Grant Support for Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds/LAMDA production

Grant Support for Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds/LAMDA production

The RTST and Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds are collaborating on a project that will bring productions of As You Like It and Bury Fair to the stage of this theatre in April 2017.  The plays will be produced by graduating actors and theatre technicians of LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art).

The RTST has given a grant of £5,000 to the theatre to support the productions’ costs. The RTST will also be providing promotional support for the productions. The project enables the 2017 graduating theatre practitioners to experience producing and acting on a tour to this historic 200-year-old theatre, the last remaining Regency playhouse in the country.  Built in 1819 and restored to its Regency origins, this intimate Grade 1 listed building is the only theatre in the National Trust’s property portfolio.

A world-leading conservatoire, LAMDA  (https://www.lamda.org.uk/)  offers exceptional vocational training to some of the most talented dramatic artists and technicians.   LAMDA graduates include the likes of Jim Broadbent, Benedict Cumberbatch, David Suchet, Ruth Wilson, David Oyelowo, Harriet Walter, Sam Claflin and Chiwetel Ejiofor. The productions at Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds will exhibit the talents of those who follow in their paths.

As You Like It is being staged on 26 and 27 April 2017. An audience favourite since its first performance in 1603, it is among Shakespeare’s best-loved comedies.  An idyllic country setting provides the backdrop for this romantic adventure, as Rosalind and Orlando’s famous courtship is played out amidst the turmoil of political rivalry, mistaken identity and exile in the Forest of Arden.

Bury Fair is being staged on 28 and 29 April 2017.  In this affectionate satire of his home town written in 1689, Thomas Shadwell throws a pair of London sparks and a French pretender into the world of Bury St Edmunds.   A pretentious female fop and her mother, a handful of gloriously idiotic local wags and a young woman in disguise as a boy to escape the will of her father all dance headlong into chaos.

The Theatre presents a vibrant, year-round programme of drama, music, dance and comedy, featuring many of the country’s leading companies and performers. Alongside its on-stage programme of shows, the Theatre offers a wide-ranging educational and community-based programme of activities and opportunities to engage people of all ages. 

To buy tickets for As You Like It or Bury Fair, go to the Theatre’s website (https://www.theatreroyal.org/)  and look under ‘What’s On’, or telephone the box office on 01284 769 505. Lines are open from 10.00am to 6.00pm, Monday to Saturday.

This is the second year the RTST has supported Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds in staging a production by LAMDA’s graduating actors and technicians. In 2016, the RTST made a grant of £5,000 to the Theatre which was applied towards the production costs of LAMDA’s production of A Midusmmer Night’s Dream

March 2017

Celebrating the RTST Director Award Scheme 2016

Celebrating the RTST Director Award Scheme 2016

The Royal Theatrical Support Trust (RTST) celebrated its first RTST Director Award yesterday at the Grand Saloon Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London. 
 
Winner Kate Hewitt was presented with her award at the prestigious event attended by some of the best known names in British theatre. The event included entertainment from LAMDA students, with musical director from Theo Jamieson and head of music & singing Louise Shephard, which was followed by singer and songwriter Joe Stilgoe. Pianist, Sarah Kershaw, kept the Grand Saloon entertained with music throughout.
 
The new, annual RTST Director Award Scheme offers the chance, through a competitive process, for an emerging director to create and direct a fully-funded production of a play at a selected regional theatre. The inaugural Scheme was run by the RTST in collaboration with Sheffield Theatres. As the RTST Director Award winner, Kate Hewitt, will now be given the exciting opportunity to direct a play at the Crucible Studio Theatre as part of Sheffield Theatres’ 2017 spring season. The play will be ‘Tribes’ by Nina Raine.
 
After a successful national call-out producing 97 applicants, Kate was one of 7 finalists selected by a prestigious Selection Panel to demonstrate their directing skills in workshops with actors. The Panel observed and judged each candidate’s workshop performance, and, following interviews, selected Kate Hewitt as the winner and Rebecca Frecknall as an official runner-up.

The Award entry criteria required candidates already to have a proven track record of professional experience. Kate’s experience includes directing two studio productions: Far Away at the Young Vic’s Clare Studio and Tomcat at Southwark Playhouse’s The Little. Kate will be directing the National Youth Theatre’s production of Romeo & Juliet at the Ambassador’s Theatre later this year.

The Selection Panel comprised Chair Daniel Evans (Artistic Director of Chichester Festival Theatre), IanMcKellen, Dawn Walton, Richard Wilson and Penelope Wilton. Sheffield Theatres’ Artistic Director Robert Hastie joined the panel for the final selection process.

