Teen actors step up to save the RSC

Teenagers stand up and fight for the RSC (while social distanced!). Left to right, Esme Fleeman, Eve Hatz, Harriet Kheller, Abbey Elston, Ethan Phillips, Luca Saraceni-Gunner, Gianni Saraceni-Gunner, Tom Lomas, Samuel Litell, and Toby Convey. Photo: Mark Williamson

LIKE Henry V rallying his troops into battle, RSC artistic director Gregory Doran has inspired local youngsters to take up the call to save the theatre.

In a recent video, the RSC chief laid bare the doom facing the live arts sector, describing theatre’s future as “perilous”.

This spurred 13-year-old Stratford teenager Eve Hatz into action. “Every time I walk past the RST it makes me feel so sad that it is no longer up and running. The importance of our theatre – and all it means to the town, me and so many other young people – is paramount and we need to do something about it.”

Eve – who was one of the child actors in the 2017 production of A Christmas Carol – added: “When I saw Greg Doran’s clip on the RSC website it made me feel so upset that this magical experience we’d all had, the thrill you get from watching a show at the RST and the heartbreaking fact that many of those we’d worked with are facing the worry of an uncertain future, was in serious danger.”

The call went out to Eve’s former fellow cast members and young actors involved in other productions at the RSC. A troop of ten came on board, keen to come up with a fundraising idea to back the company’s own campaign.

They came up with the idea of creating A Sad Tale, a three-minute animated appeal which combines lines from Shakespeare plays with the actors’ worries about the situation – all inspired by Gregory’s speech.

The cartoon was devised by Luca Saraceni-Gunner, 17, who is studying drama at the Birmingham Royal Conservatoire. He said: “We wanted to do something online. Obviously we can’t be together because of coronavirus so we thought it might be a good idea to do it as an animation – that way we could just do separate voice recordings and edit it together.

“So I wrote A Sad Tale using loads of different RSC plays that feature young characters, like our cast. It was a great collaborative effort.”

Representing his ‘happy few band of brothers’ Luca added: “The RSC means so much to all of us – it has literally been life-changing. We just want to raise awareness and as much money as we can to ensure the future of the RSC. It’s an important place and needs to be saved.”

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