Jane Lapotaire On Richard II, Gregory Doran And Her Return To The RSC

Debra Charlton of BroadwayWorld has spoken to Jane Lapotaire about her return to the Royal Shakespeare company to play the Duchess of Gloucester in Richard II. The performance marks Jane's first stage production in over ten years following a near fatal brain aneurysm in 2000, and her second Under Gregory Doran as an RSC director.

Jane speaks with enthusiasm about the director's methods for familiarising the cast with the text.

"We spend two weeks reading round the table of all the actors in the Richard II company, but NOT reading our own roles. This is Greg's unique way of working which is very intense and demands full concentration all day every day, but it does mean by the time one reaches the end of the play every single word has been put into modern language, and that the whole Richard company now, in theory, understands every word of the text.
"This reading round teaches one a lot about how other actors see your role. It also means that by the time we actually get [finished] threading the play through, we are like greyhounds in the slips, raring to go. It was one of the most remarkable read-throughs I've ever experienced. The room was electrified.”

Of her return to the RSC she says, "It's been an utter joy to be part of a company again. It's given me such a boost - to go back home, to be where I belong, to be with people who talk my language."

Richard II will open at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon on 10th October 2013 and will run until 16th November 2013. It will then transfer to the Barbican Theatre in London from December 9th 2013 until 25th January 2014. The cast includes David Tennant, Emma Hamilton, Nigel Lindsay, Michael Pennington, Jane Lapotaire and Oliver Ford Davies and it is directed by Gregory Doran. Both the Stratford-upon-Avon and London runs are now sold out.

The production will be filmed and streamed live from the stage of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre into cinemas around the UK on Wednesday 13th November, and subsequently into UK schools and cinemas worldwide in screenings running until February 2014. More details are available via the Live from Stratford-upon-Avon link.