by Richard Nelson
Royal Shakespeare Company
The Pit, 23 November 1994
The language, the dress and the daily actions of men in democracies are repugnant
to conceptions of the ideal.
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
If I had to give a definition of capitalism I would say: the process
whereby American girls turn into American women.
Christopher Hampton, Savages, scene 16
The American language is in a state of flux based on the survival of
Cyril Connolly, The Sunday Times, 1966
The thing that impresses me most about America is the way parents obey
Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor
To Americans, English manners are far more frightening than none at all.
Randall Jarrell, Pictures from an Institution.
That land is like an eagle whose young gaze
Feeds on the noontide beam, whose golden plume
Floats moveless on the storm, and in the blaze
Of sunrise gleams when earth is wrapped in gloom;
An epitaph of glory for the tomb
Of murdered Europe.
PB Shelley, The Revolt of Islam, xi 1818
... as American as English muffins and French toast.
John Russell Taylor, The Times, 1984
They are a race of convicts, and ought to be thankful for anything we
allow them short of hanging.
James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, 1775
The moral flabbiness born of the exclusive worship of the bitch-goddess
success. That — with the squalid cash interpretation put on the word success
— is our national disease.
William James in a letter to HG Wells, Letters,
You should have as much faith in America as I have.
Margaret Thatcher, Face the Nation (CBS) 1987
The next Augustan age will dawn on the other side of the Atlantic. There
will, perhaps, be a Thucydides at Boston, a Xenophon at New York, in time
a Virgil at Mexico, and a Newton in Peru. At last some curious traveller
from Lima will visit England, and give a description of the ruins of St.
Paul's, like the editions of Baalbec and Palmyra.
Horace Walpole, Letter to Horace Mann, 1774
If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was
landed in my country, I would never lay down my arms — never, never, never!
William Pitt, speech in the House of Commons, 1777
America is a large friendly dog in a small room. Every time it wags its
tail, it knocks over a chair.
Arnold J Toynbee
If it is good to have one foot in England, it is still better, or at
least as good, to have the other out of it.
Henry James (attributed)
A people without history
Is not redeemed from time, for history is a pattern
Of timeless moments. So, while the light fails
On a winter's afternoon, in a secluded chapel
History is now and England.
TS Eliot, 'Little Gidding', Four Quartets, 1942
Racial characteristics: cold-blooded queers with nasty complexions
and terrible teeth who once conquered half the world but still haven't figured
out central heating. They warm their beers and chill their baths and boil
all their food including bread.
PJ O'Rourke, 'Foreigners Around the World', National Lampoon,
The English instinctively admire any man who has no talent and is modest
I did a picture in England one winter and it was so cold I almost got
The most dangerous thing in the world is to make a friend of an Englishman,
because he'll come and sleep in your closet rather that spend ten shillings
on a hotel.
Truman Capote, 1966
Contrary to popular belief, English women do not wear tweed nightgowns.
Hermione Gingold, Saturday Review, 1955
England and America are two countries divided by a common language.
George Bernard Shaw (attributed)
The Englishman foxtrots as he fox-hunts, with all his being, through
thickets, through ditches, over hedges, through chiffons, through waiters,
over saxophones, to the victorious finish; and who goes home depends on
how many the ambulance will accommodate.
Nancy Boyd, (pseudonym of Edna St Vincent Millay)
The sun of her glory is fast descending to the horizon.
Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782
The play takes place over a weekend in a farmhouse in Western Connecticut,
just across the border from New York State.
The performance is approximately 1 hour and 4 minutes in length, without
The music score incorporates excerpts from Frank Bridge's String Quartet
no. 2 in G minor.
Theatre: Includes: A Flea in Her Ear (Thorndike,
Leatherhead). Work in London: Othello (Young Vic), Baddies,
Rocket to the Moon (Hampstead and West End), Slow Dance on
the Killing Ground (Greenwich), Hamlet (Riverside Studios).
For the RNT: Measure for Measure, The Devil is an Ass (visit
from Birmingham Rep), Watch on the Rhine, The Strangeness of Others,
Bartholomew Fair, Hamlet, The Voysey Inheritance, The Crucible, Pericles.
