As The Winter’s Tale and Harlequinade / All On Her Own, the first shows in the eagerly anticipated Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company season, take to the stage, we glimpse into the sacred rehearsal room.
What do we find? Well may you ask.
We find Dame Judi Dench both having a remarkable amount of fun and consoling Miranda Raison. Fear not, because we also find Raison smiling and holding hands with director/performer Branagh. Possibly he said something to her at that point that brought on the tears, though we doubt it very much as he always seems such a very lovely chap.
We find Zoë Wanamaker intently listening to Branagh – in or out of character, we can’t tell – and Jessie Buckley pulling a face that could well be interpreted as “I hear what you’re saying Mr B, but I’m not entirely convinced,” though again, we doubt it. Who’d ever not be convinced by Mr Theatre?
Hadley Fraser looks as though he’s about to go in for a full on smooch with Branagh, and who can blame him?
All in all, we’re not discovering any secrets about the season’s opening productions, are we? But, by golly, seeing the stars putting the shows together isn’t half making us even more eager to see them on stage in both Shakespeare’s timeless, fantastical tragicomedy and Terence Rattigan’s comedy about a company trying to stage just such a Bardic tale.
Though tickets are scarce for The Winter’s Tale – do check with the theatre’s box office – you can book for Harlequinade / All On Her Own through us here. Do it before 26 November and you’ll even be entered into a prize draw to win a trip to Broadway.