A guided tour of the theatres and buildings that make up the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-Upon-Avon was a perk of a week’s work experience with the company. The guides were infinitely knowledgeable on whatever topic you chose to interrogate them, from the history of the site back to when it was the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, to the staging, actors and costumes of recent productions.
1. The company has its own armoury and makes its own wigs. Belly hair from yaks is used to make the beards.
2. In the reading room, there is a Shakespearean insult chair which shouts abuse at you when you sit on it, and copies of reviews of all the RSC’s shows.
3. The technical crew can fly in props with absolute precision. They tested this once with an unboiled egg – it landed a mm from the stage.
4. On every level of the new Royal Shakespeare Theatre, you tread the original boards of the old RST stage.
5. The Swan Theatre end of the building features Victorian stained glass windows which depict Jacques’ ‘seven ages of man’ speech from As You Like It, alongside windows showing Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth I.
Originally publish by The Boar.