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The Shoemaker's Holiday
by Thomas Dekker

RSC, Swan Theatre, Stratford upon Avon
11 December 2014 7 March 2015

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Cast List
 
Ben Allen
Askew
Ross Armstrong
Warner
Daniel Boyd
Ralph Damport
Vincent Carmichael
Earl of Lincoln
Laura Cubitt
– Cicely Bumtrinket
Hedydd Dylan
Jane Damport
Sandy Foster
Sybil
William Gaminara
Sir Roger Oatley
Michael Grady-Hall
Lovell
Michael Hodgson
Hodge
Jack Holden
The King
Andrew Langtree
Dodger
Joel MacCormack
Firk
Tom McCall
Skipper
Josh O'Connor
Rowland Lacy
Vivien Parry
Margery Eyre
Thomasin Rand
Rose Oatley
David Troughton
Simon Eyre
Jamie Wilkes
Hammon
Charlie Bygate / Sebastian Dibb / William Watson
Boy

Director
Phillip Breen
Designer
Max Jones
Lighting
Tina MacHugh
Music
Jason Carr
Sound
Andrea J Cox
Movement
Ayse Tashkiran
Fights
– Renny Krupinski
Company Text and Voice Work – Michael Elliott
Assistant Director –
Holly Race Roughan
Music Director
– Jonathan Williams
 
 


  
 Trailer for The Shoemaker's Holiday 

 
 Pre-show talk with Phillip Breen (theatrevoice.com)
  
Front Row interview with Phillip Breen (BBC Radio 4)
  
 Stratford Herald interview with Phillip Breen
 

Max Jones discussing designing the costumes with the Costume Society
 

  


 
Reviews


The Birmingham Post
by Richard Edmonds
 
There are not many evenings when I leave the theatre in a high state of excitement, but this glorious production of Thomas Dekker’s 17th century romp had so much going for it, from inspired acting to exquisitely balanced direction, that quite frankly I felt like throwing my critical cap over the nearest windmill and shouting from the rooftops. This is theatre at its brilliant best.
 
Everything comes together in this gorgeous evening, from the cut of the men’s doublets to the French caps worn by the women, where a tiny pearl falls from a ruby onto an actress’s forehead, indicating her character has become a social success, moving from cheap London lodgings to become the wife of the Lord Mayor of London, an occasion for rejoicing as Dick Whittington famously discovers in seasonal pantos up and down the land.
 
Any play by Dekker is a rarity in today’s theatre. Therefore our first thanks go to Greg Doran, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s artistic director. With laudable insight into what makes wonderful theatre, Mr Doran has made this whole thing happen, and here it is playing to delighted audiences in a season distinguished by other memorable projects where you feel happy to endorse Arts Council spending for once.
 
The story is simple. Parents disapprove of Rose’s marriage to Rowland Lacey. Her father, Sir Roger Oatley whisks her away to a country house and Lacy is sent away to the army (an army which is a disgraceful, ill-equipped collection of totally unsuitable recruits – something Essex was confronted with when Elizabeth I sent him to quell the rebels in Ireland – Dekker knew his political history).
 
But alongside this predictable bit of love interest is the story of a band of poor shoemakers in a back street (excellent comedy from Joel MacCormack as Ferk) where the employer is Simon Eyre (David Troughton hilarious in his pretentious absurdities). Lacy (Josh O’Connor) who has learned the trade in the Low Countries, joins the shoemakers and claims to be Dutch (O’Connor’s cod Dutch accent is one of the joys of a joyful evening).
 
However, as Eyre prospers, he moves up into well-heeled government circles and his raucous wife (the hugely comic Vivien Parry) fusses along beside him, assuming a fake genteel accent as her farthingale and his girth grows wider by the minute.
 
In a rollercoaster evening the fun grows thick and fast as Eyre hustles his way to Lord Mayor with quite clearly every actor giving his or her all to make it work. But, under Phillip Breen’s carefully thought out direction, there is a moment of reflection. A shoemaker, Ralph Damport (a wonderfully delicate performance by Daniel Boydin) returns from the war, crippled with his leg in a sling and half blind. It is Dekker’s brilliant take on the horrors of war and tilts at those who would hurt us with their glittering verbal bravado, something which Shakespeare ignores in, say, the bombast of Henry V.
 
Ralph finds his wife, assuming him dead, is engaged to another man. The moment when this innocent man stands alone in a spotlight watching his wife and then her joy which transcends what Ralph has become, is one of the most poignant things I have seen in years.
 
This is theatre where every penny of the ticket money is well spent and where something memorable and fine will always stay in the memory.
 
 

The Daily Telegraph
by Dominic Cavendish
 
Though Thomas Dekker’s collaborative handiwork has twice been seen this year at the RSC – in The Roaring Girl (c1610) and The Witch of Edmonton (1621) – neither of these revivals was greeted with much enthusiasm on these pages. Now though, right at year’s end, comes Phillip Breen’s gloriously entertaining account of Dekker’s one surviving sole-authored play, a lovingly crafted city comedy laced with touches of pathos that demonstrates his gifts were far greater than Ben Jonson’s caustic dismissal of him as “a dresser of plays about town” suggests. 
 
The Shoemaker’s Holiday – which premiered at the Rose in 1599 – features, as both those later works did, a real-life figure while taking copious dramatic liberties. The “holiday” refers to a pancake feast thrown for the apprentices of London on Shrove Tuesday, 1446 by the Lord Mayor, Sir Simon Eyre. Drawing on a history about “the Gentle Craft”, Dekker makes Eyre a forcefully ebullient, garrulous character, whose surging fortunes and rising status are the by-product of war. 
 
Forced abroad to fight the French (a move engineered to separate him from his beloved, Rose), the young gentleman Rowland Lacy deserts and returns to London in the lowly guise of a Dutch shoemaker, helping to bring a bonanza of merchandise into the hands of his new master, Eyre. A second, lower-born hero, Ralph is also in the latter’s employ – in a parallel plot, he gets separated from his newly married wife Jane when he’s conscripted, and returns home badly maimed only to discover she has been wooed away by a “gentleman”, Hammon. 
 
That wooing scene – in which Jamie Wilkes’ preening, dandified Hammon produces a bogus death-report and presses his amorous case – must rank as one of the most painfully funny scenes in the canon. “Forget the dead; love them that are alive,” he obtusely insists, refusing to take her anguished noes for an answer. 
 
Although Dekker revels in slang and concocts great arias of self-aggrandising verbosity for Eyre – seized on with jaw-jutting relish by David Troughton’s bearded, big-bellied eccentric – there’s a colloquial directness about the writing that actually puts Jonson in the shade while summoning thoughts of Shakespeare’s histories at their most exuberant.
 