RSC: Philistines, Melons, Troilus and Cressida. This
season: Harry/Alfred Baker in New England. Television:
Sherlock Holmes, Crown Court, Holly, Inheritance, Kipling, Two Days
in The Life of Michael Reagan, Barlowe at Large, Love School, Fair Training
on the Dance Ground, Esther Waters, Pope Pious XII, The Murder Machine,
The Winter's Tale, Nanny, Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, Richard III, Dreams, Secrets,
Beautiful Lies, Run For the Lifeboat, Taking Liberties, The Woodlanders,
Hotel in Amsterdam, Hine, Crimes of Passion, The Guardian, Villain, Hammer
and Sickle, Quiet As A Nun, Casualty, The James Maybrick Case, The House
of Eliott, Poirot, An A-Z of Democracy. Film: Includes
|Alice Berry, his girlfriend
Trained: Guildhall School. Theatre: Work at Theatre Royal,
York; Playhouse, Sheffield; Greenwich; Nuffield Theatre, Southampton; Theatre
Royal, Windsor; Chichester Festival Theatre; Yvonne Arnaud, Theatre, Guildford;
Theatre Clwyd, Mold: Mrs Alving in Ghosts, Ginny in Relatively
Speaking, Smilya Darde in Captain Cavallo, Virginia
in The Golden Age, Olivia in Twelfth Night, Gwen
in This Space is Mine, Gloria Clandon in You Never Can
Tell. Work in West End: Io in Prometheus Bound, Portia
in The Merchant of Venice, Julia in The Rivals,
Mrs Van Omrigh in Yahoo, Susan in Happy Family,
Mrs Thatcher in Anyone for Denis, Glynis in Body and
Soul, Virginia in The Weekend, Lady Gay Spanker in
London Assurance . RSC: Alice Berry in New England.
Television: That Was The Week That Was, Elizabeth R, Demon
Lover, Bagthorpe Saga, The Rocking Horse, Winner, To The Manor Born, Three
Up Two Down, Farringdon of the FO, Paying Guests, Anyone For Denis.
Film: Oh What A Lovely War.
|Tom Berry, her ex-brother-in-law
Theatre: Seasons at Nottingham Playhouse, Manchester Royal Exchange.
Willy Mossop in Hobson's Choice, Trofimov in The Cherry
Orchard, Feste in Twelfth Night, Jonny in Touched,
While the Sun Shines, Huck Finn in White Suite Blades,
Ken Deed in Deeds, Wilson in Teeth 'n' Smiles,
Lawrence in The Fool (Royal Court), Shannon in Winter
Darkness (New End, Hampstead), Irwin in The Secret Rapture
(NT), Danny in The Pool of Bethesda (Orange Tree). RSC:
Edward Stern in Penny For a Song, Gunner in Misalliance.
Co-composed music for Savage Amusement with Robert Hickson;
co-wrote Awful Knawful with Peter Flannery, Stefan in
Singer, Antonio in The Duchess of Malfi, Cherkoon in
Barbarians. This season; Tom Berry in New England.
Television: Love Match, Naming the Names, The Ascent of M.
Blanc, The Daughter-in-Law, Desert of Lies, Jenny's War, The Knowledge,
Caleb Williams, The Racing Game, The Adventures of Frank, The Promise, Hitting
Town, A Woman of Substance, Goodbye Cruel World. Film:
Sailor's Return, Scum, Light Years Away, Bad Hats. Radio:
Ascent of F6, Pity, Dan Dare and numerous others. Writing:
Bad Hats (co-written with Robert Hickson). One Way Out
(Best Film Monte Carlo Festival 1990), Harry (BBC). Music:
Tom Paine, Arturo Ui (Contact Theatre, Manchester), Last
Resort (Manchester Royal Exchange), Henry IV (Oxford
Playhouse, co-composed with Robert Hickson).
