RSC Warned About Cost of Changes

News   RSC Warned About Cost of Changes

The stormy waters that Adrian Noble has steered the RSC into show signs of getting even more turbulent.

Further to Noble and others from the RSC appearing before the Culture committee at the House of Commons, the Chairman of the Arts Council (Gerry Robinson) has told Parliament that the RSC's proposed grant of some £50 million will only be given if strict criteria re costings and effects are met.

On the one hand this is hardly surprising news, given that value for money and budgeting/planning criteria are, rightly, an essential part of any disbursement of public funds to arts bodies, but on the other hand the possibility that Arts Council funding might not be forthcoming for the Stratford plans comes on top of the fact that the RSC's new approach to performing in London - i.e. abandoning the Barbican and playing in a variety of other theatres - is apparently foundering on the lack of available theatre spaces and a less than enthusiastic response from commercial theatre owners to the prospect of letting their playhouses to a company which relies on an ensemble rather than the star-led productions which the West End much prefers.

—by Paul Webb Theatrenow