Once again, the RSC treats us to the finest (and most fabulously attired) ensemble playing in the kingdom. Thomasin Rand and Josh O’Connor delight as the attractive romantic leads Rose and Rowland – she a picture of restraint and sophistication, he a daft hoot when in cod-Dutch mode. There’s terrific, varied work, too, from Daniel Boyd as the mutilated Ralph and Vivien Parry as Eyre’s wife Margery, who transmogrifies into the rouged likeness of Elizabeth I as her hubby ascends the ladder of success. 
 
And in a play that takes the measure of English society, from foot-soldiers to the crown – and invites thoughts about what it means to be in someone else’s shoes – Jack Holden as the nonchalant monarch who finally weighs love as the rarest commodity brings the evening to a memorably amusing yet strangely touching fairy-tale close.
 
 
 
The Guardian
by Michael Billington
 
One tends to think of Thomas Dekker’s play as a jolly, red-nosed Elizabethan comedy celebrating the shoemaker’s craft. But Phillip Breen’s shrewdly intelligent RSC revival reminds us of the play’s sombre background: when it was written in 1599, London workers lived in fear of being pressed into an army of 16,000 raised to crush the Irish.
 
You see signs of this early on in Breen’s production: the shoemakers angrily rebel against one of their number, the newly married Ralph, being forcibly conscripted. The payoff is that Ralph goes off to fight in France (standing in for Ireland) and returns home badly maimed. Meanwhile Lacy, the posh boy who enlists him, dodges military action and spends his days disguised as a Dutch cordwainer and wooing a grocer’s daughter. Having raised serious issues about class, Dekker ducks their implications and lets Lacy off lightly but there’s a telling moment in this production when Josh O’Connor as the toffish deserter guiltily confronts the legless Ralph.
 
The play’s fun chiefly emerges through the bombastic figure of Simon Eyre, who rises from shoemaker to be Lord Mayor and whom David Troughton invests with exactly the right word-spinning glee: you see both the good nature and self-satisfaction in a man who declares, as he caresses his mayoral robes, “it’s a stirring life, a fine life, a velvet life”. Troughton is also strongly supported by Vivien Parry as his ratty, socially pretentious wife and by Laura Cubitt as one of my favourite minor figures in Elizabethan drama, Cicely Bumtrinket, who “farts in her sleep”.
 
Breen might have given us more signs of the cobblers at work but this is a first-rate revival that sets the play squarely in its period; and when, at the end, Jack Holden’s amusingly fey king suddenly reintroduces the subject of war, we are reminded that working-class recruitment never stops. 
 
 

The Observer
by Clare Brennan
 
The 22-strong cast surges on stage to a peal of bells. They mime along to the prologue, playing words off actions as they describe the comedy we are about to see and cheerily give away its secrets – or do they? There is more to the action of The Shoemaker’s Holiday than the plot alone suggests. Thomas Dekker slyly exploits dramatic possibilities to communicate through structure and silence as well as through dialogue. Director Phillip Breen conveys multiple meanings in a period staging that never feels dated. In their ruffs and cloaks and calf-flattering stockings (men as well as women), crisply delineated characters come across as buoyantly Tudor; in their hopes, fears and teasing interactions, though, they are as contemporary as you or me.
 
Dekker’s 1599 play, set in London during England’s conflict with France a century earlier, presents a crafty critique of the world he lives in. Unlike his contemporary, William Shakespeare, Dekker sets his events mainly among the artisan classes; the importance of money is never forgotten. Most of the action is located in and around a shoemaker’s shop run by Simon Eyre – more force of nature than man, with an exuberant appetite for life and spirit of unbounded generosity (David Troughton is superhuman in this Falstaffian role). Here, a young aristocrat, Lacy, works in disguise as a Dutch cordwainer (Josh O’Connor combines hilarious vowels with a touching characterisation), having dodged the draft so as to be near the girl he loves, in spite of the objections of their elders. Thanks to a loan from Lacy, Eyre grows prosperous (much to the delight of his scolding, loving, apparel-obsessed wife).
 
At the beginning of the play, before he dons his disguise, Lacy refuses to excuse from military service a young, newly wed shoemaker, Ralph (sensitively conveyed by Daniel Boyd); it is Ralph’s place in the shop that Lacy unwittingly takes. A subplot of the play follows the (mis)fortunes of Ralph’s wife, assailed by an aristocrat who convinces her that her husband is dead (a finely nuanced performance from Hedydd Dylan). Ralph is, however, alive, and returns to the shoe shop, lame and disfigured; he does not recognise the disguised Lacy, who simply stands and stares. In Lacy’s look (as embodied by O’Connor) two main thoughts seem to jostle: “That could have been me” and/or “I made him go.”
 
The scene moves on, but its shadow remains. In that silent non-interaction, writer, director and performers offer the audience a powerful vision of the unfairness of the social structure and the wastefulness of war, while not allowing us to slip into comfortable, side-taking attitudes.
 
We cannot condemn Lacy, however much we sympathise with Ralph, partly because we cannot want him – or anyone – to suffer as Ralph and his loved ones have, but also because the prologue has promised a happy ending. This is delivered, thanks to holiday-giving Simon Eyre, shoemaker turned mayor of London. But the shadows darken in the final lines before the closing song as the visiting king announces: “When all our sports and banqueting are done,/ Wars must right wrongs that Frenchmen have begun.” More than 400 years old, this still feels like a tremendously contemporary play; if only its take on war and power were a little less relevant today.
 
 
The Week
Reviews of ‘Glorious revival’

What you need to know:

The Royal Shakespeare Company's revival of Thomas Dekker's The Shoemaker's Holiday has opened at the Swan, Stratford-upon-Avon. Phillip Breen directs Dekker's Elizabethan comedy, which premiered at London's Rose Theatre in 1599.
 
It tells the story of a young gentleman, Rowland Lacy, who is forced by his father to join the army and fight the French abroad as a way of keeping him from his lower-born beloved, Rose. But Lacy finds a stand-in and secretly returns to London in the guise of a Dutch shoemaker, apprenticing himself to craftsman Simon Eyre while he conspires to woo Rose. Runs until 7 March.

What the critics like:
 
This revival is "a load of jolly old cobblers", says Dominic Maxwell in The Times. Romantic intrigue, bawdy jokes, exuberant morris dancing and merry-making, even a smattering of fart gags keep the action thrumming with buoyancy and bonhomie.
 
