90-year-olds return to see theatre
90-year-olds return to see Royal Shakespeare Theatre following Transformation
Four of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s (RSC’s) patrons who visited the original Royal Shakespeare Theatre (RST) in the 1930s have returned to see it following its recent Transformation.
Kenneth Frostick, aged 94, 92-year-old Mary Morgan, 92-year-old Janet Baines and 98-year-old Mary Hunt attended a preview performance in the new building. All had been frequent visitors to the theatre since the 1930s.
Kenneth Frostick attended the 1932 opening performance of Henry VI, Part I, Mary Hunt and Janet Baines visited one of the early performances, and Mary Morgan cycled 12 miles to see the theatre when it first opened.
“I was exceedingly lucky to attend the first show” Kenneth said, “and I have been to the theatre, and entertained here, many times since.
“I think the new theatre is remarkable. The first thing that struck me was the ability of the engineers to part-construct a building within a building, and I can still recognise the original.”
Kenneth’s enthusiasm was echoed by Chipping Campden resident, Janet, who said: “The new theatre is a great improvement. I am particularly happy to be able to switch my hearing aid into the loop and hear everything so clearly. I like the disabled facilities, wheelchair spaces and appreciate the discounted tickets for disabled people.
“The whole outside area is a huge improvement, with less clutter and more space to enjoy the theatres and their environment.”
The Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres re-opened in November 2010 following their three-and-a-half-year redevelopment as part of the RSC’s Transformation project. The RST’s new 1040+ seat, thrust stage auditorium, now sits at the heart of the building, and there is an array of new public spaces, including the Rooftop Restaurant and a Tower with 32m high viewing platform.
The first full Shakespeare productions are now being performed by our long ensemble, with King Lear and Romeo and Juliet in the RST and Antony and Cleopatra in the Swan Theatre. The first new productions, specifically designed for the RST and Swan Theatre stages, will start in April, when we begin our 50th birthday celebrations.