In the latest development in the long-running saga of Adrian Noble's proposed new direction for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Terry Hands, the ex-artistic director, has resigned as an adviser to the company after a meeting with Noble in which the latter's plans for the future of the RSC were discussed in some detail.
Hands has been quoted as saying that he thought the plans to be neither artistically nor commercially viable. The fact that such a senior figure associated with the RSC has now left is bound to add to the disquiet about Adrian Noble's direction: a concern that led the RSC's President, the Prince of Wales, to call Noble to a meeting to discuss the large number of complaints that he had received.
No major changes to a company as high-profile as the RSC can be made without problems or debates, but the scale and variety of the opposition to Noble's vision of a 21st century RSC have added an extra layer of meaning to Shakespeare's phrase from Henry IV Part 2, "uneasy lies the head that wears a crown."
—by Paul Webb Theatrenow