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Judi Dench, Ray Fearon, Harriet Walter and Patrick Stewart Launch TALKING SHAKESPEARE At The RSC

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Judi Dench, Ray Fearon, Harriet Walter and Patrick Stewart Launch TALKING SHAKESPEARE At The RSC

With the Royal Shakespeare Company's theatres currently closed to the public, RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran has invited Associate and Honorary Associate Artists from throughout the Company's history to join him for an exclusive series of online conversations discussing their experience of performing Shakespeare at the RSC and beyond.

Launching on Mon 13th July, Talking Shakespeare will feature contributions from Judi Dench, Ray Fearon, Harriet Walter, Patrick Stewart, Alexandra Gilbreath, David Tennant, Adjoa Andoh, Simon Russell Beale and Paterson Joseph with further guests to be announced in the coming weeks.

The exclusive live, online events series will run weekly on a Monday from 5-6pm and is open to Subscribers, Members and Patrons of the Royal Shakespeare Company plus the Company's nationwide network of Associate School teachers.

The events are free as a thank you for the ongoing support given to the Company during the pandemic, but with a suggested donation of £10. Money raised will support the Company's Keep Your RSC campaign to help secure the future of the RSC and its mission to transform lives through amazing experiences of Shakespeare and great theatre.

Those wishing to support the Keep Your RSC campaign by becoming a new Member or supporter can do so and benefit from Talking Shakespeare and future events. Further details of how to support can be found at www.rsc.org.uk/support/become-a-member-supporter

Executive Director, Catherine Mallyon, said; "Our Members and supporters are providing the Company with vital income during the Covid-19 crisis. Since the closure of our theatres in March we have been finding new and creative ways of engaging with our supporters online. Initiatives range from regular Zoom updates from our Artistic team for Production Circle and Season Supporters, to virtual talks and behind-the-scenes exclusive events for Patrons and Members, including a first screening of our 2019 production of King John via You Tube earlier this month.

We are extremely grateful to our members and supporters, who have recognised the very challenging position we find ourselves in, alongside all theatres and arts venues around the country. And whilst it is sadly too early to say when we will be able to re-open and what the future might look like, we hope that 'Talking Shakespeare' and other similar events will continue to entertain and engage our membership through this challenging time, and importantly thank them for their ongoing and vital support as we look forward to the time when we can safely re-open".

Artistic Director, Gregory Doran said: "The chance to talk Shakespeare with some of the great Shakespeare actors of today, to explore their lifetimes' experience of verse, the challenges of some of the greatest roles ever written, and the opportunity to hear their advice to young actors, their favourite passages, and how we think about Shakespeare's work is something I am really thrilled about and looking forward to sharing with all our loyal friends and supporters in these testing times."

Judi Dench made her professional theatrical debut in 1957 to playing Ophelia in Hamlet at the Old Vic. She has played most of Shakespeare's leading ladies for the RSC including Mistress Quickly (The Merry Wives of Windsor, 2006), from Viola (Twelfth Night, 1969), via Beatrice and Lady Macbeth (1976) to Countess Rossillion (All's Well That Ends Well, 2003). She is regarded as one of our greatest actresses, well-known household name for both her theatre work as well as her oscar-winning film work and many TV credits.

Ray Fearon made his RSC debut in 1993 in The Merchant of Venice. His Shakespeare roles for the RSC include Romeo (1997), Othello (1999), Pericles (2002) and Mark Antony (Julius Caesar, 2012). His Film and TV credits include Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Fleabag, Strictly Come Dancing and Coronation Street. In 1999, Fearon became the first black actor to play Othello on the RSC main stage for over 40 years (since Paul Robeson in 1959).

Harriet Walter made her RSC debut in 1980 in The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby. Among her Shakespeare roles for the RSC, she has played Helena (A Midsummer Night's Dream, 1981), Viola (Twelfth Night, 1987), Lady Macbeth (Macbeth, 1999), Beatrice (Much Ado About Nothing, 2002) and Cleopatra (Antony and Cleopatra, 2006). She also played Brutus, Prospero and Henry IV in the Donmar trilogy. Her many TV credits include Downton Abbey, The Crown and Killing Eve.

Patrick Stewart joined the RSC in 1966. His Shakespeare roles include King John (1970), Oberon (A Midsummer Night's Dream, 1977), Shylock (The Merchant of Venice, 1978 and 2011), Titus Andronicus (1981), Henry IV (1982), Antony (Antony and Cleopatra, 2006), Prospero (The Tempest 2006) and Claudius (Hamlet, 2008). His TV and film credits include the X-Men series and Star Trek: The Next Generation.

The Royal Shakespeare Company is a charity and our mission is to transform lives through amazing experiences of Shakespeare and great theatre. To make a gift to the RSC, visit https://www.rsc.org.uk/support/make-a-donation/


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