On Sunday 27 May, we paid tribute to renowned director John Barton, one of our founding members, who died in January.

John Barton's friends and colleagues joined members of the public at the Swan Theatre this weekend to celebrate his life and work.

One of the founding members of the RSC, John’s directing career spanned over 40 years. He also published more than 20 adaptations and other works, including The Wars of The Roses, The Hollow Crown, The Greeks and Tantalus, which he wrote over 20 years.

Tributes were paid throughout the event, with many of our Associate Artists performing extracts and sharing memories of their time with John. Speakers included Vanessa Redgrave, Patrick Stewart, Jane Lapotaire, Janet Suzman and our former Artistic Director Trevor Nunn, all remembering John as a remarkable director, teacher, colleague and friend.

Harriet Walter (Honorary Associate Artist) recalled how he helped her become comfortable with Shakespeare: "When I first came to the RSC I was scared of Shakespeare. John Barton unlocked it for me."

We also planted a cherry tree in the Swan Theatre gardens and launched a Memorial Fund in John’s name, to extend his legacy and enhance the work and reach of our Voice and Text Department.

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