A TREE has been planted in memory of much-loved former RSC artistic director Terry Hands.
The tree was planted in the Swan Gardens in Stratford on Friday (October 13) at a special dedication ceremony attended by his family and former RSC colleagues.
Terry, who died on February 4 2020, originally joined the RSC to run Theatregoround in 1966. He became joint artistic director with Trevor Nunn in 1978, and took over as sole chief executive in 1986, running the company until 1990.
Terry did 21 Shakespeare plays during his time in Stratford in 25 productions. He also directed a great variety of other work, from Middleton (Women Beware Women and The Changeling) to musicals (the award-winning Poppy by Peter Nichols, and the less successful Carrie). His work included classics like Chekhov’s The Seagull and TS Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral. Terry also produced challenging new work such as Peter Barnes’ Bewitched, and Red Noses, Cries from Casement by David Rudkin, and The Balcony by Jean Genet.
Terry was appointed CBE in 2007.
At the time of Terry’s death RSC artistic director emeritus Gregory Doran said: “It is with great sadness that we have learned of the death of Terry Hands. Terry was an inspirational director with an international reputation who ran the RSC for 13 years.
“I first worked with Terry in his 1987 production of Julius Caesar with Roger Allam as Brutus, and was his assistant on Romeo and Juliet with Mark Rylance as Romeo the following year. He taught me to honour the driving impulse under Shakespeare’s text, and how to share that with an audience, and keep them gripped by that momentum. I owe a great deal to him as a mentor and as a friend, and like so many, feel his loss deeply.”
The tree planting also began with a tribute from Gregory.
The tree stands alongside memorial trees for the late Cicely Berry, former voice director at the RSC, and John Barton, director and founding member of the RSC.