; Shakespeare, William (1564-1616); theatre directors; theatre history

Notes

Notes
Broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 12/4/2011
General
From the BBC Radio 4 programme information: "In this three-part series, James Naughtie explores how the company first came into being in 1961; the creation of its unique ensemble system; its landmark productions; the opening production in April 2011 in its newly built state-of-the-art auditorium within the historic theatre on the banks of the Avon in Stratford.

This series has enjoyed an exclusive breadth of access to the key players of the last half century. It includes the voices of all five of the artistic directors - Peter Hall, Trevor Nunn, Terry Hands, Adrian Noble and Michael Boyd; luminaries such as Peter Brook, Cicely Berry, Judi Dench, Patrick Stewart and David Tennant and many members of the wider team of artists, technicians and crafts-people who support the actors on stage. James Naughtie explores not only the history of the company but also why the work it does matters to the British cultural scene."
History
Three-part radio series marking the occasion of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s 50th birthday and reopening of its main theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Reviews
Source: BBC programme information http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01061hm (accessed 6/2011)

Online Availability

Online URL
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01061hm
Online price
free
Online format
Streamed

Production Company

Name

BBC Radio 4

Web
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4 External site opens in new window

Archive

Name

BoB

Email
bob@bufvc.ac.uk
Web
https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7393 1500
Fax
020 7393 1555
Address
Learning on Screen - the British Universities and Colleges Film and Video Council
77 Wells Street
London
WIT 3QJ
Notes
Formerly a service from BUFVC, British Universities Film & Video Council
Name

British Library Sound Archive

Email
listening@bl.uk
Web
http://www.bl.uk/nsa External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7412 7676
Fax
020 7412 7441
Address
96 Euston Road
London
NW1 2DB
Name

Learning on Screen Off-Air Recording Back-up Service

Email
services@bufvc.ac.uk
Web
http://bufvc.ac.uk/tvandradio/offair External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7393 1514
Fax
020 7393 1555
Address
For Learning on Screen Members only
77 Wells Street
London
W1T 3QJ

Distributor

Name

BBC iPlayer

Record Stats

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