Day job collided with love of theatre yesterday as I was invited to a press preview of the Royal Shakespeare Company's newly redeveloped Stratford Theatres.
I've only been visiting Stratford for four years so I never got to see a performance in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre or the Swan Theatre but what I learnt was that the actors loved the old thrust stage of the Swan and hated the proscenium arch of the RST (audiences didn't like the bad sound and view of the stage from chunks of the seats in the RST either).
So in the partial demolition and rebuild, the RSC has given both thrust stages. I had my camera with me and took loads of snaps. Here are a selection, the rest I'll post tomorrow (at the theatre tonight - naturally).
Dressing rooms all have balconies (handy for if a certain Dame wants to step out for a fag between scenes, someone commented on the tour) and went through eight different drafts before the company was happy:
The much loved Swan:
And the new Royal Shakespeare Theatre with it's thrust stage: