Essential Shakespeare Live - Encore Launch

Press Release: Essential Shakespeare Live – Encore was launched on Thursday 22nd October 2009 with an event at The Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.

The RSC and the British Library present a second audio set of live Shakespeare recordings which, following the success of The Essential Shakespeare Live in 2005, will mean that all of Shakespeare’s plays will be included with scenes and speeches from well loved RSC productions in Stratford-upon-Avon and London, recorded over a period of almost half a century. As with the first CD, all recordings are published for the very first time.

The extracts, chosen by RSC Chief Associate Director Gregory Doran, are taken from productions that were not included in the first volume. They run from Paul Robeson’s legendary Othello in 1959 through to David Tennant’s highly-acclaimed Hamlet in 2008. Other notable productions include Peter Brook’s seminal A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Trevor Nunn’s The Winter’s Tale, Sam Mendes’ Troilus and Cressida and RSC Artistic Director Michael Boyd’s recent Histories Cycle.

Actors include Ian Holm, David Suchet, Juliet Stevenson, Ian Richardson, Jonathan Pryce, David Tennant, Simon Russell Beale, Harriet Walter, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen amongst many others.

Of putting together this follow up CD, Gregory Doran said: ‘After selecting the clips for the original Essential Shakespeare I was not only fascinated to listen to these gems from the past which I am sure most people thought they would never hear again, I was also frustrated as so many had to be left out due to the sheer amount of fantastic archive material. I am delighted that we now have the chance to share even more of these unforgettable moments.”

Richard Fairman of the British Library Sound Archive, said: "The live recordings of Royal Shakespeare Company productions from 1959 onwards form one of the most important collections in the British Library Sound Archive. After the success of the first set of our ‘Essential Shakespeare Live’ CDs it has been both a privilege and a pleasure to work with Gregory Doran and his RSC colleagues in preparing a second set of CDs that will make more of these valuable recordings accessible to the general public. As the title suggests, these are not just historically important archival documents, but live performances as gripping now as they were at the time."

Buy Essential Shakespeare Live - Encore in our shop for just £14.73 here.