Breen directs a "gloriously entertaining" account of Dekker's play, a lovingly crafted city comedy laced with touches of pathos, says Dominic Cavendish in the Daily Telegraph. It's a play that takes the measure of English society, from foot-soldiers to the crown – and invites thoughts about what it means to be in someone else's shoes.
 
Thomas Dekker's play is often thought of as a jolly, red-nosed Elizabethan comedy celebrating the shoemaker's craft, says Michael Billington in The Guardian. But Breen's "shrewdly intelligent RSC revival" sets the play squarely in its period, and reminds us that London workers lived in fear of being pressed into the army.
 
 
 
The Times
by Sam Marlowe
 

'Romantic intrigue, bawdy jokes, exuberant morris dancing and merry making ... This is jovial fun'
 
 
 
The Sunday Times
by Patricia Nicol
 
'Heart warming and thought provoking', Critics Choice
  
 
 
The Independent
by Paul Taylor
 
'Phillip Breen's captivating production'
  
  

The Mail on Sunday
by Robert Gore-Langton
 
'Totally inspired', Show of the Week 
 
  

What's On Stage
by Simon Taverner
 
Considering their initial popularity, it is surprising that few Elizabethan (and later) City Comedies have persisted in the repertoire. Over recent years, the Royal Shakespeare Company has revisited a number of such pieces and shown how they can still make vibrant and entertaining pieces of theatre. Dekker's The Shoemaker's Holiday is no exception - providing, as it does, great night out for audiences as well as some rewarding roles for the ensemble.
 
There is a joyous use of language throughout the text, moving seamlessly between broad comedy, romantic parody and genuine emotion. Much of the comedy is drawn from the distinction between the different social classes and the language reflects this perfectly. Dekker weaves the language of the Elizabethan street with the more heightened (and restrained) of the nobility to create a real sense of personality, class and rank with great ease. It is clear that the cast have grasped this language and relish every moment.
 
Phillip Breen's handsome and witty production captures all the qualities that made Dekker's play one of the most frequently performed pieces of its time. He gives his cast the space to revel in their characters and finds the balance between the competing narrative strands allowing the different threads of the story to emerge with clarity. There could, perhaps, stand to be a little tightening of the first half which does run close to slightly outstaying its welcome - but this is a minor quibble about what is otherwise a top-notch production.
 
There is not a single weak link in the cast with even the most minor character being given their moment to shine. David Troughton (Simon Eyre - leader of the Shoemakers) leads the company with a huge amount of energy and charm. His love of language and life is infectious - it is clear that he is loving every minute and that is reflected by the audience's reaction each time he is onstage. He is well-matched by Vivien Parry's outrageous interpretation of his wife, Margery - deliciously over-the-top and inappropriate.
 
It is a cast of many newcomers to the company - and it would be good to see them again over the coming years. Joel MacCormack (Firk), Thomasin Rand (Rose) and Josh O'Connor (Lacy) show enormous potential to tackle a range of leading roles in the future.
 
All in all, this production is the epitome of what the RSC and the Swan Theatre is all about. Bringing lost works to the attention of modern audiences with quality productions. After a difficult year with the patchy Roaring Girls season, it is gratifying to see a real return to form.
 
 

The Stage


 
 
The Morning Star
by Gordon Parsons
 
The RSC opened its Swan Theatre autumn season with The Roaring Girl by the two Thomases, Dekker and Middleton. They close it with another Dekker play which could have been entitled The Roaring Boys.
 
Dekker, once seen as the most jobbing playwright among Shakespeare’s contemporaries — turning his considerable talents to virtually all the dramatic genres of the time — cobbled together a riotous portrayal of London working-class life with the focus on the “gentle” trade of shoemaking in this early citizen comedy. 
 
Supposedly set in the middle ages, but clearly a mirror to Dekker’s own times, the play’s romantic thread allows him to explore the tensions between class differences and true love.
 
If what can be seen as largely a jolly romp provides a sly commentary on the class structure, the centre of interest lies with the world of the shoemakers’ guild. 
 
The character of the master shoemaker Simon Eyre, based on an actual figure who rose to become lord mayor of London in the 15th century, is Falstaffian in his ebullient energy. 
 
Here he’s explosively embodied in David Troughton, who envelops his workers and his wife in a tirade of hyperbolically inventive language which the audience do not need to understand to revel in.
 
The play is rich in character roles. Vivien Parry as Eyre’s social-climbing wife — demanding a farthingale “to enlarge my bum” — Josh O’Connor as the lovelorn aristo disguised as a cod Dutch shoemaker and Joel McCormack as Eyre’s wickedly puckish journeyman lead a triumphant cast.
 
Yet director Phillip Breen doesn’t allow the theatrical gaiety to mask the darker realities of Dekker’s world. 
 
As the play climaxes in general festivities, stage-managed by newly appointed lord mayor Eyre and an unbelievably benevolent king, the latter reminds the rejoicing apprentices that there is a war to be fought and the action menacingly freezes as the press gangs move in. 
 
 
Oxford Times 
by Christopher Gray
 
Christopher Gray is impressed by the fun found in playwright’s only known solo effort
 

The rich relish for words seen in the writing of Shakespeare’s contemporary Thomas Dekker has twice been experienced by audiences at Stratford in recent months, in productions of The Roaring Girl and The Witch of Edmonton. Both of these were joint ventures with other playwrights, so it was unclear which lines were Dekker’s and which his collaborators’.
 
In The Shoemaker’s Holiday, his only surviving solo effort which premiered at the Rose Theatre in 1599, we can savour the ready wit and well-judged characterisation achieved when the writer goes it alone.
 
Nothing better suits this good-looking, well-dressed production than the gleefully rumbustious portrayal of the play’s central comic character, Sir Simon Eyre, by David Troughton. A fiercely proud shoemaker (“the Gentle Craft”) who eventually becomes Lord Mayor of London, Eyre is a real-life 15th-century figure who gave the pancake feast for apprentices alluded to in the play’s title.
 
Notable for his grandiloquence of phrase (“Stand by with your pishery-pashery, away!”) Eyre is seen at his risible best in the company of his spouse (“This wench with the mealy mouth that will never tire is my wife”). With ideas above her station from the start, Margery (Vivien Parry) is hilariously over-the-top once her husband has made his packet, stepping out in the majestic style of Queen Bess herself.
 
Eyre’s good fortune in a shipping coup has its origins in an introduction to Dutch mercantile interests made by one of his apprentices. ‘Hans’, so called, is not actually Dutch at all, despite hilarious attempts to pass himself off as such. He is in fact the young aristocrat Rowland Lacy (Josh O’Connor). Packed off to the French wars by his uncle Sir Hugh Lacy (Vincent Carmichael), who disapproves of his involvement with his beloved Rose Oatley (Thomasin Rand), the lad has crept back in disguise to continue his courtship.
 