On winning the Award, Kate Hewitt said, “After an exhilarating finalists weekend of being observed directing, and interviews with a top class panel, I am thrilled to win the first ever RTST Director Award. The RTST Award has encouraged my ambition and creativity at every step of the process. It is an award with real integrity that looks to get the best from the directors that it meets. Opportunities are rare for young directors striving to make their mark in British theatre and it is an enormous boost to have the trust of this Award backing me as I continue on this path. What a privilege to work in Sheffield at the notoriously brilliant and vibrant Crucible Theatre, under Robert Hastie as part of his inaugural season. I have no doubt that this directing experience will be a pivotal moment for me and my career. Thank you RTST, Daniel Evans, Robert Hastie and the incredible panel.

Daniel Evans commented: “It was incredibly challenging to whittle 97 applicants down to just 7 finalists – and an even greater challenge to arrive at a winner and a runner-up. The panel was constantly astonished by the curiosity, generosity and skill of our finalists and I’m hugely grateful to the RTST for facilitating such an in-depth process. If the future of our theatre is partly in the hands of directors such as our applicants, then there are very exciting times ahead for us all.”

Ian McKellen commented: “The standard of the finalists was hugely impressive and I relished the chance to watch them at work. Kate Hewitt is a worthy winner but so many others also need help in establishing their careers as directors. I hope this first initiative by the Royal Theatrical Support Trust is an encouragement to all 97 applicants.”

Sir Geoffrey Cass, RTST Chairman, remarked: “The RTST Director Award 2016 had 7 finalists of the very highest quality, and there was strong competition from the other 90 candidates. Our experienced judging panel was vastly encouraged that the future of British theatre is in such exciting and capable hands. The two primary objectives of the Royal Theatrical Support Trust are the identification and encouragement of emerging theatre professionals, and the promotion of regional and repertory theatre. The RTST Director Award competition, run this year in collaboration with Sheffield Theatres, admirably serves to advance both these objectives.

November 2016
Photos:
Richard Wilson with Lady Cass
Kate Hewitt (centre) with Daniel Evans, Penelope Wilton, Robert Hastie, Mark Hawes
Daniel Evans, Kate Hewitt and Miranda Cass
 
web2  web3   web1  
Winner of first RTST Director Award announced by Royal Theatrical Support Trust and Sheffield Theatres

Winner of first RTST Director Award announced by Royal Theatrical Support Trust and Sheffield Theatres

The Royal Theatrical Support Trust (RTST) and Sheffield Theatres are delighted to announce Kate Hewitt is the winner of the RTST Director Award 2016.
 
The new, annual RTST Director Award Scheme offers the chance, through a competitive process, for an emerging director to create and direct a fully-funded production of a play at a selected regional theatre. The inaugural Scheme is being run by the RTST in collaboration with Sheffield Theatres. As the RTST Director Award winner, Kate Hewitt, will now begiven the exciting opportunity to direct a play at the Crucible Studio Theatre as part of Sheffield Theatres’ 2017 spring season. The play will be ‘Tribes’ by Nina Raine.
 
After a successful national call-out producing 97 applicants, Kate was one of 7 finalists selected by a prestigious Selection Panel to demonstrate their directing skills in workshops with actors. The Panel observed and judged each candidate’s workshop performance, and, following interviews, selected Kate Hewitt as the winner and Rebecca Frecknall as an official runner-up.
 
The Award entry criteria required candidates already to have a proven track record of professional experience. Kate’s experience includes directing two studio productions: Far Away at the Young Vic’s Clare Studio and Tomcat at Southwark Playhouse’s The Little. Kate will be directing the National Youth Theatre’s production of Romeo & Juliet at the Ambassador’s Theatre later this year.
 
The Selection Panel comprised Chair Daniel Evans (Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres and Artistic Director-designate of Chichester Festival Theatre), IanMcKellen, Dawn Walton, Richard Wilson and Penelope Wilton.  Sheffield Theatres’ Artistic Director-designate, RobertHastie, joined the panel for the final selection process.
 
On winning the Award, Kate Hewitt said, “After an exhilarating finalists weekend of being observed directing, and interviews with a top class panel, I am thrilled to win the first ever RTST Director Award. The RTST Award has encouraged my ambition and creativity at every step of the process. It is an award with real integrity that looks to get the best from the directors that it meets. Opportunities are rare for young directors striving to make their mark in British theatre and it is an enormous boost to have the trust of this Award backing me as I continue on this path.   What a privilege to work in Sheffield at the notoriously brilliant and vibrant Crucible Theatre, under Robert Hastie as part of his inaugural season. I have no doubt that this directing experience will be a pivotal moment for me and my career. Thank you RTST, Daniel Evans, Robert Hastie and the incredible panel.”
 
