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Friday, July 19, 2024

Blackpool Grand applauds Royal Shakespeare Company

Chief Executive of Blackpool Grand Theatre, Adam Knight, said: “The Grand’s partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company is much cherished, with our popular Associate Schools programme and Shakespeare Nation projects aligning with our vision to deliver transformational change, particularly for children, young people and families in Blackpool and beyond. The exciting appointment of Daniel Evans and Tamara Harvey will bring forth new opportunities for world class productions to be staged in Blackpool, strengthening the relationship we already enjoy under the current artistic leadership of Erica Whyman.

“Working co-productively with the team at The Grand; Erica, along with RSC Director of Learning, Jacqui O’Hanlon, has supported the development of an outstanding programme of work that has seen Shakespeare performed on our stages, in local schools, on the trams and memorably taking communities ‘Once More Unto The Beach’ at the height of lockdown.  We are delighted that Erica will be supporting the transition of artistic leadership and will continue her close relationship with Blackpool Grand through our current RSC 37 Plays programme – a community focused new writing project being delivered in partnership with Northern Broadsides throughout Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre.

“The Grand has proudly presented major RSC productions over the years including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Measure for Measure, and Romeo & Juliet. Our youngest Shakespearean actors from Blackpool schools take to the stage next week with members of the RSC Ensemble in the ‘First Encounters’ production of Twelfth Night and we’re excited to be announcing soon the next unmissable large scale RSC production to be enjoyed here at Blackpool Grand Theatre in May 2023 – so watch this space!”

Daniel Evans is currently Artistic Director of Chichester Festival Theatre and Tamara is Artistic Director of Theatre Clwyd. Daniel and Tamara are regular collaborators and applied together for the prominent position. Download image HERE

Daniel said: “I was fortunate to see so many inspiring performances at Stratford during my teenage years; and later celebrated my 21st birthday there during my first professional job post-drama school. So, to be returning to the RSC as its Co-Artistic Director is immensely meaningful to me. To do so alongside Tamara is a joy and a privilege. We share deep-rooted values and an ambitious vision for the Company, and we’re both looking forward to working with Catherine and the team to begin this new, exciting chapter in the RSC’s story.”

Tamara added: “Being taken to Stratford to see Murder in the Cathedral at the Swan when I was fifteen was one of the most vivid moments of my childhood. A sense of awe, but even then, a desire to get in there and start making plays: two feelings I continue to hold today. Stepping into this job is both the most exciting and the most daunting thing I’ve ever done. The great joy of working in partnership with Daniel, an artist I admire beyond measure, is that we share both that excitement and that awe at becoming the next custodians of this amazing company. We bring a shared belief in all that the RSC can be – a home for radical, relevant theatre made by artists from across the UK and the wider world. A global community inspired by Shakespeare, bringing together myriad voices to tell the stories of our time – and of all time.”

Catherine Mallyon, Executive Director, said: “I am excited to start a new leadership relationship with Daniel and Tamara who have a profound understanding of the RSC as a theatre and learning charity, combined with the high levels of the skill, imagination, talent and commitment required to make captivating theatre, unlock potential and inspire change.”

Shriti Vadera, Chair of the RSC Board, said: “The Board is delighted to appoint Daniel and Tamara as Co-Artistic Directors from an exceptionally strong field of candidates. They bring a brilliant track record of artistic achievement with a strong commitment to education, communities and championing diverse talent and voices, alongside a proven strategic ability to lead major companies. Their partnership heralds an exciting vision for the future of the RSC to attract world-class artistic talent, captivate today’s audiences with Shakespeare, classics and new work, and increase radically the reach and impact of our pioneering learning, partnerships and digital work.

“We are enormously grateful for Erica’s generous and inclusive leadership and significant contribution to the Company over the last decade, including her championing of new work, her commitment to the RSC as a truly national organisation with our ground-breaking national partnerships, and of course as director across all our stages.”

The Royal Shakespeare Company most recently teamed up with Blackpool Grand Theatre to ask budding writers of all ages from across the local community: ‘Do you have something to say?’ in a bid to get the nation writing.

The Grand joined the RSC and the other 11 theatre partners across the country in the exciting new 37 Plays – Writing The Stories Of Our Nation programme, which invites children, young people and adults of the community to write/create the comedies, tragedies, and untold histories of our time.  The innovative scheme encourages works from established, emerging and first-time writers of all ages. Inspired by the scope and timeless relevance of the 37 plays Shakespeare wrote, 37 Plays will bring together diverse voices from across the UK in one of the most ambitious new writing and creative projects in our history.

From five-act plays to short-form monologues, plays performed on stage, on the streets or in schools, to new and emerging formats; 37 Plays will explore who we are as a society and what the future of dramatic writing might look and feel like, on and off our stages. There will also be an open call to anyone in the UK who wants to create a new piece of drama to make people smile, cry or tell untold stories or the history of our time.

Submissions will be read, longlisted, and then shortlisted by regional and national panels. The final 37 plays will be collated and published with the aim of the selected plays being produced and performed in 2023, culminating in a festival to celebrate the project and mark the 400th anniversary of the publication of Shakespeare’s First Folio.

‘Write till your ink be dry, and with your tears

Moist it again, and frame some feeling line

That may discover such integrity’

William Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona

Sign up for 37 Plays – Writing the Stories of our Nation at https://37plays.co.uk/

More information on how to participate will be available on the Grand Theatre’s website www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk/37plays in the coming weeks.

Sam Allcock
Sam Allcockhttps://businesslancashire.co.uk/
Sam Allcock is a highly regarded digital entrepreneur with over 20 years’ experience in online marketing for some of the World’s biggest brands. He has extensive knowledge and experience in SEO and digital marketing. He is based in Cheshire but has an interest in all things going on in the North West and enjoys contributing local news to the site.
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