Here is a poster for the 1970 modern-dress production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona,directed by Robin Phillips. The updating of the setting to a 1960s lido (outdoor pool area) is hinted at with the sunglasses, a recurring motif in the production.
Daphne Dare's lido-like set consisted of a ramp with steps and a small onstage swimming pool. Lighting effects, revolving screens and suspended ropes conveyed location changes.
Who is Silvia?
'Who is Silvia? What is she?' Song, Act 4 Scene 2
Estelle Kohler as Silvia in the 1970 production looks fashionably 'cool' in her sunglasses. Her flowing hippy garments complemented the contemporary and youthful setting where Valentine and Proteus were students on holiday in Italy.
Photo by Tom Holte Theatre Photographic Collection
© Shakespeare Birthplace Trust –
Prop setting list
This extract from the 1970 Stage Manager's Prop Setting List is headed 'O.P' which is Opposite Prompt or Stage Right. A prop is short for property and is anything that can be moved on stage.
The list includes: a rucksack, a map, books, magazines, pebbles, cigars and box, Polaroid Clip-Ons, matches, sugar cubes, towels, glasses, cup and saucer, tray, napkin, a rope ladder, boat hook, a satchel, a shooting stick, boxing gloves and letters.
The modern props underscore the contemporary setting and costumes.
Jet set: Proteus and Turio
Here we see Ian Richardson as Proteus and Terence Taplin as Turio, both sporting the ubiquitous sunglasses and epitomising the 'Jet-Set' epithet which many critics used when reviewing the production. 'La Dolce Vita is the keynote of Robin Phillips's production...' as B A Young wrote in The Financial Times on 24 July 1970.
Ground plan of the Duke's Palace
This is the ground plan of the Duke's Palace in Milan in Act 2 Scene 1. It forms part of the the 1970 prompt book, used by stage management to note blocking (where actors are positioned on stage) as well as lighting and sound effects cues. The route taken by Speed is denoted by the red line and Valentine's static position is indicated by an 'asterisk'.
The 1970 The Two Gentlemen of Verona programme included this ground plan, based on 16th century dance forms. It was created by Litz Piask to follow the shape of the plot.
1. A Galliard - a love dance for two
2. Another Galliard with a second couple
3. The two men and one of the two girls introduce a Pavan
4. The two men and two girls come together in a Branle
5. Finally, both couples dance a PavanThe two men are marked X, the two girls O.
Love and Friendship
Who respects friend?' Proteus, Act 5 Scene 4
The 1970 programmme explores the major theme in The Two Gentlemen of Verona - what is love and friendship, and can they co-exist? On this page we see Shakespeare's words on the theme of love from Sonnet 116 which featured on the page alongside the song from The Two Gentlemen of Verona, 'Who is Silvia?'. Updating this theme to the 1960s setting of the show, 'All You Need Is Love' by The Beatles also featured amongst the production's music.
Patrick Stewart and Blackie
'I think Crab, my dog, be the sourest-natured dog that lives' Lance, Act 2 Scene 3
Here Crab was played by Blackie, who was discovered by Patrick Stewart (playing Lance) at a dog rescue after he had been picked up as a stray. Blackie's story parallels that of the fictional Crab who was rescued by Lance when all his litter mates were drowned.