It’s going to be an incredible journey

Learning Lines #11

Oliver Towse in rehearsal with Sarah Kameela Impey for First Encounters: The Tempest
Photo by Elle de Burgh © RSC Browse and license our images

It’s 10am on a chilly Tuesday December morning in the Gatsby Rehearsal room in The Other Place, Stratford-upon-Avon and I'm wondering how many more rooms does this building actually have.

Having spent the best part of the last two months in the room directly below rehearsing for The Tempest directed by Gregory Doran, it's an awesome feeling being back in the building and working on The First Encounters Tour, aptly named as we’ll be heading round the country bringing everyone from age 8 to 80 their first encounter with 'old Will' through a cut down version of The Tempest directed by the wonderful Aileen Gonsalves.

Watched over by a huge carcass of a hollowed out boat stood up on its end  (Prospero's ride onto the island) the day was filled with meeting the team, checking out the set and talking through the costumes and the world the play is set in.

It’s going to be an incredible journey and such a necessary one, I feel very privileged and honoured to be able to bring the incredible work of Shakespeare and beautiful story of The Tempest to audiences who may not have had any experience outside of a “boring” lecture at school.

To be able to reach out of those pages and pull the audience into the world is the most rewarding thing for an actor, Shakespeare should be available and accessible to everyone and I can't wait to to get started on creating this experience.

Oli Towse  

First Encounters: The Tempest is a touring production designed specifically for 8-13 year olds and is the perfect first introduction to Shakespeare. Using Shakespeare's original language, this edited version lasts 90 minutes and includes a fully interactive introduction to the world of the play. 


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