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In this fully illustrated book, Simon Trowbridge tells the story of the Royal Shakespeare Company. He begins by making a comparison between the RSC and France's national theatre company, the Com die-Fran aise. Like their colleagues in Paris, Peter Hall and his successors Trevor Nunn and Terry Hands believed in the artistic and wider cultural value of a permanent troupe, motivated by excellence, shared values and a mission to constantly renew the great works of dramatic literature. Today, though, Hall's ideas have been jettisoned and the RSC is a brand name, not a company. If the Com die-Fran aise can last for 340 years and counting, why can't the RSC as created by Hall last for more than fifty?
This book proclaims the special significance of the company created by Hall and nurtured by Nunn and Hands, and challenges the view that Hall's ideas are no longer achievable in England.