Category Archives: RSC Reviews

Reviews of plays on at the RSC Theatres in Stratford, and links to outside reviews.

Life of Gallileo RSC Stratford on Avon

10% DISCOUNT for RSC ticket holders, stay at

Tim from Virginia Lodge Guest house (me) went to the RSC to see this play & whilst its not a Shakespeare play it had a great story & the acting was very good.

Arguably Brecht’s greatest play, The Life of Galileo charts the
seventeenth century scientist’s extraordinary fight with the church over
his assertion that the earth orbits the sun. Brecht beautifully
captures the explosive struggle between scientific discovery and
religious fundamentalism.

There are interesting parralels with modern life, where religious belief frequently overtakes logic,scientific knowledge & common sense.

Good play to see & whilst in Stratford stay at

Orphan of Zhao RSC Stratford upon Avon

Tim from Virginia Lodge (me) saw this play which is often called the Chinese Hamlet.

It is a fascinating, funny, bloody and hugely entertaining work. I can’t think when I have seen a theatre audience so engrossed.

A baby is saved from a clan massacre ordered by an amoral Emperor and, by luck and subterfuge, is raised by the very man responsible for slaughtering his family. Eighteen years later the boy discovers the truth and prepares his revenge.

There are some stunning performances notably by Joe Dixon as the wicked and satisfyingly psychotic courtier Tu’an Gu, Jake Fairbrother as the Orphan and Graham Turner as the Orphan’s rescuer, Cheng Ying.

The old warning about never working with animals is reinforced when a glowing-eyed killer mastiff, operated by three puppeteers, steals the scene.

Great play & many of our guests have enjoyed it.

see the play & book a room at



Winter Tale

Tim from Virginia Lodge  Guest House in Stratford recently saw Winters Tale. What  a great play.

IT’S frightening how quickly passionate love turns to violent hatred in the RSC’s new production.

Tara Fitzgerald and Jo Stone-Fewings play royal couple Hermione and Leontes who have eyes only for each other until he suspects that she has been cheating on him and is pregnant with a rival’s child.

The hell of his own creation is mirrored in the turbulent water scenes reflected on the giant screen at the back of the stage. The waves rage as jealousy quickly destroys the couple’s perfect world.

Both Tara and Jo captured the emotions of the tormented relationship with powerhouse performances that could be truly shocking. The entire audience gasped when Leontes punched his pregnant wife in the stomach and threatened her with death.

His actions lead to him being banished into his own tower of regrets for much of the second half of the play, but that left the way for lighter fun in the shape of Pearce Quigley as opportunistic petty thief Autolycus, Nick Holder as the young shepherd faced off the attractions of two

buxom, ahem, ladies while David Shaw-Parker as his father boasted a wonderful filthy laugh.

Many of our guests have seen this play & its great. So see the play & stay at Virginia Lodge

Greg Doran announces first RSC Season

Exciting news came through yesterday in the announcement of Greg Doran’s first Season as Artistic Director of the RSC!

Winter 2013 will see David Tennant return to the RSC, this time as Richard II.

Alongside this will be the premiere of the stage adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Booker-winning Wolf Hall, and Bring up the Bodies. The novels are powerful and dramatic, and Mantel described it as a ‘dream come true’ to see the RSC being the ones to put them on stage.

Priority booking is already available, so take advantage of it if you can!

For more information, see the RSC website. And don’t forget – Virginia Lodge offer discounts for RSC ticket holders!

Reviews: The Merry Wives of Windsor

With just over a month left of its run, the reviews are in for the Merry Wives of Windsor at the RSC Stratford.

Charles Spencer at the Telegraph praises this play which he says critics tend to be ‘a bit snooty’ about, and commends the current production. Comparing Philip Breen’s modern-dress production to “such TV classics as Fawlty Towers and The Good Life”, the play is, he says, “delightful”.

The Guardian describes the cast as “exceptionally strong”, and all the reviewers seem agreed in praising Desmond Barrit’s Falstaff – the Independent describes his performance as “splendid”. The supporting cast is in for praise too, with John Ramm’s Ford in for particular praise.

The play runs until January 12th, and it’s not too late to get your tickets on the RSC website.

And don’t forget, Virginia Lodge offers discounts on bed and breakfast for RSC ticket-holders. So why not visit Stratford for some “side-splitting” comedy to blow away the January blues?


Profile: The Mouse and his Child – Royal Shakespeare Theatre

Last week saw the opening of ‘The Mouse and his Child’ at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre here in Stratford.

Based on the classic novel by Russell Hoban, The Mouse and his Child is described by the RSC as an “enchanting tale of escape, the search for freedom and reunited families.” You can read more about the play on the RSC website, or check out an interview with the director, Paul Hunter, over at the Rugby Observer.

Don’t forget, Virginia Lodge offers discounted B&B for RSC ticket holders. See our offers page for more details.

We’ll be sure to post up more reviews when we see them!

Stratford-upon-Avon RSC Upcoming Season

With the end of the Olympics and Paralympics, and the onset of Autumn, what do we have to look forward to now?

One answer is the start of the Autumn/Winter Season at the RSC in Stratford!

The Merry Wives of Windsor sees the return of one of Shakespeare’s greatest comic characters, Sir John Falstaff. Perhaps best known for his role in the History plays Henry IV, Part I and Henry IV, Part II, this play brings his forceful personality to a Comedy, reportedly at the request of Queen Elizabeth I.

If you are looking for a family production, The Mouse and his Child seems set to live up to the RSC’s recent success in staging such classics as Matilda in a way which is genuinely captivating for the whole family. Perfect for a pre-Christmas treat, and a good excuse to get some unique Christmas shopping done in Stratford’s many boutique shops.

We’ll be sure to post up some reviews for these shows once they’re in, as well as for the other productions in this Season’s repertoire – The Orphan of Zhao, Boris Godunov and A Life of Galileo.

For more information, see the RSC website, and don’t forget that RSC ticket-holders can get 15% off bed and breakfast at Virginia Lodge Guest House.

Great nights at the Shakespeare Theatre

I have seen 4 plays recently, so here is what I found at the RSC

King John – rarely done, but great story with plenty of action. The 2 lead actors were great, full of emotion & worth seeing.

Romeo & Juliet by the Baghdad Theatre co – in Arabic set in Iraq, the charactors names remain the same, however its set in modern times. Works really well & easy to follow with English sub tittles.

Julius Caesar – African company tells this great story well, really brings it to life, great acting, many strong charactors, best J.C. I have seen in years.

Richard 111 – saw it last night – very good production, Richard is played by Jon Jo Oneill with humour & menace. Its a lively & often darkly funny performance. RECOMMENDED.

The American group staying at Virginia Lodge loved the Richard111 & they have seen a lot of Shakespeare.

Royal Shakespeare Company plays May 2012

Fantastic choice of plays to see in May

I have just seen ‘Romeo & Juliet’ by the Baghdad Theatre co & it was very good. Set in Iraq in the modern age, great family conflict & true to the story.

Also saw ‘2 roses for Richard 111; by a Brazilian company, very lively acrobatics & great entertainment.

Our Guests at Virginia Lodge all enjoyed both plays.

Julius Caeser, King John & Richard 111 also on this month

I have seen King John & its a good dramatic play not often performed.