Whispers from the Wings

Forever and forever farewell

May 13, 2013

Has it has come to this? Which, by the way is another quote from the play of course.

We are done. Rave reviews and warm welcomes aside, it is with that familiar sense of sadness and reflection that we all part. How many of us will work together again? Who knows? It has been my great privilege to work on this historic production. Ohio was just lovely. Meeting people that you fall in love with almost instantly. There were functions galore, which helps explain why there has been such a gap since my last post.

But what a journey. I am now officially unemployed. Ah, angst and fretfulness, my old friends; where have you been? There is a line in a favourite film of mine (and of President Bartlet in my all-time fave TV series The West Wing) The Lion in Winter, where a character says that he has 'been through every street in hell.' 'That's funny', is the reply, 'I never saw you there.'

I feel like I have been through heaven and hell with this cast. Miserable filming days in some God forsaken part of the world that I am assured was North London. The stressful pleasure of understudy performances. The glory of opening in London and Stratford. The cool glances of Moscow natives. The joy of sitting in Stanislavski's seat. The wonderful theatres and patrons. The birth of my son. The long, long days away from home.

This production has been in my life for over a year. It seems to have flown by so fast. These actors. This crew. I can still hear them laughing. And arguing. And laughing again. I wonder if The Director feels the same. I assume he must. But the RSC goes on. Upwards and onwards. And like those lines we spoke over 160 times, we live on, and yet fade to some other place.

This was a great production. A great tour. I met a wonderful teacher who flamed red with passion for Shakespeare and she told me how she was still thinking about the play. People in America were crisscrossing the country to see it. Imagine. I miss Stratford. I miss these characters. I miss it all. I wonder how many teachers, actors, directors, writers, designers have been influenced by this show. How many will I see in my old age and marvel at their skill? From such acorns...

Hopefully see you all some day. If you saw the play, thank you. If you didn't, well, quite frankly, I have nothing to say to you! Except, don't miss out next time. You should have seen us. We really were a sight to see.

Love, always love. And Shakespeare.

by Andrew French  |  No comments yet


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Teaching Shakespeare