On Friday 23 March, 61 liverymen, freemen and guests enjoyed an inspiring day at Stratford-upon-Avon hosted by the Master with the support of the Events Committee.
Meeting in the foyer of the Royal Shakespeare Company theatre we were taken on a backstage tour of both theatres accompanied by amusing guides where we gained some insight into the complex organisation behind a theatre production. A senior costume designer then introduced us to his work (once again the detail, research, materials and processes far more complex than the layman would imagine) and the opportunity to try a selection of historic production crowns, such as David Tennant’s Richard II, was seized upon by those aspiring to high office as well as those who had already achieved it!
Leaving the theatre for a group photograph we then made our way to the recently restored medieval Guildhall and Schoolroom where Shakespeare would have received lessons and exposure to travelling players providing inspiration for his later work. We sat in the very room he would have known and received a lesson conducted in Latin by the Magister, who was much impressed by the ability of many of us to still conjugate the Latin verb “to love” Amo, amas, amat……… However Past Master Simon Brown received a severe reprimand (as caning is now forbidden!) for introducing Greek into the lesson.
We enjoyed supper in the Guildhall before returning to the theatre for a stunning performance of Iqbal Kahn’s new production of “Antony and Cleopatra” starring Antony Byrne and Josette Simon in the title roles. Shakespeare’s tale of passion and deception leading the lovers through their lives from height of power to tragic death was brought to life by the production in a way we had never experienced in our own schooldays!
Thanks to the Master and the Events Committee for another enjoyable event in good company and fellowship
Gallery to follow