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Last Updated: Monday, 24 May, 2004, 15:56 GMT 16:56 UK
RSC reconsiders Stratford plans
Royal Shakespeare Theatre
The Royal Shakespeare Theatre is the RSC's Stratford-upon-Avon base
The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is re-thinking its Stratford-upon-Avon theatre development after its architects resigned.

EEA London had been working on plans to refurbish or replace the Royal Shakespeare Theatre since 1998.

But architect Erick van Egeraat said key staff changes at the RSC meant an "unrestricted re-thinking" of the 100m project was needed.

The RSC is considering replacing the venue with a "theatre village".


Plans to redevelop the grade II-listed theatre in Stratford attracted criticism from actors such as Dame Judi Dench and Sir Michael Gambon.

Since EEA London began work on the project, the RSC has appointed new artistic director Michael Boyd, chairman Sir Christopher Bland and executive director Vikki Heywood.

"The changes in key personnel at the RSC should be accompanied by an unrestricted re-thinking of the Stratford redevelopment," Erick van Egeraat said.

All work done by Erick and his team remains of great value for the further development of the project
Vikki Heywood, RSC executive director
He described it as a "great" and "challenging" project but did not want to be involved in the continuation of the redevelopment.

"I consider this neither appropriate for the RSC team nor correct towards my colleagues," he said.

The RSC denied the move would jeopardise the project.

"Decisions about the kind of theatres we need in Stratford are well advanced," executive director Vikki Heywood said.

"However, there is still important work to be completed on the business case to make sure we can afford to build and run our Stratford theatres in the future."

She added: "All work done by Erick and his team remains of great value for the further development of the project."

'Less likely option'

RSC communications manager Jane Ellis added that the company must ensure "our business plans match our artistic vision".

"The worst thing that could happen would be to get new buildings up and running, and then find ourselves unable to continuously run them," Ms Ellis said.

She denied the "theatre village" plan had been abandoned.

"We are not ruling anything out at this stage but it is probably a less likely option."

However, no date has been set for the completion of the redevelopment.

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