|Elizabeth Baker, Harry's daughter
Theatre: Includes: Move Over Mrs Markham, A Flea in Her
Ear, As You Like It, Uncle Vanya (Birmingham Rep), Mrs Warren's
Profession (Watford Palace), The Glass Menagerie, See How They
Run, Kennedy's Children (Watermill Newbury), A Midsummer Night's
Dream (ACTER). In London: A Night in Old Peking (Lyric
Hammersmith), Not Quite Jerusalem, Top Girls (Royal Court,
the latter also in New York), The Mad Woman of Chaillot (Lilian
Baylis), The Fruits of Enlightenment, As You Like It, Sisterly Feelings,
Galileo, The Shoemaker's Holiday, Othello, The Duchess of Malfi, The Real
Inspector Hound/The Critic, The Cherry Orchard, The Voysey Inheritance,
The Madness of George III (RNT). RSC: This season: Elizabeth
Baker in New England. Television: Includes: Miss
Marple: A Pocketful of Rye, The Victoria Wood Show, Life Without George,
South of the Border, A Little Fry and Laurie, A Small Dance, Thacker, Full
Stretch, You, Me and It, A Class Act, Jeeves and Wooster, Pie In The Sky.
Film: Not Quite Jerusalem, Prick Up Your Ears, The Madness
of George III.
|Paul Baker, Harry's son
Theatre: Work at Traverse Theatre, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh;
York Theatre Royal; Royal Exchange Manchester: Elizabeth Gordon Quinn,
Losing Venice, The Rivals, The American Clock, Orlando in As
You Like It, Mortimer in Edward II, Harcourt in
The Country Wife. Work in London: Clindor in The Illusion
(Old Vic), Sergei in Piano, Dorante in Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme,
Roderigo in Le Cid (RNT), title role in Hippolytos
(Almeida). Tours UK: George Osbourne in Vanity Fair,
Cleon/Boult/Cerimon in Pericles, Pyrrhus in Andromache,
Theseus/Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream (Cheek By Jowl).
RSC: Ariel in The Tempest, Malcolm in Macbeth,
Bob Hedges in Restoration, Ragnar in The Master Builder.
This season: Paul Baker in New England. Television:
Blind Justice, Troubles, Taggart, The Strauss Dynasty, The Lawlord,
Boon, The Countess Alice, Headhunters, The Bill, Medics, Dr Finlay, Between
the Lines, A Touch of Frost, Rik Mayall Presents, The Zebra Man, Bramwell.
|Gemma Baker, Harry's eldest child
Trained: Bristol University and Central School of Speech and Drama.
Theatre: Work at Lyceum Theatre, Crewe; Lancaster; Manchester Contact
Theatre; Manchester Royal Exchange; Birmingham; Liverpool Playhouse; Watford:
Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Regina in Ghosts,
Dusa in Dusa Fish Stas and Vi, Lucy Lockit in The Threepenny
Opera. Cariola in The Duchess of Malfi, Mabel in
An Ideal Husband, Anne in All My Sons, Lady Macbeth
in Macbeth, Louise in Me and Mamie O'Rourke. Work
in London: The London Cuckolds (Lyric Hammersmith), Isabel
in Secret Rapture, Lady Teazle in School for Scandal
(RNT), Milly Crocker Harris in The Browning Version (Greenwich).
RSC: Mopsa in The Winter's Tale, Silvia in The
Two Gentlemen of Verona, Marquise de Merteuil in Les Liaisons
Dangereuses (tour 1993). This season: Creusa in Ion,
Gemma Baker in New England. Television: East Lynne,
Reilly Ace of Spies, Love Song, Fortunes of War, That's Love, Punch Drunk,
Charlie, Frankie and Johnnie, First Among Equals, Boon, Resnick.
Film: The House.
|Alfred Baker, Harry's brother
|Sophie Baker, Paul's wife
Studied: Montpellier and Sorbonne Universities. Theatre: Work
in France at theatres in Alès, Nîmes, Montpellier, Avignon, Paris. In England
at the Stafford Shakespeare Festival 1992: Margaret d'Anjou in Henry
VI Part 3, Queen Margaret in Richard III (The Wars of the Roses).
Tours abroad: Solo in Bolero, wrote, choreographed and played
the Traveller in Voyages (Théâtre d'Alès). RSC: This
season: Sophie Baker in New England. Opera: Manuelita
in Carmen, Nurse in Pelleas and Melisande, Die Frau Ohne
Schatten, Les Huguenots, Tosca, La Bohème. Television: UK:
La Difference. France: Hotel de Police. Film:
MOMI the Video (British Film Institute). Radio:
Programme Litéraire for French radio. Writing: Plays:
Les Miroirs Brisés; L. Avaknatse (screen play); Aperçus
(short stories published by Stephen Betrand Editions). Short stories published
in several magazines.
