Clavering Players selected by Royal Shakespeare Company for Open Stages project

PUBLISHED: 08:55 29 January 2014 | UPDATED: 17:09 30 January 2014

Clavering Players is one of 86 UK amateur groups chosen by the Royal Shakespeare Company to participate in the 2013-16 Open Stages project.

In the summer the Players will be presenting a promenade production of As You Like It. The RSC believes that Shakespeare, and the art of theatre making. belongs to everyone, not just to watch but to perform - that Shakespeare “is not simply the province of the Oxbridge director, the university academic, the GCSE/A level student, or the trained professional actor”.

Open Stages demonstrates and develops the idea that Shakespeare is, and has always been, the people’s playwright, by engaging with, supporting, developing and celebrating the work of amateur theatre makers. So across the UK audiences will get to see, among other shows, Macbeth performed in a Cardiff shopping centre, Much Ado About Nothing performed by serving members of the Royal Air Force, the Tempest in a quarry in Durham and Richard III performed in Leicester Cathedral by university students.

A spokesman for Clavering Players said the group was “justly proud” of being selected to join the project, particularly as the RSC received nearly 200 applications.

At a Promenade play, audience members stand and walk about rather than sit, watching the action happening among them and even following the performers around the performance space which in this case will be the woods, greens and gardens around Clavering, starting at the village hall and ending up at the Bury, originally a Royal Manor House and the home of the earliest castle site in eastern England.

A second round of auditions for As You Like It will take place on Sunday (February 2) at Clavering Village Hall, between 3-5pm, and are open to all, as there are still parts left to be filled.

Previous Shakespeare experience is not necessary and as the production needs at least 30 actors plus guides and stewards, who will be in costume, there will be plenty of opportunities to get involved.

Additionally, the RSC and a partner theatre will be working with the cast to support them with mentoring and workshops in order to create their own RSC Open Stages production.

Further information, e-mail production director Keith Phillips at claveringshakespeare@hotmail.co.uk

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