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I started singing about three years ago, I entered a local singing competition called Stratford Idol. The other people in the competition had been taking singing lessons and had vocal coaches. I wasn't taking it too seriously at the time, I would just sing around the house. I was only 12 and I got second place.
I did do some Shakespeare on film, it's really difficult. It's really interesting, because I was doing a series in Canada called 'Slings and Arrows' and it was about a company based around the Stratford Festival.
In Stratford you either turn into an alcoholic or you better write.
I used to drive up from theatre in Michigan to Stratford, Ontario to watch every show. I idolized the actors from Stratford. I was very influenced by them because they would come down and work at my theatre and get time on their American Equity union cards.
When I saw Paul Scofield do 'Love's Labor's Lost at Stratford,' that's when I saw the potential of the level of truth that could go on up there on a stage. I said, 'This is what I want to do.'
I think that was very important to Bacon... personally. I think he went to great efforts to get a house for the Stratford man, to make it so difficult for us to prove that it was Francis Bacon, because it is very difficult to prove.
Shakespeare's frequent horseback journeys from London to Stratford, and from Stratford to London, must have made him familiar with the county of Oxfordshire.
Katharine Lee Bates
The thing that I had saved up for myself and wanted most to bring off was a fully fledged professional production of Hamlet at the Royal Shakespeare Theater in Stratford.
I belonged to Stratford Children's Theater when I was a boy growing up in Manchester. Even then, I was always doing character parts.
When I was at Stratford, the very first thing that I was commissioned to work on was trying to make a musical out of the documentary material about the General Strike, which was the next big historical event in England, after the First World War.
And it is a very beautiful idea, and possibly true, that a common man from Stratford with a common education was able to write these plays.
James Agate, a great critic of the day, advised me that the way to learn your job properly was to learn Shakespeare, so I went to Stratford. It really sorts out the men from the boys.
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