Meanwhile, a parallel romantic story concerns one of the shoemaker’s journeymen, the newly married Ralph (Daniel Boyd), who returns wounded from the wars to find that his missus Jane (Hedynn Dylan) has been lured away by the wily gentleman Hannon (Jamie Wilkes). The scene in which he convinces her of Ralph’s demise is one of the play’s funniest.
 
Perhaps the funniest comes at the close when Jack Holden, an impressive RSC debutant, appears as the king to tie up all plot strands with regal splendour.
 
 
Reviewsgate.com
by Alexander Ray Edser
 
Delightfully funny and a radical thesis
 

The Shoemaker's Holiday, the RSC’s offering in The Swan is a seasonal offering. It features a slipper (though we do know the owner and it’s not glass) and the Lord Mayor of London (but, alas, no cat). And more, it’s genuinely heart-warming, for this is a story in which love overcomes all obstacles, and, we assume, lovers live happily ever after. Love is seen to be strong and lovers steadfast.
 
It’s a play that announces itself as being only about laughter, it’s a play, though, which certainly isn’t. There are laughs a-plenty, but Dekker is putting forward a highly political view of the world. The Shoemaker's Holiday is a play that dignifies the working man and woman, and ridicules the ways and mores of the ruling classes and those who would ape to join them
 
If we sit this alongside Dekker’s co-written The Witch of Edmonton, also in this RSC season, we can begin to see how radical and forward thinking many of the period’s playwrights were.
 
Two pairs of lovers form the spine of the story. Josh O’Connor (Lacey) gives an articulate, humorous and well-shaped performance. Thomasin Rand (Rose, his love) is warn and feisty, with Hedydd Dylan (Jane) gently assuming great dignity as the story progresses. (Daniel Boyd (Ralph, her love, and journeyman shoemaker) touching in his simplicity and ability to carry meaning even when not the centre of a scene. And what a character; he’s conscripted into the French wars and returns maimed. Neither as a figure of fun nor pity; Dekker places him to remind us in the audience of the price paid by working people fighting in wars created by their rulers.
 
Herding all into shape like and energetic dog is David Troughton as Simon Eyre, shoemaker. He plays broadly yet with a firm grip, living up to his character, the Mad Lord Mayor. Vivien Parry (his wife) is equally though differently dotty – and don’t we just adore her transition into Lady Mayoress. Dekker gives these two a seemingly bottomless bag of insults of which the acme just has to be Eyre’s description of his wife: ‘You Islington white pot.’.
 
Many excellent performances; Joel MacCormack must be mentioned as Firk, another journeyman shoemaker, who comes into his vigorous, political own in the play’s final quarter.
 
Phillip Breen directs with intelligence, taking each scene as it comes and going for it; in doing so, he creates a coherent, hi-energy, satisfying and surprising whole. 
 
 
BritishTheatre.com
by Stephen Collins
 
Gregory Doran really does know what he is doing when it comes to repertoire. When the idea of “No Shakespeare in the Swan”, while the Shakespeare canon plays out in its entirety on the RST stage, was first announced it seemed like an interesting enough idea: placing Shakespeare’s work in context by playing the work of his contemporaries constantly alongside it. But as the enterprise proceeds, it is clear that it is not just interesting, but inspired.
 
Seeing the work of Shakespeare’s contemporaries helps inform our understanding of the vitality and urgency that underpins Shakespeare’s work, the issues and themes he was writing about or against, the public appetite at the time he wrote. All of this helps us to understand why Shakespeare was the supreme dramatist of his time, probably of every time, and to let us get to grips with his humour, popularity and contemporaneity.
 
Thomas Dekker’s festive frolic, The Shoemaker’s Holiday, now playing at the Swan Theatre, is an exemplar in this respect. It is generally regarded as a riposte to Shakespeare’s Henry V, taking place at roughly the same time, with ordinary men being press-ganged into war against France, a Falstaff-like central figure, and a King very different (effete, shrewd, mischievous) from the one who Shakespeare would send once more into the breach. Seeing it with knowledge of Henry V, immediately improves it; one expects that when Doran’s production of Henry V opens in the RST later this year, those who have seen Philip Breen’s production of The Shoemaker’s Holiday will appreciate it that much more.
 
Breen squeezes every bit of comedic possibility from the play. The repertory company, so good in the dramatic and enthralling Oppenheimer, prove to be equally skilled in the bawdy comedy department. There are sly asides, vicious insults, dirty double entendres, rowdy gags, silly accent routines, fart jokes, catch-phrase jollity, physical comedy, costume comedy, sight gags, clowning – you name it, it can be found in Breen’s lucid, fast-moving and hugely enjoyable production.
 
Like all good comedies, it has a silly but convoluted plot. Ralph, a shoemaker, has married Jane recently. He gets press-ganged into military service and his master, Simon Eyre, tries to bribe the Colonel into letting Ralph stay with his wife. But the Colonel won’t be swayed and Ralph goes off to war. This despite the fact that the Colonel himself abandons his position in the Army in order to find a way to woo his own love, Rose. Rose’s father and his own father are opposed to the wedding, for different reasons (money and status) so the Colonel (Rowland) pretends to be Dutch and takes a job as a shoemaker, working for Eyre.
 
An aristocrat, Hammon, spots Jane and woos her, telling her that her husband has been killed in the war in France. She is devastated by the news and although she refuses Hammon’s hand at first, she relents and agrees to marry him. She does not want to be left poor and alone. But Ralph is not dead; injured, badly, he is home from the war. With a wedding to make happen and a wedding to avoid, there is much for the Shoemakers to attend to. Throw in a ruse with a ship and funny accented foreigners which results in Simon Eyre being elevated to mayor, and you have the general idea.
 
A lot of silly nonsense. But terrific, good fun.
 
Max Jones’ costumes are lush and colourful and perfectly embellish, and reflect, the machinations of the narrative. Hammon’s outfits are laugh out loud funny, establishing him effortlessly as a preening peacock. Simon Eyre’s outfits accentuate his larger than life vulgarity and pugnacious loquacity, and those of his wife reflect her grasping, fishwife sensibilities. The louche glamour of the King’s outfits sets up his character perfectly and make his final moment all the more chilling.
 
The set is spare, but there are tremendous set pieces: the floor painted to resemble rich, green blue marble; the huge, circular stained-class window, high above the stage; the unexpected use of a trapdoor. It all allows for simple, effective staging, permitting the greatest fluidity of movement.
 
