The Royal Shakespeare Theatre Company Comes to Tippet Rise
Summer and Fall of 2016 at the art center saw screenings of Hamlet, Cymbeline and King Lear from Britain’s Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC). Performed and recorded in Shakespeare’s birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon, just weeks before arriving at Tippet Rise, the films provided our audiences with the chance to see extraordinary theater from one of the world’s greatest Shakespeare companies.
Considered one of the central works of Shakespearean tragedy, King Lear speaks poignantly to a world of conflict. For RSC, the play was directed by Gregory Doran, dubbed by the Sunday Times as “one of the great Shakespearians of his generation.” With Sir Antony Sher playing the volatile king, RSC’s King Lear was hailed by critics as “monumental” and “unbearably moving.”
One of Shakespeare’s lesser-known works, Cymbeline takes place in ancient Britain. Yet its themes, which include questions of national identity and sovereignty, are as relevant today as they were when Shakespeare first penned them.
Directed by Melly Still, whose credits include productions at England’s National Theatre and Globe Theatre, the RSC production of Cymbeline was described by critics as “thrilling, moving and epic.”
Another of Shakespeare’s great tragedies, the story of young Hamlet confronts each of us with the mirror of our own mortality in an imperfect world. Of the RSC’s Paapa Essiedu’s performance as Hamlet, there was much critical acclaim. Among it, The Telegraph’s theater critic wrote, “A new star is born.”
With three theaters in Stratford-upon-Avon, the Royal Shakespeare Company reaches audiences around the world through live broadcasts and screenings, touring, and an impressive website. Not only has the company received countless accolades and honors, it is the only theater company with its own in-house armory where breastplates, gauntlets, belts and weaponry are custom-made and fitted. How fortunate we are to have access to the company’s productions here in rural Montana.