Sratford Theater recommendations

Old Sep 17th, 2006, 10:52 AM
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Sratford Theater recommendations

Are any of the Shakespeare theaters in Stratford-upon-Avon better than the others?
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Old Sep 17th, 2006, 11:09 AM
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There are two main theatres there. One is the Royal Shakespeare Theatre which is quite large and does the larger productions -- mainly but not all Shakespeare. There is the Swan Theatre which is semi-attached which is more of traditional Elizabethan style -- thrust stage and three quarter round seating. This theatre is considerably smaller and many plays are period pieces lesser known or else familiar ones produced in a slightly different way. Both theatres are wonderful in my opinion, but the Swan has much more "intimacy".
There is also a small theatre called "The Other Place" but the last I knew, nothing was happening there.

Usually when we've done a day trip to Stratford from London, we try to see two plays -- one in the Swan and one on the main stage.
 
Old Sep 17th, 2006, 12:18 PM
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The Swan, the Royal Shakespears and the other one are all operated by the RSC on the same site. The whole place is going through a lengthy remodelling, so the nuances of the different theatres depend a bit on when you're planning to be there.

The Swan and the Royal Shakespeare are both showing more or less nothing but Shakespeare for the rest of this year.

The Other Place, which normally does experimental theatre, is currently replaced by a high-grade temporary structure, The Courtyard. It's also showing almost entirely Shakespeare this year.

Personally, I wouldn't worry too much about the theatres. Choose the production you want to see: the standards really don't differ very much.
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Old Sep 17th, 2006, 12:31 PM
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i agree with flanner. i would trust the RSC to choose the theatre space that is best for the production. RSC often puts very popular events in the smaller swan...ostensibly ignoring commercial issues. for example, i saw judi dench in All's Well... in the swan a couple years ago. that could have easily sold out a far larger venues.

there is NO quality issue theatre to theatre as it is the same company. you can equally see a bad or a good production in either.

i managed to see the last production in the other place as the temporary structure was being constructed around it. it should be closed for a while, i think. other places around town are being used for smaller plays. haven't been to stratford in a year so i'm not up to date.
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Old Sep 17th, 2006, 02:09 PM
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I haven't been to the Swan, but the other two are both top for whatever it is you want to see.
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Old Sep 18th, 2006, 09:40 AM
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We just got back from a trip to the UK that included Stratford. We saw "Much Ado About Nothing" at the Swan theatre. It was great! It was set in 1950's Cuba & I thought the acting was superb. The costumes were also very well done. We had a great time.

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Old Sep 18th, 2006, 12:20 PM
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Both theaters are RSC theaters. The theater used vary depending on the production. If you order tickets online to their productions, there is no service fee. I saw Patrick Stewart and Harriet Walter in Antony and Cleopatra in July and it was fabulous. In the winter and spring, I just go to Stratford, and usually get a seat to whatever is on. Check their web site for a schedule in advance. I enjoy Stratford despite it being overrun with daytrippers. Exploring the side streets and looking at the buildings and gardens is interesting and you won't feel overwhelmed.
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