If there is one quibble with the staging, it is that too much of the action is blocked by stationary onlooking bodies. It is easy enough to use the platforms at the stage’s end to get people offstage who have nothing to say but whose presence blocks the action for a deal of the audience. And whoever dresses Hammon should take greater care with his costume: having a label clearly visible tends to dilute the astonishing effect of his wedding outfit.
 
Still, these are small issues, especially given the quality of the acting and the magnificent way in which almost the entire company masters and makes comprehensible Dekker’s long-ago composed text.
 
Central to the glories here, and in blustering, full-bodied and bellicose mode, David Troughton is superb as Simon Eyre. Blessed with a rich and resonant old-school classical voice, Troughton gorges on every word, spitting phrases and sentences into the air, ensuring they are fruity, perfectly weighted and always hit home. He can be trivial or portentous, lascivious or kind, frivolous or genuinely touching; but he is always irresistible. His rousing speech to the King in the final Act is powerful and moving; the moment when he marvels at the possibility of one of his shoemakers becoming a grocer sums up his character’s lust for life: his mastication of the word “plum” was breathtaking.
 
Watching his delicious, utterly mesmerising performance here made one wish, desperately, that he had played Falstaff in the recent Doran versions of Henry IV instead of Antony Sher. Troughton would have been the real deal: Doran needs to be careful in casting Sher or he might doom his tenure as RSC AD to a nepotism vortex.
 
Vivien Parry provided superb comic genius as Mrs Eyre. Ghastly and irresistible, she was a powerhouse contrast to Troughton. Her timing was as exceptional as her vocal dynamism. Perfection in a Madame Thernadier kind of way – her dissolute, garish Queen Elizabeth I appearance when money came her way was sensational.
 
As Firk, the gobby, raucous, but ultimately good-hearted Shoemaker (a kind of archetypal unionist) Joel MacCormack was quite wonderful. His grasp of the language was masterful, and he could play belligerence as easily as comic goading. Cleverly, he positioned Firk as the almost son of Troughton’s Eyre: similar, influenced, but very much his own, eccentric man. A winning and complete performance.
 
Jack Holden was radiant as the anti-Henry V. The King only appears at the very end of the play and he has two purposes: to solve the plot issues, by pardoning and marrying off Rowley; and to deliver the surprise twist. Holden, a smart, clever performer, pulls both off perfectly. In a cast of big, larger than life characters, he opts for the underplay, thereby instantly establishing himself as set apart from the rest of the cast. Playing twee never reaped such rewards as Holden achieves here. It is interesting to hear this Dekker monarch pre-empt the words WS Gilbert would pen for Sir Joseph Porter a few hundred years later – love levels all class.
 
Because of the indisposition of Michael Hodgson, Holden also stepped up to play the wild, ferociously accented sailor who changes Eyre’s destiny. Holden channels his inner Monty Python here to great comic effect. So does Josh O’Connor as the posh boy, Rowley, who hides himself, as a Dutch shoemaker, among Eyre’s men when he should be fighting France. His hilarious cod Dutch accent provides many moments of genuine, surprising comic delight.
 
O’Connor has been thrashed by the matinee idol stick, and is every inch the handsome leading man. Which makes Thomasin Rand’s job as Rose all that much easier. Beautiful and spirited, Rand makes a fine Rose, although her voice is not as warm and seductive as might be desired. Her frocks are sensational and she wears them well, with a vivacious style that captivates.
 
As Ralph, Daniel Boyd is terrific: gentle, caring and humble, he shoulders the burdens he encounters with grace and skill. The moment when he realises that the shoe he has been given to copy for a wedding belongs to his own wife shimmers with pain. As his wife, Jane, Hedydd Dylan is truly lovely, signalling clearly the tangled emotions of this war widow and Peacock prey.
 
Jamie Wilkes is sensational as the Peacock, Hammon. Absurdly pretentious, with pronunciation that would not shame the Queen, Wilkes is completely in control of the comedy his character entails. The scene where he tries to secure Jane is the comic highlight of the evening; closely followed by his costumes and their entrances. He knows precisely how to whirl an outfit for precise comic effect.
 
The running fart gag was skilfully handled by Laura Cubitt (Cicely Bumtrinket) and there was spirited and excellent work from Sandy Foster (a garrulous Sybil), Andrew Langtree’s excellent Dodge, and Tom McCall (stepping up to play Hodge).
 
In truth, the entire ensemble is in excellent form. The musical and dance numbers are particularly wonderful, with Jason Carr’s original music especially effective. Ayse Tashkiran is in charge of movement, all of which works perfectly.
 
Breen’s work here is first-rate: an enjoyable, hearty laugh time in the theatre. All of which made the King’s final lines, that more unexpected and shattering:
 
When all our sports and banquetings are done,
Wars must right wrongs which Frenchmen have begun.
 

Proof, if proof be needed, that Doran’s vision for repertoire at the RSC is sound.
 
 
Moss Cottage
by Dr Peter Buckroyd
 
Philip Breen’s production of The Shoemaker’s Holiday in the Swan Theatre rather surprisingly reveals Thomas Dekker’s play to be a neglected masterpiece. The play is in many ways a very modern theatre piece. It alternates compressed time with expanded time; Dekker chooses not to show several scenes crucial to plot development with the result that untold and half told stories lie behind much of the action. What the audience might expect to be dramatic and tension-filled scenes are omitted and merely briefly mentioned. Characters frequently defy audience expectations.
 
The rise of the power and significance of the merchant class is Dekker’s subject, a theme which allows him to make implicit comparisons of the behaviour of the rising merchant class with that of the aristocracy and, daringly at the end of the play, with monarchy. Shoemaker Simon Eyre attempts to intercede on behalf of his employee Ralph Damport when the latter is conscripted into the army but fails, so that Ralph and his new wife Jane are separated as Ralph goes off to war. In a parallel plot Rowland Lacy, nephew of the Earl of Lincoln, is crossing class barriers by being in love with Rose Oatley, daughter of the Lord Mayor of London (a grocer), but he too is sent to war. Ralph goes to war but is injured. Lacy goes to war but deserts, returning to London disguised as a Dutch shoemaker, finding employment with Eyre. The injured Ralph returns to Eyre and his old job. On their return neither man is reconciled with his partner; Jane has disappeared and Lacy keeps his head down. But in the end both couples are reconciled. Jane, having been wooed by Hammon who himself is crossing class barriers by wooing her, rejects Hammon when she recognises the injured Ralph and Lacy’s disguise is finally seen through by Rose and, despite the opposition of parent and uncle, they marry secretly.
 