Daniel Evans commented: “It was incredibly challenging to whittle 97 applicants down to just 7 finalists – and an even greater challenge to arrive at a winner and a runner-up.  The panel was constantly astonished by the curiosity, generosity and skill of our finalists and I’m hugely grateful to the RTST for facilitating such an in-depth process.  If the future of our theatre is partly in the hands of directors such as our applicants, then there are very exciting times ahead for us all.”
 
Ian McKellen commented: “The standard of the finalists was hugely impressive and I relished the chance to watch them at work. Kate Hewitt is a worthy winner but so many others also need help in establishing their careers as directors. I hope this first initiative by the Royal Theatrical Support Trust is an encouragement to all 97 applicants.”
 
Sir Geoffrey Cass, RTST Chairman, remarked: “The RTST Director Award 2016 had 7 finalists of the very highest quality, and there was strong competition from the other 90 candidates. Our experienced judging panel was vastly encouraged that the future of British theatre is in such exciting and capable hands. The two primary objectives of the Royal Theatrical Support Trust are the identification and encouragement of emerging theatre professionals, and the promotion of regional and repertory theatre. The RTST Director Award competition, run this year in collaboration with Sheffield Theatres, admirably serves to advance both these objectives.
 
There will be an Award ceremony in London later this year.
 
IMG_1011_HI_RES  AWARD Panel 2016 Group photo. $EDITED..Photo 

First photo – The RTST Director Award Selection Panel and others. Second Photo – Winner Kate Hewitt.

Left to right: Richard Wilson, Penelope Wilton, Mark Hawes (RTST Deputy Chair), Ian McKellen, Daniel Evans (outgoing artistic director of Sheffield Theatres), Dawn Walton, Rob Hastie (artistic director-designate of Sheffield Theatres) and Geoffrey Cass (RTST Chair), pictured in space donated by law firm Bristows LLP for the RTST Director Award Workshops.

June 2016

Short-list for new Director Award announced by Royal Theatrical Support Trust and Sheffield Theatres

Short-list for new Director Award announced by Royal Theatrical Support Trust and Sheffield Theatres

The Royal Theatrical Support Trust (RTST) and Sheffield Theatres are delighted to announce the shortlist for the RTST Director Award 2016.

The new RTST Director Award Scheme offers the chance for an emerging director to create and direct a fully-funded production of a play by an internationally renowned dramatist at a selected regional theatre. The inaugural Scheme is being run by the RTST in collaboration with Sheffield Theatres. The emerging director who wins the RTST Director Award 2016 will be given the exciting opportunity to direct a play at the Crucible Studio Theatre as part of Sheffield Theatres’ 2017 spring season.

After a successful national call-out for entries for the 2016 Award, an official short-list of seven candidates has now been chosen by the prestigious Selection Panel.

The shortlisted director candidates are: Marieke Audsley, Rebecca Frecknall, Max Gill, Kate Hewitt, Sean Linnen, Jonathan O’Boyle and John Wilkinson.

The seven now go forward to the final stages of the Award selection process. They must demonstrate their directing skills in workshops with actors, which will take place in London over the weekend of 28/29 May. The Selection Panel will observe and judge each candidate’s performances in these workshops, and select and interview finalists in order to determine the Award winner and an official runner-up. The winner will be announced shortly after the workshop weekend. There will be an Award ceremony in London later in the year.

The Selection Panel, chaired by Daniel Evans, the Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres and Artistic Director-designate of Chichester Festival Theatre, comprises Ian McKellen, Dawn Walton, Richard Wilson and Penelope Wilton.

May 2016

Stars of tomorrow appear at Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds

Stars of tomorrow appear at Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds

On Wednesday 13th April 2016, graduating actors, stage managers and technicians from LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) brought their production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream to the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds stage. 

The Royal Theatrical Support Trust (RTST) and Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds collaborated on this special project, with the RTST giving a grant of £5000 to the Theatre Royal to support the production costs of the play. One of Shakespeare’s best-loved comedies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a tale of four young lovers trying to escape marriage matches. The play will be staged from Wednesday 13 April to Saturday 16 April 2016 at the Theatre Royal. 

Joanna Read, Principal at LAMDA said “LAMDA greatly values being able to tour to professional venues like the Theatre Royal. It gives our acting and technical students invaluable experience of different audiences and stages and is an essential part of their professional preparation as we train the next generation of young actors and technicians.

