So much has happened since the last news item was posted and now spring starts and we are preparing for our Celebratory Year - Shakespeare Link is 25 years old on 31st July! 1992 seems such a long time ago when we faced several hundred family therapists at the Wembley Conference Centre, leading them through a lunch time session on 'Families at Risk'. We had been invited by Gill Gorrel-Barnes, one of the founders of The Institute of Family Therapy, and our first ever payment for the event, £100, bought a Havard Concordance of Shakespeare which is still in our Library in the Stable here at Penlanole.
The Library, and you can access the list of titles via the Library page of this website, is growing year by year. We have been given books and programmes by several friends over the last two years and have just been given a significant number from Jon Morgan's collection. Jon, an old friend and colleague, passed away in February 2016, and his theatre books have been kindly donated to Shakespeare Link by his family. They will be catalogued this spring.
Great work, too, from Nickm, Rhian and the pruning team who have already started this year’s cut. The growth each year is quite amazing and gets harder and harder to control – stools on steps and still stretching up to work the willow! Mind, we were told that the structure would probably last six or seven years and it is now entering the eleventh year of its life!
The website is being updated as the summer season at The Willow Globe starts to take shape. Two old friends of ours, Alison Skilbeck and Chris Hunter are each coming to play their one-man shows before taking them up to the Edinburgh Festival. The Willow Community Company’s Henry V plays the Willow in May and then around the Marches in June.
Remember the Bobby Vee song ‘It might as well rain until September’? Well, what we worry, since with help from the National Lottery and the Foyle Foundation along with generous contributions from Friends of Shakespeare Link, we are now able to buy the Circus Tent! This means our wet-weather cover booking nightmares of the past (trying to fit 130 people into the Barn) are over. Many thanks to all involved.
Our International links continue. At the end of last year we were able to hook up and make friends with ‘Sport for Jove’, a Sydney based Company who were rehearsing Julius Caesar and Antony before their summer season. It would be great to see any of the Company here in Wales in time.
Then we went on to China to run classes and workshops in Beijing and Xi’an. Plans are being hatched to host some of our Chinese colleagues in the summer of this year. Fingers crossed and watch this space!
'Let me play the lion too!'
And finally – huge congratulations to all the Volunteers at Shakespeare Link without whom none of this would be possible. A richly deserved award was given to the whole team by Carl Cooper of PAVO at the end of last year.