Theatre: Started his career as an actor, then in 1964 became Assistant
Director at the Royal Court and then Associate Director in 1970. Founder
Director of Riverside Studios 1976. Peter Gill has been an Associate Director
of the Royal National Theatre since 1980 and was the Founding Director of
the National Theatre Studio in 1984. Plays: The Sleeper's Den
(1965), Over Gardens Out (1969), Small Change
(1976), Kick For Touch (1983), In The Blue (1985),
Mean Tears (1987), Boys Talk (1990), Certain
Young Men (1993). Adaptations: A Provincial Life, The
Merry-Go-Round, The Cherry Orchard, Touch and Go, As I Lay Dying.
Directing includes: For the Royal Court: A Collier's Friday
Night, The Local Stigmatic, The Ruffian on the Stair, A Provincial Life,
A Soldier's Fortune, The Daughter-in-Law, The Widowing of Mrs Holroyd, Life
Price, Over Gardens Out, The Sleeper's Den, The Duchess of Malfi, Crete
and Sergeant Pepper, The Merry-Go-Round, The Fool, Small Change.
For Riverside Studios: The Cherry Orchard, The Changeling,
Measure for Measure, Julius Caesar, Scrape Off the Black. For
the RNT: A Month in the Country, Don Juan, Much Ado About Nothing,
Danton's Death, Major Barbara, Tales from Hollywood, Small Change, Kick
For Touch, Antigone, Venice Preserv'd, Fool For Love, The Murderers, As
I Lay Dying, A Twist of Lemon, In The Blue, Bouncing, Up For None, The Garden
of England, Show Songs, Mean Tears, Mrs Klein, Juno and the Paycock.
Other credits include Bow Down, Down by the Greenwood Side
(QEH), The Marriage of Figaro (Opera North), The Way
of the World (Lyric, Hammersmith). RSC: Twelfth Night
Trained: Sadler's Wells Design Course (now Motley Design Course).
Theatre: Narrow Road to the Deep North, Trixie and Baba, The
Enoch Show, Come Together Season, The Runaway, The Farm, Restoration
(Royal Court). As Head of Design at the Northcott Theatre, Exeter 1970-72:
The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Julius Caesar, Galileo, The Tempest, Judge
Jeffrey, Bingo, Narrow Road to the Deep North, Measure for Measure, Guys
and Dolls. Designs for the Edinburgh Lyceum include The Iceman
Cometh, How Mad Tulloch Was Taken Away, Civilians. For Nottingham
Playhouse: The Churchill Play, Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, Henry V.
For West Yorkshire Playhouse: The Gulf Between Us. Work in
London: Devil's Island, Yesterday's News, A Mad World My Masters
(Joint Stock), Total Eclipse, In The Summer House (Lyric Hammersmith),
The Invisible Man (Theatre Royal Stratford East/West End and
tour), Lennie, All My Sons, The Way of the World, Glengarry Glen Ross,
The Admirable Crichton, A Life in the Theatre, Vanilla, A Month in the Country
(West End). Productions designed in New York include: Rockerfeller
and the Indians, Players, A Map of the World, The Knife, The Day Room.
Amongst other work abroad: Cyrano de Bergerac, The Taming of the Shrew
(Teatro de gli Incamminati, Italy); Roberto Zucco (Teatro di
Geneva), Six Characters in Search of an Author (Ro Theatre,
Rotterdam), Money and Friends (The Doolittle Theatre, LA),
Mini and Maxi (Interpressario, Netherlands). A Midsummer
Night's Dream (Stratford Festival, Ontario and Gate Theatre, Dublin),
Maria Stuart, Blood Brothers (Hamburg Schauspielhaus). RSC:
Comrades, Duck Song, Cousin Vladimir, Henry VIII. This season:
New England. Opera: Cosi Fan Tutte (New
York Metropolitan Opera), Orfeo (ENO), Falstaff
(Los Angeles/Florence/Covent Garden), Parsifal (Covent
Garden/Flemish Opera Co.), Martydom of St Magnus, Jacob Lenz
(Italy). Ballet: Still Life at the Penguin Cafe, Hobson's Choice,
Cyrano (Royal Ballet), Job (San Francisco Ballet).