Actor Benedict Salter, who played Snout/Wall in the production said “Thank you for all the support (the RTST) has given us for our tour of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It’s been an absolute pleasure performing in Bury St Edmunds and not only have we had fun doing it, but we’ve also learnt a lot about the intricacies of doing a theatre tour. It’s been an amazing experience, and everyone at the theatre and in the local area has been incredibly supportive and welcoming.”

Sir Geoffrey Cass, the RTST chairman, gave the following speech at a welcome event before the show:

I am Sir Geoffrey Cass, Chairman of the Royal Theatrical Support Trust, which has sponsored this production by the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art – thus fulfilling key elements of my Trust’s objectives to support British theatre in multiple ways, in this case:- 

by supporting this jewel of a regional theatre, by spotlighting and encouraging emerging theatre practitioners, and by promoting the work of a renowned dramatist and bringing it to a regional audience.   

It gives me enormous pleasure to welcome the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art to Bury St Edmunds and to welcome all our guests this evening.  The Theatre Royal is a jewel of a theatre, and it is the last remaining Regency playhouse.

It presents an attractive year-round programme of drama, music, dance, and comedy – together with wide-ranging educational and community-based programmes of activities, and opportunities to engage people of all ages.  My wife and I live in Cambridge but we come regularly, and we love it.

I would like to congratulate Stephen Bourne, Chairman of the Theatre, and Karen Simpson, the Director, and her splendid team for achieving such success here, and for making this project possible.

I would also like to thank the Board of my Trust and Trust colleagues, especially Mark Hawes, my Deputy Chairman, and Matt Harvey, our Communications Consultant, who are both here with me tonight.

By the way, I know there are other sponsors and donors of the Theatre Royal among you this evening.  As Chairman of the Royal Shakespeare Company for the best part of 20 years, I am particularly aware of the importance of that sort of support, and I know that the Theatre Royal is immensely grateful to you.

This play tonight, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, is produced by graduating actors, stage managers, and technicians of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Actors, and the whole production crew are here. 

LAMDA has a wonderful heritage.  Its alumni, its previous graduates, include Jim Broadbent, Benedict Cumberbatch, David Suchet, Clare Higgins, Hermione Norris, Jason Fleming, David Oyelowo, Toby Stephens, Brian Cox, Maureen Lipman, Harriet Walter, Martin Shaw, Anna Maxwell Martin, Paterson Joseph, Claire Skinner, Patricia Hodge, Rory Kinnear, Clive Wood, Nancy Carroll, Victoria Hamilton, Colin Baker, Flora Robson, and many other very well-known names.

So tonight you are likely to see emerging acting stars of the future, backed up by practitioners who will one day soon be the offstage operations backbone of theatres and theatre companies.

They will all have the valuable experience of producing and acting for a week in a public production in this historic 200 year old regional theatre.

We welcome them, and I am sure we will all enjoy the performance tonight. Thank you very much for supporting us.

The support given by the RTST is the first new initiative of this kind the charity has undertaken since broadening its charitable objects to give the charity its current focus on promoting public knowledge, experience and appreciation of theatre, and thereby playing a developing role in securing the future of British theatre.

The Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds is the last remaining Regency playhouse, and presents a vibrant, year-round programme of drama, music, dance and comedy, featuring many of the country’s leading companies and performers. Alongside its on-stage programme of shows, the Theatre offers a wide-ranging educational and community-based programme of activities and opportunities to engage people of all ages.

April 2016

Picture: Sir Geoffrey Cass and Mark Hawes with the cast of the show

DOWNLOAD THE PROGRAMME HERE PDF

Royal Theatrical Support Trust Director Award launched with Sheffield Theatres

Royal Theatrical Support Trust Director Award launched with Sheffield Theatres

The Royal Theatrical Support Trust (RTST), and Sheffield Theatres are delighted to announce a new award scheme for emerging directors: the RTST Director Award Scheme.

The new scheme, launched by the RTST – a charity dedicated to promoting theatre and drama – in collaboration with Sheffield Theatres, will offer the chance for an emerging director to create and direct a fully-funded production of a play by an internationally renowned dramatist at a selected regional theatre. In its inaugural year, the successful candidate for the award will direct their chosen play at the Crucible Studio Theatre, as part of Sheffield Theatres’ 2017 spring season.

The winner of the RTST Director Award 2016 will be chosen by a selection panel chaired by Daniel Evans, the current Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres and Artistic Director- designate of Chichester Festival Theatre. Daniel will be joined on the panel by Ian McKellen, Dawn Walton, Richard Wilson and Penelope Wilton.

