A Night at the Theatre

Foundation Centre student, Michael Neasham, reviews the recent trip by the FC staff and students to The Theatre Royal in Newcastle to watch a production of All’s Well That Ends Well, performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company. Here is what Michael had to say about it,

“As a mature student at Durham University, Queens’ Campus in Stockton, I have been out of education for a whopping 14 years! I am studying Primary Education with a Foundation Year and we were told that as part of our English course we would be able to go to The Theatre Royal, Newcastle to watch a production of All’s Well That Ends Well, performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company. This immediately got my attention, especially as the university were paying for the tickets!

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As I live in Durham and I’m married with two children, I made my own way to the theatre, but the other students from my course met up in Stockton for food before getting a coach, laid on by the university, up to Newcastle. There were a few spare tickets as well, so I was lucky enough to be able to take my wife.

Before coming to university I had only read a couple of Shakespeare’s works at school; A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo and Juliet, and watched the Baz Luhrmann version of Romeo + Juliet. So, my knowledge of his work is considerably limited. Embracing this change in my life though, I was keen to take this opportunity for a bit of culture!

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I met up with my fellow students and lecturers at a fascinating and interesting theatre in the centre of Newcastle and we were all excited for the performance. In all, the show was about three hours long and was performed brilliantly. It was not hard to follow and was actually very funny. This was reflected in the after show question and answer session that my wife and myself were lucky enough to stay on for. The producer and the director of the show explained that some of the cast would be getting refreshed and would come back onto the stage to answer audience questions. It was a little bit of a shock to see some of the cast and try to work out who was who, seeing them in their normal clothes. The actor playing the lead character, Bertram, said that he hoped he had portrayed the character as initially being immature and growing into the strong individual that was intended. He certainly did. The Q&A session was definitely well worth staying on for and as much as I enjoyed the show, this was the highlight of my evening as it showed the passion the actors had for their work which was reflected in their captivating performance.

On reflection, this was a brilliant opportunity to relax with my new friends and watch a performance by a world renowned company. I believe that the experience of the trip to the theatre will help when we study Shakespeare on the course in the future.”

Michael Neasham

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