St Albans’ OVO theatre group take it to the next stage

THEATRE company OVO has been selected to take part in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Open Stages festival.

The St Albans-based company has been warming up for the prestigious engagement with a production of Macbeth which can be seen at OVO’s Pudding Lane theatre from next Thursday, July 14, until Saturday, July 23.

Open Stages is a new project that aims to embrace, develop and celebrate community theatre, re-forging the bond with the world of professional theatre. Over the next year the RSC, in partnership with a number of regional theatres, is running a national programme of skills-sharing events and showcases with community companies from across the UK invited to produce their own RSC branded Shakespeare-themed production.

As a result of OVO’s involvement, the company could find itself performing at the New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich next year and maybe even at the RSC itself as part of the World Shakespeare Festival in Stratford upon Avon.

OVO will be developing a new production of Coriolanus set in modern-day Italy with its corrupt politicians, sadistic football ultras and beautiful operatic arias.

OVO member Jo Emery said that finding out more about how the RSC works has been an eye opener. “They have three weeks of preliminary textual analysis and group discussion before rehearsals even start – that’s three weeks of daily 9-5 work on the text.

“This means they understand much more the artistic shape and the director’s ambitions for the outcome and also enables them to infuse their character with so much more motivation and depth than if they come into it cold.”

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In the meantime rehearsals for Macbeth are nearing their conclusion with the actors able to put into practice the skills they have learnt from a series of workshops run by RSC actors and directors.

Tickets are �12.50 with concessions �7.50 available from the box office on 07807 521436 or online at