Chairman of the RTST, Sir Geoffrey Cass, said: “This exciting new award scheme reflects the mission of the RTST to support British theatre in multiple ways: it will boost the career of an emerging director; provide meaningful financial and promotional support to a regional theatre; facilitate a production for a regional audience; and promote the work of an internationally renowned dramatist. We are thrilled to be launching the scheme with Sheffield Theatres, and applaud the dedication and enthusiasm of Daniel Evans, the Sheffield Theatres management team and the members of our prestigious Selection Panel in making this possible. We believe it offers something different to the theatre community, and we very much hope it will attract a diverse array of candidates and ideas.”

Daniel Evans, Artistic Director at Sheffield Theatres, said: “I’m overjoyed that the RTST has chosen Sheffield Theatres in order to launch the RTST Director Award. The award itself will offer an incredible opportunity to one of the UK’s emerging directors. Such opportunities are, frustratingly, all too few. It’s edifying to know our collaboration will offer the winner a professional, practical and prestigious experience in one of the country’s most exciting theatre spaces.”

Entries for the RTST Director Award Scheme 2016 are now open. The closing date for entries is 5.00pm on Friday, 18 March 2016.

February 2016

Tickets for the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds A Midsummer Night’s Dream production go on sale

Tickets for the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds A Midsummer Night’s Dream production go on sale

You can now purchase tickets for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, performing at the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds from Wednesday, 13 April to Saturday, 16 April 2016.

The play will be produced by graduating actors, stage managers and technicians from LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art), and the RTST has given a grant of £5000 to the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds to support the production costs of the play.

This collaboration between the RTST and the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds enables graduating theatre practitioners to experience producing and acting in the historic 200-year-old theatre. The support given by the RTST is the first new initiative of this kind the charity has undertaken since broadening its charitable objects to give the charity its current focus on promoting public knowledge, experience and appreciation of theatre, and thereby playing a developing role in securing the future of British theatre.

One of Shakepeare’s best-loved comedies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream takes its audience on an enchanting journey from order to chaos and back again, as four young lovers try to escape marriage matches of their parents’ design by fleeing the city for nearby woods. There, free from social convention, the young lovers slip into a dream world where anything is possible.

More information on the production, and to be able to purchase tickets visit: www.theatreroyal.org/shows/a-midsummer-nights-dream-2/. Alternatively, you can contact the box office on 01284 769505. Ticket prices start from £8.50.

January 2016

£5000 grant from The Royal Theatrical Support Trust supports Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds

£5000 grant from The Royal Theatrical Support Trust supports Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds

The Royal Theatrical Support Trust (RTST) and Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds are collaborating on a project that will bring a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream to the stage in April 2016. The play will be produced by graduating actors, stage managers and technicians from LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) and this will be the first time the drama school has worked with the historic Theatre Royal.

The RTST is giving a grant of £5000 to the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds to support the production costs of the play. One of Shakespeare’s best-loved comedies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a tale of four young lovers trying to escape marriage matches. The play will be staged from Wednesday 13 April to Saturday 16 April 2016 at the Theatre Royal. The project enables graduating theatre practitioners to experience producing and acting in the historic 200-year-old theatre. The RTST will also be providing promotional support for the production.

The support given by the RTST is the first new initiative of this kind the charity has undertaken since broadening its charitable objects to give the charity its current focus on promoting public knowledge, experience and appreciation of theatre, and thereby playing a developing role in securing the future of British theatre.

The Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds is the last remaining Regency playhouse, and presents a vibrant, year-round programme of drama, music, dance and comedy, featuring many of the country’s leading companies and performers. Alongside its on-stage programme of shows, the Theatre offers a wide-ranging educational and community-based programme of activities and opportunities to engage people of all ages.

November 2015

Picture: Karen Simpson, Director of the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, with Sir Geoffrey Cass, Chairman of the RTST.

 

RTST helps Cambridge University Press and Shakespeare Birthplace Trust collaborate on Cambridge School Shakespeare books

RTST helps Cambridge University Press and Shakespeare Birthplace Trust collaborate on Cambridge School Shakespeare books

In 2014, the RTST helped partner Cambridge University Press – one of the oldest publishing houses in the world – and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust – the world’s leading charity promoting the enjoyment and understanding of Shakespeare’s work, life and times – in a collaboration project to support and promote the Cambridge School Shakespeare book series. The series of 14 titles, comprising some of Shakespeare’s best loved plays, offers students all around the world the chance to share Shakespeare’s love of language, interest in character and sense of theatre through classroom activities, endnotes, glossaries and rich illustrations. The RTST introduced both partners and helped create a partnership for supporting the further education and raising of awareness of Shakespeare and his works. 

October 2014