A GRAND ambition to bring a replica of Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre to Chester has collapsed.
There was worldwide publicity when the British Shakespeare Company invited towns to bid for the right to host the theatre with Chester competing against the likes of York, Sheffield and Manchester.
But attempts by Cheshire West and Chester Council to contact BSC artistic director Robert J Williamson, who had the idea of reassembling the theatre in a northern city, have failed.
The council, who submitted the bid on Chester’s behalf, then tried to contact Dame Judi Dench who gifted the theatre to the BSC from the movie Shakespeare in Love in which she starred.
But council spokesman Ian Callister confirmed the authority had “not had a reply” from Dame Judi’s representatives.
The Chronicle has also telephoned, emailed and sent messages to Mr Williamson via Facebook but to no avail.
Mr Williamson’s Facebook page reveals he recently got married.
One posting reads: “Robert J Williamson is leaving the British Shakespeare Company and the UK...”
Dame Judi’s London-based agents Julian Belfrage Associates were unable to shed any light on the situation but confirmed the council had been in touch.
The council says it is “still very much interested” in pursuing the project but is frustrated with the impasse.
The Chronicle was due to present Mr Williamson with a list of hundreds of readers who supported bringing The Rose to Chester when he came on a fact-finding tour to the city but it never happened.
There was global media interest when the BSC unveiled its plans for The Rose with articles in The Guardian, The Stage, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post.