ONE of the country’s leading theatre directors promised to put in a good word for Chester in the city’s bid to be the northern home of the replica of Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre.
Sir Richard Eyre, former artistic director of the National Theatre, promised to ‘put a call in’ to Dame Judi Dench on Saturday evening following his appearance at the 2009 Shell Chester Literature Festival.
The actress was given the Rose Theatre at the end of her involvement with the film Shakespeare in Love, for which it was built and as patron of the British Shakespeare Company is spearheading a search for a home for it in the north of England.
Sir Richard is a close friend of national treasure Dench and directed her in the films Iris (2001), a biopic of the author Irish Murdoch and the psychological thriller Notes on a Scandal (2006). He also directed her at The National Theatre’s Littleton Theatre in David Hare’s Amy’s View in 1997.
The duo were in conversation earlier this month at the renowned Cheltenham Literature Festival in front of an audience of 2,600 people.
Sir Richard was in conversation with Emma Lucia Hands at The Grosvenor Museum about his new book Talking Theatre. The book is an account of how theatre is made by the people who make it, including Miss Dench, Ian McKellen, Liam Neeson, Tom Stoppard and Cameron Mackintosh.
Tickets for the event in the museum’s 133-seater lecture theatre were sold out.
Cllr Richard Short, executive member culture and recreation, said: “Support for Chester’s campaign from someone of Sir Richard Eyre’s calibre is absolutely wonderful.
“Chester must be one of the best places for the Rose Theatre because of the city’s history, space and regrettably the lack of a theatre.”
Sir Richard first heard of the city’s bid for the theatre during question time following his talk. The first question from the audience was about the Rose Theatre and Sir Richard originally thought that the questioner was talking about the original Rose, the remains of which are visible on London’s Bankside.