Memorandum submitted by Hands Off Our
ROYAL SHAKESPEARE THEATRE ["RST"]
Very many thanks for your letter of 11 February,
the contents of which give HOOT a great deal of encouragement.
In thanking you for your letter I would also
like to draw your attention to the fact that Donald James, a fellow
member of HOOT and a retired architect, has made a further written
submission to the Parliamentary Culture, Media and Sport Committee
["CMS"]. I understand that you and your fellow members
will be given a copy of his memorandum.
In particular, I would like to draw your attention
to numbered paragraph 5 on page 2 of the memorandum, concerning
consultants reports and the original letters of instruction from
the Royal Shakespeare Company ["RSC"] to the consultants
in question. Both Donald and I have attempted to see or obtain
copies of these documents but to date the requests have been refused.
HOOT think that these documents should be seen
by the CMS. It is our deduction that the ambit of both the instructions
and the reports is predicated on demolition of the 1932 Theatre,
rather than re-use re-modelling the building, the most cost effective
approach and that adduced by Donald James in the memorandum to
which I refer.
It is only at this late stage, having spent
£750,000 of public money that the RSC is giving any serious
thought to re-modelling. To this end we at HOOT understand that
new instructions have been given to another firm of consultants,
consuming yet more cash. This is only being done as a result of
"Hoot" is a non-political pressure
group of concerned individuals anxious to save the Royal Shakespeare
Theatre from demolition:
It is also appropriate to draw your attention,
if you are not already aware of the facts, to the parious state
of the RSC. Adrian Noble, a salaried employee of the RSC, has
been given leave of absence to direct "Chitty Chitty Bang
Bang", a non-RSC production. He stands to gain substantially
from this, whilst the quality of productions at the RSC is abysmal.
The first issue of the Sunday Times focussed on the so-called
leave of absence and surgery theatre critics have written scathingly
about "Midsummer Nights Dream".
It really begs the question as to Adrian Noble's
long term commitment to the RSC's self proclaimed grandiose plans.
He appears to be trying to ape the success of his mentor, Trevor
Nunn, a theatre personality of consummate skill.
I hope you find the information in this letter
is useful to you as a member of CMS. Thanks again for your letter
of 11 February.
PS. Michael Pennington, an ex-RSC actor, with
a big stage reputation has already spoken out against the RSC's
plans in the columns of the Guardian. As recently as this week
Dame Judy Dench has joined the chorus of disapproval. Her reputation
dwarfs that of Sinead Cusack, who gave evidence to the CMS.
28 February 2002