Exploring Shakespeare by Bill Alexander is out on May 18th

Our Artistic Director, #RSCHonoraryAssociate Bill Alexander's new book is published by Nick Hern Books on May 18th

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Exploring Shakespeare
A Director's Notes from the Rehearsal Room
By Bill Alexander

Paperback £16.99 early bird price -£13.59 This edition isn't available yet, but you can be amongst the first to receive it by pre-ordering now!

Ebook £16.99 early bird price - £13.59

Available soon

In Exploring Shakespeare, our acclaimed Artistic Director Bill Alexander takes us inside the rehearsal room to reveal – in unprecedented and captivating detail – exactly what happens there. He examines the key relationship between the actors and the director, how they work together to bring Shakespeare's vision to life, and how choices are made that will shape every aspect of the play in production.

Full of acute observations and perceptions drawn from a long and brilliant career, the book covers the essential aspects of any Shakespeare production, from understanding the world of the play, to preparing and cutting the text, deciding on costumes and set design, handling soliloquies, and considering character and backstory.

There are detailed studies of eight plays spanning the full length and breadth of the Shakespearean canon, from Titus Andronicus and The Shrew to The Tempest, via Macbeth, Othello, Hamlet, Lear and Twelfth Night. Alexander also provides first-hand case studies of three of his own productions, including his famous Richard III starring Antony Sher.

Personal, forthright, and full of pragmatic advice, Exploring Shakespeare is a masterclass for directors and actors, and a fascinating insight for anyone interested in Shakespeare.

'Bill Alexander is a brilliant director, whose work has powerfully shaped my understanding of Shakespeare's plays, Richard III most of all' James Shapiro, author of 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare

'Theatre is the greatest of collaborative art forms, and Shakespeare its greatest exponent: he used the form better than anyone else ever has to speak truth about the world.'

A Celebration of the Life of Rodney Stewart Smith

Yesterday a service was held to remember the remarkable life Chancery barrister

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Rodney was one of our Trustees and then Chair for several years until his sudden death on September 21st last year. He was a remarkable man with a razor sharp mind which he deployed in many fields of the law. I remember being told he'd got the top first in his year at Cambridge.

His manner was seemingly mild with a delightful sense of humour however nothing passed him by. He took me our founder and artistic director Mary Chater to lunch every summer to talk about life and how things were going. She sensed that after the death of her husband co founder Julian Curry, (Claude Erskine - Brown in Rumpole of the Bailey) he saw himself almost as an uncle figure to keep an eye on her in the most solicitous and caring way possible.

We miss Rodney's wisdom, gentle manner, spirited sense of humour and great enthusiasm for Shakespeare and the theatre.

Rean on for an obituary by Stephen Hockman KC.

Apples and Eyes our young peoples school promo video

made by filmmaker Matthew Kowalczuk and assistant Afra Nuarey

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 The four day autumn school was held in One Garden, Stanmer Park, Brighton.

Coming up soon will be the young people's film of beginning of The Tempest - first encounters between Miranda, Prospero, Ariel and Caliban. Matthew is editing this plus a promo video for WIldfest which also took place in One Garden on Saturday October 29th - over 3000 people came to celebrate the live arts in Nature. The weather gods looked favourably - we had fabulous late summer sunshine.


The beautiful Etruscan town of Volterra is the setting for our summer school 2023 (Sept 11 - 19)

Dame Janet Suzman - Coriolanus plus Michael Corbidge and Sue Tordoff - Measure for Measure

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People arrive on September 11th for another unforgettable course, aways working on the text from an actor's point of view.

Janet Suzman will lead a 3 day module on Coriolanus - 12, 13, 14 September.

Friday 15th is a free day to explore Volterra. A qualified Blue badge guide will give a walking tour for all participants.

Sue Tordoff and Michael Corbidge will lead 3 days work on Measure for Measure - Sept 16, 17, 18.

Departure day is Tuesday September 19th.

Click on Read More for more information