(Above: the restored RSC Theatre, reopened in 2012, now houses a dramatically different interior to complement its Art Deco structure)

“You might wonder,” said our guide. “Why the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) would spend £112 million on a completely new interior for its world-famous theatre, only to leave in place these scruffy wooden boards…

(Above: our excellent tour guide)

Looking at me, he continued: “Do you realise, Sir, you are treading the same boards that creaked beneath the stage shoes of Lawrence Olivier, Richard Burton David Tenant and Dame Judi Dench…”

We all looked to our feet, standing on the hallowed wood, feeling amused but unworthy…

We were enjoying a long weekend near Stratford-on-Avon; soaking up the delights of Warwickshire in late July. The theatre is always a treat, but the RSC creates experiences you never forget.

This to be followed by an afternoon performance of Richard III – all three hours of it. A cracker of a day, and the weather was beautiful, so an ice cream by the river was on the cards…

Part of the agenda of this visit to the RSC was a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the restored Art Deco building and its support services, such as costuming. Another was a glimpse of the new Swan Theatre exhibition: a permanent treasure trove of acting memorabilia.

(Above: the Art Deco bar doors were refitted)

These will be visited in a short series of posts to come. But first, it wasn’t only the stage boards that were up-scaled to serve the new building; the entire Art Deco fittings of the previous interior were carefully worked into the design. The classic bar room doors were cleaned and polished to their original glory.

(Above: the former ticket office was repositioned…)
(…to sit proudly above the entry gallery)

At the far end of the entry gallery is the cafe, and beyond that one of the original ‘fountain and spiral staircases’ so popular in the 1930s.

(Above: a spiral fountain below…)
(…and a spiral staircase above)
(Above: July, the River Avon, swans and ice-cream)

©Stephen Tanham 2022

Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye, a journey through the forest of personality to the dawn of Being.

http://www.thesilenteye.co.uk and http://www.suningemini.blog

10 Comments on “A photo tour of the RSC (1) Treading the Boards

  1. Pingback: A Photo Tour of the RSC (1) Treading the Boards – The Silent Eye

  2. Reblogged this on Pattys World and commented:
    WOW! Steve!
    Well-done. I love all the description. I felt as if I were there with you.
    I always enter on a blog post reported to have photos with a bit of trepidation, fearing the dreaded screen reader’s litany of, “Unlabeled graphic.” But here this was not the case.
    I enjoyed this thoroughly.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah memories of Stratford and berthing the boat on the river opposite the theatre. We never went inside though because we had the dog. Lovely gardens and I have my picture taken with ‘Will’.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: