You might not expect to see a photo of your brother in an artwork about theatre history.

Ian Burr was visiting our new exhibition The Play’s The Thing, where he was looking through the peepholes in our new mural which show the history of Stratford-upon-Avon.

Each peephole shows a different photo from the town's past, including images of the original Royal Shakespeare Theatre architect Elisabeth Scott at her drawing table, and the writer Marie Corelli on the River Avon in a gondola. 

But in one of the peepholes, Ian noticed a very familiar face – his brother, Brian, from 25 years ago! Brian was pictured in 1991, standing in a queue outside The Other Place theatre.

Ian told his brother about the photo, and Brian wrote to us to say he’d been spotted! Brian explained that he’s been regularly visiting Stratford from the North East (often with Ian), ever since he fell in love with the theatre during a college trip in 1984, where he saw Roger Rees’s Hamlet and Love’s Labour’s Lost with a young Kenneth Branagh.

Brian Burr poses with a picture of himself queuing for Measure for Measure in 1991.
Brian Burr © the artist – Image Licensing

Brian first saw the photo of himself in an exhibition several years ago, and posed with it (above), “hoping that visitors would spot the resemblance and ask what it felt like now I’d made the transition from monochrome to technicolour.” 

He added: “I am thrilled to find it has returned to Stratford as part of a permanent exhibition, and I am delighted to play a very small part in the exhibition.”

You can see the mural, showing a journey through Stratford-upon-Avon's history (and Brian), upstairs from the Swan Theatre entrance of our main building. 


The peepholes in The Play's The Thing where Ian came across a picture of his brother.
Andrew Fox © RSC – Image Licensing

About the exhibition

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