Dillen cast members back in Stratford-upon-Avon

Blast from the past

Members of the original cast and creative teams from the Royal Shakespeare Company's 1983 production of The Dillen will be back in Stratford-upon-Avon on Saturday 4 June for a special celebratory event.

The event looks back at a fondly remembered moment in Stratford's history, when over 200 local people were involved in performances of The Dillen, joining the cast to enact a First World War story as a walkabout production in the town.

Part of the RSC's 50th Birthday Season, the event will be a chance for the audience to join original director, Barry Kyle, to hear scenes, music and anecdotes from the production.

Those returning from the original production alongside Barry include Ron Hutchinson, who adapted The Dillen from Angela Hewins' memoir of a Stratford man. Angela will also be in attendance, as well as cast members including Carolyn Pickles, James Fleet and Eileen Page.

Returning creative team members include Wayne Dowdeswell, who looked after the battlefield pyrotechnics for The Dillen, and the Manager of The Other Place who marshalled this incredible event, Bronwyn Robertson.

The Dillen performances began and ended at The Other Place, the RSC's studio theatre, with audiences following the show around parts of Stratford, taking in scenes on the river, bridges, fields, and other familiar places which were transformed into environments such as a World War One trench and a classical music hall.

Jeanie O'Hare, RSC Company Dramaturg, said:
'The Dillen was a rare moment when the town and the theatre worked as one and came up with something very special. It told the story of local man, George Hewins, and with its cast of local people and Stratford itself as the beautiful and atmospheric backdrop, The Dillen was a sell-out success.

'The show really caught the imagination of the community – with over 200 local people involved playing soldiers, children, pea-pickers, boatmen and women – and everyone following the cast around Stratford, through Old Town along the river and arriving at the old railway land which was transformed into a First World War battlefield with burning bomb craters, a field hospital and a music hall.

'Saturday's event is a chance to bring a little of The Dillen back to life and for the audience members and cast to share their memories of the original production. The RSC has plans in the pipeline for more community involvement and it will be very exciting to look at the history of this production with one eye on what may be coming up.'

'A celebration of The Dillen' takes place at 10am on Saturday 4 June in the Swan Theatre. Tickets are £15 and can be purchased by calling the RSC's ticket hotline on: 0844 800 1110 / via www.rsc.org.uk

Notes to Editors:
The RSC's 50th Birthday Season runs throughout 2011 and features Macbeth and revivals of some of the RSC's greatest plays, including new stagings of The Homecoming and Marat/Sade. As well as work on stage, there is a series of exhibitions, workshops and debates. For further details, visit http://www.rsc.org.uk/
Media information:
For further information, please contact:
Anna McNeil, RSC Press Office
anna.mcneil@rsc.org.uk / 01789 272438

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