Saturday, July 9, 2011

The finishing touches are being put to the theatre, filling the giant drill hall that dominates the centre of the armoury and where private cavalries that answered Abraham Lincoln's call for troops during the civil war once used to train under a 25m-high (80ft) barrel-vaulted roof.

For Boyd, the next six weeks are a chance to demonstrate the joys of ensemble theatre, with a cast that has worked together for three years. That is the kind of sustained artistic commitment which, with exceptions such as Steppenwolf in Chicago, is untenable in America's harsh commercial environment.

Works displayed since 2007 include Ernesto Neto's labyrinth of textile and spice, anthropodino, and a giant mound of discarded old clothes by Christian Boltanski called No Man's Land. Last year Peter Greenaway put on a multimedia presentation of Leonardo's Last Supper.

Boyd believes the RSC's travelling thrust stage, which encloses the actors within the audience, is in the same spirit. He calls it an "architectural evangelism of community embodied in the theatre".

Relocating the RSC to New York has been a feat of extraordinary planning and execution. The 46 containers of material shipped over contain a portable theatre designed and built in the company's Stratford workshops then put back together inside the Armory. "We're camping, though it's an exciting form of camping," Boyd says.


Blog Archive