There is a lot of material about social class, its relationship to discourse and its reflection in clothes, but what triumphs is personal integrity and sound morality. The programme comments on the emptiness of Eyre’s speech, but this is not entirely true. Although his verbosity creates a great deal of humour it is his humanity, his adherence to promises he has made and his loyalty which shine through the surface of ridiculous verbosity. This is a play where moral integrity triumphs, with few of Shakespeare’s ironic or dark edges. The king appears at the end, pardons Lacy, sanctions his marriage with Rose and grants Eyre (now Lord Mayor) and all cordwainers the right to sell leather in the new Leadenhall market, the show of royal authority matched by the show of workers’ solidarity earlier in the play.
 
The production begins with the Prologue and a beautifully blocked dumbshow. The plot exposition is extremely economical, action moving swiftly between scenes, seamlessly linked on a bare stage. Max Jones’ s costumes are to die for: gowns and hats are gorgeous but not merely decorative. The colour matching and occasional colour symbolism are delightfully matched by satirical touches, Eyre’s costume accentuating his growing portliness and his wife Margery’s ever-bigger farthingales reflecting her rise in wealth and self-importance. I am deeply covetous of Hamm0n’s gorgeous hats.
 
The acting is splendid. David Troughton is wonderful as Eyre. Daniel Boyd as Ralph and Josh O’Connor as Lacy are also splendid, resisting the temptation to overdo either physical injury or the cod-Dutch accent. The harridan Margery Eyre is beautifully played by Vivien Parry, her comic timing superb and her physicality completely under control. Her transition into Queen Elizabeth reminiscent ginger wig and fine gown was gloriously comic and the discrepancy between what fell out of her mouth and the beauty of her costume a most delightful motif. The effeminately gay king (could Dekker really have been suggesting James VI of Scotland should be the next king as early as 1599? Probably not) played by Jack Holden was clear but not overdone. Boy (played by Charlie Bygate the night I saw it) was astonishingly poised both vocally and physically. These for me were the acting highlights, but this is an ensemble production with no weak links.
 
What else? Lots of visual stimulus – processions upstage, figureheads on some of the auditorium columns, deft management of handprops, a wonderful range of period slang nicknames and verbal abuses (mainly from Eyre), the recurring joke of the name of Eyre’s journeyman Firk, the effect of the Shrove Tuesday bells, lovely dances, spirited singing, delightful stage pictures, the splendid moving touch of tying the red conscription ribbon round Boy’s arm at the end, mirroring Ralph’s ribbon at the beginning, the motif of recognising identity through shoes: these are just a few of the wonderfully creative touches in the production.
 
 
Stratford-Upon-Avon Theatre Blog
 
Phillip Breen's new production of The Shoemaker's Holiday is a masterpiece of elegant storytelling and clever design. The fascinating history of the irresistible rise of Simon Eyre, from purveyor of the gentle craft of shoe making to popular Lord Mayor of London, allows the audience a rare opportunity to witness an authentic depiction of life on the streets of late 16th century London. David Troughton invests the role of the ebullient Eyre with such life and bombast, that it would be easy to imagine him hurling abuse at his unfortunate spouse in the setting of a contemporary Tower Street, London. He is ably supported by Vivien Parry as his argumentative wife, Joel MacCormack as the outspoken journeyman Firk and many other fine performances, particularly worthy of comment as this was the first performance. Finally, who can resist a play which boasts a character called Cicely Bumtrinket.
 
The set evokes a medieval hall, Lord Mayor Simon Eyre rebuilt Leadenhall in 1440, in the Swan, roof beams arch over the stage and carved angels stare down on the players below. A rose window casts a circle of light at the centre of the stage and grotesque figures have sprouted from the columns of the auditorium. 
 
The play begins with a boy delivering the prologue, while the rest of the cast form a tableau, a mutable tableau which fractures into violent conflict as soon as the narrators back is turned. This vivid, engaging, opening, sets the tone of high comedy rooted in realism, design and the subtle interplay between characters. A happy balance allowing the audience to empathise with the plight of the participants without losing the more farcical elements of disguise and elaborate subterfuge. The entire cast then burst into song before leaving the stage.
 
The prologue gives a Brechtian summary of the whole plot, which is a useful warning of the confusion soon to follow, as we are entertained by a complex collision of several strands. An unlikely romance between a young nobleman and the daughter of a wealthy London merchant lies at the heart of the play, unlikely, only in the subterfuge which Rowland Lacy, Josh O'Connor, adopts in order to defy his uncle who has forbidden a marriage to Rose Oatley, Thomasin Rand, a social inferior. Rose's father and Rowland's uncle are active in separating the lovers, sending Rowland to France in command of a militiary epedition, while Rose is dispatched to the safety of her father's country house. The Earl of Lincoln has has convinced Sir Roger Oatley that his nephew is a spendthrift recounting a journey to Low Countries, where having spent his considerable store of gold, Lacy was forced to work as a shoemaker.
 
Meanwhile, Lacy has pressed a newly married shoemaker into his expeditionary force disregarding his young wife's pleas and the support of a crowd of journeymen, led by Simon Eyre, his employer.
 
Lacy deserts his troops, returning to London in the guise of Hans a Flemish shoemaker, who finds work with Simon Eyre, the supplier of the footwear requirements of the Oatley family. While engaging comically in misunderstood exchanges with his fellow workers, Hans manages to arrange a deal with a Dutch sea captain that makes the madcap shoemaker wealthy enough to become Lord Mayor and for his wife to adopt a hilariously inappropriate wardrobe and aristocratic accent.
 
Rose and her maid Sybil, Sandy Foster, safe in the seclusion of the countryside, meet a pair of gallants hunting deer. Rose's father suggests that one of the huntsmen, Hammon, Jamie Wilkes, who would be a fine match, but his daughter has spotted Hans among the Morrising shoemakers, who accompany Eyre when he is invited to dine with Oatley. Hammon has a Plan B and returns to London to pursue a seamstress, who we discover is Jane the wife of Ralph, the shoemaker forced into military service.
 
A gruesomely injured Ralph returns from the wars but Jane has disappeared months before and cannot be found. Hammon has overcome Jane's resistance by showing her that her husband is listed amongst the dead, in the French wars. However, his bride will need new shoes for the wedding and an old pair is sent to Eyre's shop as a pattern. Ralph recognises the shoes he made for his wife and the shoemakers are enlisted to lie in wait outside the church. Meanwhile, Rowland and Rose are married at another church aided by the garrulous Firk, who sends the pursing uncle and father to the wrong wedding.
 
