September 6th, 2016

Prince Charles hears RSC in fine fettle

Updated: 4:15 pm, May 07, 2015

PRINCE Charles heard the RSC was in fine fettle when he attended the company’s AGM in Stratford.

The Prince, who is President of the RSC, chose to spend his 66th birthday chairing the meeting at the Swan Theatre on Friday November 14.

In the past year the RSC sold 1.7 million tickets for 1,982 performances of 22 productions or co-productions in Stratford, London and on tour – playing to almost full houses.

It generated income of £61.3 million – more than half of which came from box office receipts totalling £32.5m.

The continued success of Matilda The Musical, together with income from Les Miserables and other sources,

brought in royalties of £3.9m.

Fund-raising however fell by £500,000 to £3.6m, due to reductions in corporate sponsorship, and public investment from Arts Council England fell by £900,000 to £15.7m.

On the stage, Richard II, directed by Gregory Doran, and starring David Tennant as Richard II, marked the start of the RSC’s six year journey to stage the entire First Folio of 36 plays, without repeats, on the Royal Shakespeare Theatre stage.

The year also saw the largest ever audience for a single performance of a Shakespeare play, when Richard II was broadcast live to over 100,000 people in cinemas across the UK and around the world, as the first production ‘Live from Stratford-upon Avon’.

And 31,000 young people from 400 schools also watched Richard II, for free, in their classrooms as part of the RSC’s new Schools’ Broadcast initiative.

RSC productions and co-productions toured for a total of 48 weeks, making it one of the company’s busiest touring years ever.

The stage adaptations of Hilary Mantel’s award-winning novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies became two of the RSC’s fastest selling London transfers. They will also open on Broadway in 2015.

Matilda The Musical continued its success in the West End and on Broadway. Almost 2.5m people have seen the production to date. Tours of North America and Australia are set for 2015.

RSC education work reached 450,000 students across the UK, transforming experiences of Shakespeare in the classroom.

And 16,500 primary schools received a free copy of the RSC Shakespeare Toolkit for Teachers as a result of a grant from the Department for Education. Every state-funded primary and secondary school now has a copy of the Toolkit.

The RSC’s ground-breaking digital project, A Midsummer Night’s Dreaming, created in partnership with Google’s Creative Lab, reimagined Shakespeare’s play for a digital age and reached 30 million people through social media.

RSC Artistic Director Mr Doran said: “At the heart of the RSC lies a commitment to make the very best work and share it with the widest possible audience. This year we began our plan to stage all of Shakespeare’s 36 plays in the First Folio, making every play an event. We got off to a great start, reaching the biggest audience ever for a single performance of Shakespeare when we broadcast Richard II live to cinemas.

“We have responded to financial challenges with a confident programme and as a result we have seen a rise in audience numbers to 1.7m. We are building on strong foundations as we head towards 2015 and look forward to the 2016 jubilee year, when we will mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. I am especially grateful to all our supporters for helping us achieve so much in this year.”

RSC Executive Director Catherine Mallyon added while the AGM offered a chance to celebrate past achievements it was important for the company to look to the future.

She said: added: “The RSC is the largest national theatre company based in the regions and we value our regional presence greatly, along with our ongoing partnerships with 20 other theatres locally and across the UK.

“Our work is made in Shakespeare’s home town and shared across the world. Last year, RSC productions and co-productions toured for 48 weeks in the UK and overseas, and 450,000 young people experienced our education work. In 2015 and beyond, we will continue delivering our ambition to create a Shakespeare Nation and to open up live theatre to the widest number and range of people.”

* PRINCE Charles handed out Long Service Awards to RSC staff who have reached 20, 30 or 40 years’ service with the company.

Collecting 20 year service awards were Keith Cookson (Senior Lighting Technician), Philippa Harland (Head of Press), Rachel Kelly (HR Administrator), Jane Rogalski (Senior Costumier), Simon Spencer (Specialised Senior Lighting Technician), Gemma Vowles (Chapel Lane Reception Officer).

Collecting 30 year awards were Ben Waters (Construction and Production Workshop Assistant) and Dave Watson (Senior Scenic Carpenter), while Ian Reynolds (Musician) collected a 40 year award.

Charles at RSC AGM 04 HRH Prince of Wales presented a Twenty Year Service Award to Philippa Harland, Head of Press, following the Royal Shakespeare Company’s AGM, at the Swan Theatre, on Friday, 14th November.

Charles at RSC AGM 05 HRH Prince of Wales with RSC Executive Director, Catherine Mallyon, at left; Artistic Director, Gregory Doran, right, and recipients of long-service awards presented at the AGM on Friday, 14th November. They were, front, left to right: Philippa Harland, Head of Press; Jane Rogalski, Senior Costumier; Ben Waters, Construction and Production Workshop Assistant; Rachel Kelly, HR Administrator; Gemma Vowles, Chapel Lane Reception Officer and, behind, left to right: Dave Watson, Senior Scenic Carpenter; Simon Spencer, Specialised Senior Lighting Technician; Keith Cookson, Senior Lighting Technician; and Ian Reynolds, Musician.

Charles at RSC AGM 06 HRH Prince of Wales chatted

The President of the RSC heard the company was in fine fettle when he chaired the AGM. (s)

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