Theatre In The Square
Devised and Directed by Jane Jones
from the works of William Shakespeare
The Bridewell Theatre, Fleet Street, London
The Minstrel - Jonah Maddox
Anne Shakespeare nee Hathaway - Louise Bland*
Old Will, Henry VI, Bastard of Orleans, Falstaff - Robert Alderman
Joan Shakespeare, Ophelia, Viola, Helena - Susannah Crook*
Judith Shakespeare, Rosalind, Younger Queen Elizabeth I, Portia - Sal Fulcher
Susannah Hall nee Shakespeare, Miranda, Desdemona, Perdita - Clare Gaba
Mary Arden, Volumnia, Mistress Quickly - Linda Shannon
Coriolanus, Parolles, Bardolph, Mark Anthony - Adam Baxter
Virgilia, Katerina, Mature Queen Elizabeth I, Doll Tearsheet - Hilary Buss
Essex, Leonato, Snare, Steward, Messenger - Colin Joseph
Margaret of Anjou, The Countess, Paulina - Rosie Fiore-Birt
Prince Edward, Orlando, The Poet, Laertes - Laurence Deveraux*
Celia, Joan la Pucelle, Charmian, Emillia - Dani Beckett
Charles Dauphin, London Will, Ferdinand, Brutus - Joe Ellison*
Prospero, Lord Chief Justice, Rumour - Joel Mandell
Reignier, Count Orsino, Fang, Leontes - Guy Muneesamy
Constance, Beatrice, Cleopatra, Hermione - Amanda Nash
Guitar - Lee Cooper*
Violin - Joanna Gill*
Musical Director/Composer - Jonah Maddox
(*First time performer with Theatre in the Square)
With an 18 month gestation period, What She Will finally reached the stage for its first performance at the Bridewell on 25 March for its four day run.
The play, which tells the story of Shakespeare’s women through the stories of the real women in his life, was a labour of love for writer/director Jane Jones. In preparation for performance, Jane had run workshops in addition to the rehearsals for the cast and many of them had benefitted from the workshops provided by the Royal Shakespeare Company. The show was one of the most complex that the group had undertaken, outside its Minack productions, and involved finding a venue, sourcing or making a large number of costumes, writing new music, building a backstage, technical and front of house team, designing and building a transportable set, designing and operating a substantial lighting plot, choreographing dance and fight scenes, drying flowers for decoration, sourcing or making appropriate furniture and props and making new drapes.
Much of the work fell to Jane but she built a strong team around her. In the end, this was one of the most worthwhile, enjoyable and beneficial projects that the group has undertaken. The show sold every seat ensuring that we made a reasonable profit. We found a fringe performance space and built a good relationship with its management team and staff. We learnt new skills and honed existing ones. We impressed our RSC mentor with an exceptional production. Above all, we provided audiences with an evening’s entertainment of accessible Shakespeare.
Performance week was all over far too quickly but for those who want to relive the experience (in part anyway) there three two more opportunities.
Jonah Maddox and his group performed the music from What She Will at a gig at the Slaughtered Lamb in Clerkenwell on 16th July together with a few of the cast reading some Shakespeare sonnets.
Nine members of the cast, with Jonah Maddox and Joanna Gill providing music, performed in their own Showcase, alongside four other participant groups in the RSC Open Stages project at the Questors Theatre in Ealing on 25th July. Jane wrote a very ingenious 12-minute synthesis of the original play which led to our segment being the one chosen to be performed in Stratford on 9th August.
For photographs of the show click HERE
Last updated: 21 August 2015