Tuesday, January 17, 2006


SHOCK and dismay was voiced this week at a decision by the Royal Shakespeare Company that’s claimed will deprive Stratford of at least £4 million a year in tourist spending.The RSC announced to a stunned meeting of the Stratford Community Forum last Thursday evening that it will be closing the 450-seat Swan Theatre throughout most of the two-year-plus redevelopment of its main house.

Originally it was envisaged that the Swan would close “for a short time” during the refurbishment of the main house. But an RSC spokeswoman said that because the two theatres were “so linked together” it was expected that the Swan would have to close for two summer seasons—2008 and 2009.Work on the main house is due to start some time after April 2007 and be completed ready for re-opening in early 2010.

Meanwhile, the 1,000-seat temporary “Courtyard Theatre”—now being erected at the back of The Other Place in Southern Lane—will operate from July this year until the RST refurbishment is finished.

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