IT’S staged some of the best productions and greatest actors of the past century.
And on Sunday the world-famous Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford will host a performance by Rugby Theatre after the company impressed its directors - and Sir Ian McKellen.
They’re putting on a bilingual production of Romeo & Juliet with Polish and English actors portraying the feuding families.
Director Rob Sloan said: “It’s a magnificent achievement - not just for us, but for Rugby. This really is a dream come true.”
“We’re used to a theatre that seats 280 - on Sunday there’ll be a capacity of 1,000. It’s the world’s best stage.”
The show was performed at Rugby’s Henry Street theatre in May. Intrigued by its originality, senior figures from the RSC came to see it - and were evidently struck by its quality.
Rob said: “It shows that taking risks can pay off.
“A few of us are a bit anxious, but the important thing is how we use that energy when we get on stage.”
And among the well-wishers is Sir Ian McKellen, known to many as Gandalf from the Lord of the Rings films. He wrote in an email: “Your production sounds very intriguing, just what one hopes of a thriving little theatre. Everyone involved should feel honoured and to heck with humility. “
The performance is part of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Open Stages project, showcasing the best of amateur theatre. It begins at 7.15pm .Tickets are £5. Visit rsc.org.uk or call 0844 800 1110.