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OF Thespians at Richmond Witney Globe

OF Thespians at Richmond Witney Globe

A report by James Ruddock-Broyd (G46-52) on a performance on 23 April 2024 :

A first-off for Richmond ViIlage at Witney was instigated by resident James Ruddock-Broyd (G46-52) upon seeing Dame Judi Dench reading Puck on the RSC stage on 8 November 2023 supported by other famous actors celebrating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s First Folio.

Our programme at Witney comprised recitations by residents and staff from plays and sonnets, recordings of Burton, Dench and Gielgud doing like-wise and music composed as adjuncts to Shakespeare’s writings. 

James started proceedings by recalling his part as Philostrate, Master of the Revels to Duke Theseus in the College production of Midsummer Night’s Dream in the Castle in 1952 and welcomed in the audience Smith 1 and Smith 2 who are known to us as Brian Smith (S53-58) and Clive Smith (S54-58). James recited his main part in the whole play of: “A play there is my Lord some ten words long…..” which was the opening welcome he received 30 years later on the steps of Moreau House when, who should be the Housemaster, but Bob Gillett who produced that last play in the Castle in 1952. James still has his scroll from which he read entertainments for Theseus’s wedding night.

James then invited his wife Christine as Titania and resident Win Burton as Oberon to recite the closing pages of the play while he took the role of Puck, also known as Robin Goodfellow, so he could recite the last line: “And Robin shall restore amends” as Ruddock means Robin as in the Sherborne missal of c1400..

Christine later gave a synopsis of Twelfth Night and recited Orsino’s opening words: “If music be the food of love play on.” Near the end of the programme James had a crown  ceremoniously placed on his head by the Producer and recited the last words of Richard III before he was killed by the Earl of Richmond with those famous lines of: “A Horse, a Horse my Kingdom for a Horse” as he fell at Bosworth Field  on 22 August 1485 and James had attended  the 500th anniversary there in 1985 on his 50th birthday.  


Photos are :

James as Richard III

Clive Smith, Jean Smith, James, Claire Godwin, producer, Valerie Smith and Brian Smith

Chrstine at second from R in black and light gold in curtain call photo with James on far right


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