Buoyed by the wealth, Rowland has helped him achieve, Simon Eyre is made Lord Mayor and feasts every apprentice in London, he has built the new Leadenhall and declares the saint day of St Hugh, patron of shoemakers, a holiday. The King is intrigued by the reputation of the new mayor and readily accepts an invitation to dine and is charmed by the jovial shoemaker, who seizes an opportunity to plead on Rowland's behalf and secures his pardon.
 
The Shoemaker's Holiday is a fascinating play and this is an intelligent and entertaining production, at its joyful heart is the wonderfully drawn character of Simon Eyre, brought to light amid a flurry of convoluted and imaginative invective by the marvellous David Troughton.
 
 
Peter Viney Blog
 
The third RSC Dekker play in a year, following on from his collaborative The Roaring Girl and The Witch of Edmonton. This was written on his own, in 1599 and highly popular at the time. The programme notes enriched the background. This play was written for The Rose Theatre, very close to the Globe. The Globe opened in 1599, and the rivalry with the pre-existing Rose Theatre was explicit. So in The Shoemaker’s Holiday the leading female character is Rose (remember which theatre we’re in). Just along the road, The Globe in the same year of 1599, had Henry V talking of “this wooden O” and As You Like It with the line All the WORLD’s a stage. There is a cogent argument that The Shoemaker’s Holiday is a considered antidote to the flag-waving of Henry V. This is the French wars from the other side, the view from the reluctant people back in England. Just as Shakespeare does, when Ralph the cobbler returns home lame from the French wars, there is a joke about a different disability being the usual ailment of those returning (venereal disease). In response, Shakespeare’s third play of 1599, Julius Caesar, opens with a stroppy cobbler (shoemaker) arguing the toss.
 
Until the dissolution of the monarchies between 1536 and 1541, major cities had annual mystery play cycles, as in surviving cycles from Coventry, Wakefield, York and Chester. There were lost cycles at fourteen or fifteen other cities. The mystery plays were funded by the trade guilds. So the fishmongers might do the feeding of the 5000 or Jonah and the Whale, the boat makers would do Noah’s Ark, maybe the tailors would do Joseph and his coat of many colours. They spent a fortune on the productions. They got banned as part of the old order, but guilds continued to sponsor pageants and tableaux in Elizabethan times. So we have moved on 70 years and we have a play all about the Gentle Craft (shoemaking … and The Gentle Craft was an alternative title for The Shoemaker’s Holiday) and the feast of St Hugh (patron saint of shoemakers) and Leadenhall (the shoemakers Guildhall). Was The Shoemaker’s Holiday sponsored, i.e, funded by the guild? Banks do it nowadays. It could be seen as extended advert for their guild. I wonder. There is so much about the virtues of shoemakers and their guild.
 
The play is a contrast to most Elizabethan drama. The common folk sound common in contrasts to the aristocrats, and there’s a powerful “Up the Workers!” theme that would warm the heart of Billy Bragg. Thematically, it’s set in the 15th century French Wars (like Henry V) which was when the Shoemakers Guild was establishing the Shrove Tuesday holiday and coming to prominence, as was the city government in London … think Dick Whittington (there are some parallels). What’s important is the strong anti-war theme. In 1599 an army of 16,000 was being dispatched to fight in Ireland, in a bloody casualty-heavy conflict. The admirable programme tells us that ordinary men were press-ganged into the army – there were cases of both churches and theatres being surrounded and the men forcibly conscripted. If Dekker had mentioned the current Irish wars he would have ended up with his head on the block, so a quick remove to a century before and France. This is the background against which the comedy is set. 
 
The story: Rowland Lacy is a nephew of the Earl of Lincoln. He is in love with Rose, daughter of the Lord Mayor, Sir Roger Oatley. At the start he is commissioned as a colonel to lead a regiment to the French wars. He decides to desert, paying a friend to go in his place. At this point the shoemakers, led by their master Simon Eyre, arrive to petition him (as colonel). Their man Ralph has been conscripted. He’s newly married. Can he be allowed to stay with his wife? Rowland refuses the petition and Ralph is packed off to the wars. But Rowland stays. Ralph leaves his wife Jane a pair of elaborately decorated shoes as a keepsake.
 
The Earl and the Mayor disapprove of the match with Rowland, and Rose is sent off to the country with her maid Sybil. Rowland happens to speak Dutch and learned shoemaking in his wastrel days in Wittenberg. Dekker chose Wittenberg, home of Martin Luther, as the place for Rowland’s dissolute youth! So Rowland dresses up in Dutch trousers and clogs and applies for a job with Simon Eyre. The other journeymen, Hodge and Firk like him. He gets the job. Ralph’s old job. Due to speaking Dutch, he brokers a deal with a Dutch sea skipper that earns Eyre a fortune, and starts Eyre’s ascent to sheriff, then alderman and eventually Lord Mayor. This is progressive through the play. This is A Bit of A Do territory, a fine early example of the nouveaux riches upwardly mobile unsophisticated people jokes we British love so much. Mr & Mrs Eyre are a prime example as they dress in more and more finery and Margery Eyre assumes more airs and graces.
 
In the country, an aristocrat, Hammon, tries to woo Rose, but gets nowhere. Hammon goes to London and sets his eyes on Jane, Ralph’s wife, instea. To lure her into marriage he produces papers saying Ralph is dead … she is illiterate.
 
At this point, Ralph limps back from the wars, lame, one side of his face disfigured. He rejoins the shoemakers. (In a poignant scene here, Rowland watches Ralph return, crippled … no words in the script, but we feel his guilt at sending him to war while he stayed home). Earlier we saw soldiers limping across the background, carrying a stretcher while snow was falling.
 
Meanwhile Eyre goes to see Oatley for a jolly, taking his men as Morris dancers. Rose recognizes Rowland. They elope.
 
In London, Jane has agreed to marry Hammon. He sends her elaborate shoe as a pattern for her wedding shoes to Eyre’s shoemaking workshop. Guess what? The shoe goes to Ralph, who recognizes it. The shoemakers set off (all for one, one for all, mood here) and rescue Jane from Hammon’s greasy clutches by force.
 
The long ending (after all much of the plot has been resolved) involves the King coming to dinner with Eyre and agreeing to pardon Rowland and overruling the Earl and Oatley’s attempts to annul the marriage. This scene is rich with opportunities for Simon and Margery Eyre to display their airs, graces and over-familiarity to the King’s majesty (all brilliant here). The ending is first-rate, It’s happy days but then the king announces that they’re back off to fight the French. In this production the whole cast freezes with fixed looks of horror during a long slow fade.
 
