Tuesday, 3 September 2013

St Donats and Georgian Theatre Royal, Richmond

First a couple of photos from St Donats, where we had only one show - our only show in Wales, in the shadow of the castle (some of which dates to the 13th century) and with the sea to stage right...

Have I not heard the sea, puff'd up with winds, Rage like an angry boar chafed with sweat?

...luckily both weather and water were calm.

Then it was onto The Georgian Theatre Royal, Britain's oldest working theatre in its original form.

To quote the georgian theatre royal website

'The Georgian Theatre Royal is Britain's most complete Georgian playhouse. Built by the actor-manager Samuel Butler in 1788, the theatre was in regular use until 1830 when performances became less frequent.

I'm sure it made sense at the time...
Built by actor-manager Samuel Butler in 1788, the Georgian Theatre Royal was managed by Butler along with his circuit of theatres at Beverley, Harrogate, Kendal, Northallerton, Ripon, Ulverston and Whitby.'

I've worked at Harrogate Theatre before and it was lovely to work in another Butler Theatre. The theatre itself is tiny - and the stage was twice the depth we are used to but half the width - which took some adjustment. The audiences were wonderful - funny, enthusiastic and insistent on repeat curtain calls...


depending on your point of view...

I may or may not have seen a theatre ghost.

Although the only staff member I asked insisted he had never heard of one...and I don't think I believe in them myself...

During the Saturday evening show I saw (in a moment where, in a still tableau, I had chosen to look at the front of a stage right box) the shadow of a graceful woman in a dress, slowly putting on elbow length gloves, and carefully putting on each finger. I watched it for a good minute before having to turn into the scene. It was so clear in shadow the only explanation I could think of was that (as the only shadows were cast from the stage) it was Olivia, as Bianca, for some reason putting on long gloves. But...of course...when I turned to her she wasn't wearing any. It was incredibly clear - and for the two Sunday shows I watched the same area again for any sign of a shadow or flickering that could have tricked my eye. There were no shadows at all.

Forgive me if you think the blog has descended into nonsense...I know I've never believed anything 'supernatural' anyone else has ever told me...

Still seeking the rational explanation I leave you with Antigonus from The Winter's Tale:

I have heard, but not believed, 

the spirits o' the dead 

May walk again...

ne'er was dream 

So like waking.

Richmond Castle

1 comment:

  1. Of course the theater has ghostly visitors. She was only there to make you remember how important your work is. She is after all always the audience for whomever may be there.
    This is a great blog. Love it. Thanks c hill


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