Film and Television: South Bank Show — Edward Bond,
Wetherby, Comrade Lady, Still Life at the Penguin Cafe, Hobson's Choice,
Six Characters in Search of an Author, Hope in the Year Two, Syrup.
|Lighting designed by
Theatre: Royal Court Theatre (1965-1972) Resident Lighting Designer
where he designed over eighty consecutive productions including Peter Gill's
season of D.H. Lawrence plays. 1974 TONY nomination for the Broadway production
of Equus. 1989 TONY nomination for the Broadway production
of M Butterfly. Most recent designs include for RNT:
The Mountain Giants; West End: A Month in the Country;
Royal Lyceum Theatre: Armstrong's Last Goodnight; Birmingham
Royal Ballet: Handel and Brahms Variations; Southwark Playhouse:
Jack Shepherd's Chasing the Moment.
Bachelor of Music, Surrey University. Spent one year as sound engineer
at Chappell's Studios. Freelance arranging, composed music for music libraries,
National Film School and Jingle packages. Theatre: Arranging and
music directing for theatres includes work for Oxford Playhouse, Leicester
Haymarket, Hornchurch, Exeter, Norwich, Scottish Ballet, Nottingham Playhouse,
Bromley, Chichester, Swedish National Theatre, Iceland National Theatre,
Young Vic, Restoration (Royal Court), Guys and Dolls,
The Beggar's Opera, Schweyk in the Second World War, Lorenzaccio, King Lear,
Rough Crossing, Dalliance, The Shaughraun, Mrs Klein, White Chameleon, Racing
Demon, Murmuring Judges, The Absence of War (NT). Work as composer
includes: Tales from Hollywood, Antigone, Festival of New Plays, Neaptide,
The Misanthrope, Schism in England, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice
(RNT), Hamlet (RNT Education Dept.), The Birds
(Istanbul City Theatre), Richard III (Iceland National Theatre),
Private Times (Library Theatre, Manchester), Whale
(Crucible Theatre, Sheffield), The Way of the World (Lyric
Hammersmith), Blood Wedding, Time and the Conways, Derby Day
(Octagon Theatre, Bolton). RSC: Coriolanus (1990). This
season: New England. Radio: A Handful of Pleasant
Delights. Film: Mystery of The Chateau of Dice.
|Deputy Stage Manager
|Assistant Stage Manager
Scenery constructed by Robert Knight Ltd. Painting by David Laws and
Patsy Large. Many thanks to: Neil Donovan and the Fonda Group for the Chinese
containers; The Adirondack Beverage Company for the Seltzer labels; Mostly
Music for the musical and orchestral scores; Grove's Dictionaries of Music
for the music books; 100 Air Refuelling Wing, RAF Mildenhall; John Amos,
vehicle locksmith; South London Crematorium for their assistance; Oxford
University Press, publishers of the New Oxford Book of English Verse;
Borden's Incorporated for the milk cartons; Threshers for the wine; Glenhurst
Interiors for help and advice; Jasper Gilbert; Susan Cumings; Yolanda Jeffrey;
Panasonic for the Home Entertainment unit and radio cassette player; S.H.
Simms & Sons Ltd, Stratford-upon-Avon for the leaf rake; Louis Vuitton for
the travel bag; Thames and Hudson for the art books; International Music
Publications for manuscript paper; Cambridge University Press; The Unique
Quilt Company 0181 579 6520; Faber Books; Rosemary Philips of Delsey Luggage
Ltd; Anne O'Neill of Simon and Shuster UK; Penguin Books. Wardrobe care
by Persil, Frend and Robin Starch; tights by Elbeo; shoe colouring by Lady
Esquire. Assistant to Wardrobe Supervisor: Lisa Messenger. Company voice
work by Lyn Darnley and Andrew Wade. Dialect Coach: Charmian Hoare. Production
Photographer: John Haynes.
Programme edited by Alexandra Bannock; designed by Chris Moody; notes
on Richard Nelson by Ben Jancovich; notes On America and On England compiled
by Philumena Muinzer; graphic repro by Lithocraft, Coventry; printed by
Edward Fox and Son, Stratford-upon-Avon. © Royal Shakespeare Theatre 1994.