Monday, 14 March 2011

The new Theatre at Stratford - a view from inside the Tower

The new theatre at Stratford upon Avon was opened last week by the Queen.

Readers of the blog will know that we visit Stratford regularly to top of DH's stock of cigars. It's about a 15 to 20 minute car journey away from where we live.

This is a photo of the theatre now that alterations have finished. It has a new tower on one side which for £2.50 you can visit to get a bird's eye view of the town. I suffer from vertigo, so don't take to such things easily, but had a go for you, dear reader.

There's a lift from the 3rd floor to the top of the tower which has 360 degree views over the surrounding town and countryside. Immediately below us is (centre of photo) a timbered building which houses some of the more immediate costumes for current productions.

It turns out that the theatre owns an awful lot of the land and surrounding property, including the buildings to the right of the costumes building. These small houses are where the theatre put up the visiting actors so they can have immediate access to the facilities in the theatre. Gorgeous little houses they are too.

There was a costume sale at the theatre a couple of weeks ago. You could pick up costumes from famous productions or just unamed bits belonging to the costume dept. The lady in charge of the tower told us that her friend bought her a grey silk scarf, and a belt; I think she said she paid 75p for them. However David Tennant's slippers (not a production pair but a pair he wore backstage) went for £400!

Whilst we were looking, a chap came and knocked on one of the doors, and delivered a cup of coffee and a McDonalds burger.

Here's who he was delivering to. Can't recognise anyone from this distance though!

The timbered houses in the middle of this photo are on one of the main shopping streets of Stratford.

The church in the distance (the spire on the right hand side upper part of the photo just above the river) is Holy Trinity Church where Shakespeare was baptised and is buried.

The brick building on the right is the original 1879 theatre.

The building on the left is part of the 1932 theatre.

The small blue square in the middle of this shot of the town is Carluccios where I go for a wonderful cup of Chocolate Fiorintina!

A view of the Clopton Bridge which was the start of the road to London in Shakespeare's day, and the Old Tramway Bridge over the River Avon, where Stratford takes it's name from. 

Way way in the distance is Charlecote Park, home of the Lucy family, and it's deer park which Shakespeare got into trouble for poaching from. There is an older posting on this blog about Charlecote if you want to read more about this story.

Below is a panoramic view which includes the road leading to the theatre. If you look carefully to almost the middle of the photo, you might just be able to make out a pub sign. This is the Dirty Duck Pub, well known hanging out place of actors, - various.

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