It’s a very good play. Period. It’s well worth reviving, and this production is as good as it’s possible to get on Elizabethan costume, with the maximum contrast between the workers in dusty browns and the richly apparelled nobility. The half armour is elaborate and excellent. Costume is late 16th century in style, not the 15th century of the action. They wear the slashed padded knee length full breeches (slops) which as a child I’d draw an Elizabethan in … but very few productions seem to use.
 
We hadn’t known David Troughton was in it when we booked, though we’d have gone a long way just to see him … I still remember him in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Measure for Measure. Simon Eyre is a BIG rollicking part that brings out his full Falstaffian power. Vivien Parry is Margery Eyre, creating a marvellous bickering shouting double act. She starts off the play looking like a scarecrow and ends up via several transitions looking like Queen Elizabeth I complete with huge bustle and white face. ‘You Islington whitepot!’ is one of many pieces of abuse he hurls at her, and which for some reason, we found hilarious. Maybe it was the idea of a transfer to the Almeida.
 
Most of the cast are in their RSC debut production. The play was booked with the 2014 series, but doesn’t seem to fit the “Roaring Girls Season” at the Swan, so hopefully this is a major part of the company for later in 2015.
 
I do see some of the troubles with reading reviews before. Dominic Cavendish in the Daily Telegraph describes the secene where Hannon tells Jane that Ralph is dead. He said: 'That wooing scene – in which Jamie Wilkes’ preening, dandified Hammon produces a bogus death-report and presses his amorous case – must rank as one of the most painfully funny scenes in the canon. “Forget the dead; love them that are alive,” he obtusely insists.'
 
We both read that over lunch and were eagerly awaiting it, so it fell flat for us. In contrast, no reviewer mentions the scene where Rowland in Dutch disguise (Josh O’Connor) gets to Rose (Thomasin Rand) on the pretext of measuring her up for a pair of shoes, and we thought that one of the funniest in the play. Rowland’s full comic Dutch accent reminded us that “double Dutch” dates from this period when British-Dutch maritime rivalry was beginning and ascending rapidly. Funny Dutchman is a 21st century oddity, as every Dutch person I meet speaks better English than most native speakers.
 
The play is full of good small parts. Sandy Foster has a comic cameo as Sybil, Rose’s garrulous maid. Hodge (Michael Hodgson – was he cast for his name?) and Firk (Joel MacCormack) the journeymen at Eyre’s shoemaking shop are both strong parts, well done. Firk is such an easy name to play with (especially as Firk mentions his own name a lot) that I wondered if it was intended originally to play it as a minced oath (i.e. like feck, or fug). It doesn’t really here, but maybe the hovering possibility is more subtle. As Dekker has a serving woman in the Eyre household called Cicily Bumtrinket who “farts in her sleep” (and at several other points in this production) I doubt that subtlety was on Dekker’s priority list.
 
The King (Jack Holden) has no name, and only appears in the last scene, which he then dominates … quite a task with the Eyres in full flow beside you. I thought the effete boyish king ruling on all these matters was superbly performed and very funny, especially as he turns the whole thing on its head in the last two lines.
Things I’ll never forget about Phillip Breen’s production are the tableau that opens the play with the full cast, more or less setting out the story (but not entirely) then the frozen faces in the tableau at the end. An important production of an important play. 
 
 



   

Design by Max Jones, lighting design by Tina MacHugh. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Design by Max Jones, lighting design by Tina MacHugh. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Michael Hodgson. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Michael Hodgson. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

David Troughton. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
   

Joel MacCormack and Michael Hodgson. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May

 
 

Joel MacCormack. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Design by Max Jones. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

David Troughton, Joel MacCormack, Vivien Parry and Michael Hodgson. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

David Troughton and Vivien Parry. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

David Troughton, Ben Allen anf Tom McCall. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Tom McCall. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

David Troughton. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Vivien Parry and David Troughton. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Design by Max Jones, lighting design by Tina MacHugh. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Sebastian Dibb and the Company. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Josh O'Connor and the Company. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

The Company. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 
 
The Company. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Thomasin Rand, Vincent Carmichael and Josh O'Connor. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Thomasin Rand, Vincent Carmichael and Josh O'Connor. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Heddyd Dylan, Laura Cubitt, Michael Hodgson, Daniel Boyd, David Troughton and Joel MacCormack. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
  

Josh O'Connor. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Ben Allen and Daniel Boyd. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Heddyd Dylan, David Troughton, Laura Cubitt, Vivien Parry, Charlie Bygate, Tom McCall and Joel MacCormack. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Ben Allen and the Company. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Andrew Langtree. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

William Gaminara, Josh O'Conner and the Company. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
  

Sandy Foster and Thomasin Rand. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Joel MacCormack, David Troughton and Tom McCall. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Sandy Foster. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Jamie Wilkes. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

David Troughton. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

David Troughton and Vivien Parry. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

David Troughton, Ben Allen and Jack Holden. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

William Gaminara and Jamie Wilkes. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Ross Armstrong and Thomasin Rand. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Sandy Foster, Ross Armstrong and Thomasin Rand. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Jamie Wilkes and Heddyd Dylan. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Heddyd Dylan. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Laura Cubitt. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Joel MacCormack and Vivien Parry. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Joel MacCormack and Vivien Parry. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

David Troughton. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Joel MacCormack. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Charlie Bygate. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

William Gaminara, Ross Armstrong, Thomasin Rand, Michael Grady-Hall, Ben Allen and Vivien Parry. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Josh O'Connor and the Company. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Josh O'Connor. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Michael Grady-Hall. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Josh O'Connor and Thomasin Rand. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

William Gaminara. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Joel MacCormack. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Vivien Parry. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

David Troughton. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Tom McCall and the Company. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Heddyd Dylan, Tom McCall and the Company. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Heddyd Dylan. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Michael Grady-Hall, Jamie Wilkes, Joel MacCormack and the Company. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Andrew Langtree. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Jack Holden. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

David Troughton. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

David Troughton, Vivien Parry, Tom McCall and Joel MacCormack. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Ben Allen, Josh O'Connor, Thomasin Rand and Jack Holden. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

William Gaminara, Jack Holden, Josh O'Connor and Vincent Carmichael. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Ben Allen. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

David Troughton and the Company. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

David Troughton. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

David Troughton. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Charlie Bygate, Jack Holden and the Company. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

The Company. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

The Company. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 

Tom McCall, William Gaminara, Vivien Parry, Jack Holden and the Company. Photo © RSC / Pete Le May
 
 


 
 

 
 


 
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