Message in a (Whisky) Bottle from The Mary Wallace Theatre

by Rodney Figaro at the RSS

When the initial Covid-19 lockdown was imposed in the Spring, we at the Mary Wallace Theatre had two productions in preparation and our Summer/Autumn season planned. Sadly THE DUCHESS of MALFI, already in full rehearsal, had to be withdrawn, swiftly followed by the demise of SUMMERLAND which had only recently been cast. A number of subsequent productions fell like dominoes. Our annual outdoor Summer Show in the Fountain Gardens, planned to be THE IMPORTANCE of BEING EARNEST, had to be cancelled and DINNER WITH THE FAMILY, BE MY BABY, ONE MAN TWO GOV’NORS and ARDEN of FAVERSHAM followed suit. Our proposed ambitious staging of both parts of HENRY IV for Spring 2021 was tentatively postponed until 2022. Nothing daunted and full of optimism we continued to plan live theatre productions at the Mary Wallace and, prior to the classification of Twickenham as Tier Two, had auditioned and cast WHISKY GALORE which went into virtual rehearsal in the hope that it could be staged under strict Covid regulations prior to Christmas. At that time further auditions were held and the next play, CONSENT, successfully cast…. Sadly, with the imposition of this latest lockdown, we had no choice but to withdraw WHISKY GALORE* and the viability of CONSENT, due to open in January, is uncertain. “A sad tale, sadly told….” But…

….we have not been idle during these difficult times, harnessing the black arts of  ZOOM – more powerful that Prospero’s staff, more far-reaching that Oberon’s spells – to broadcast more than eighteen RSS events during the Summer and Autumn, including a variety of poetry and play readings (UNDER MILK WOOD, PRIDE and PREJUDICE)  and, for Halloween, a deeply scary STAGE FRIGHT.  We also brought Shakespeare to the lawns of Marble Hill House in a well-attended and socially distanced performance of excerpts in September. So you see, the Richmond Shakespeare Society is alive and kicking and, as always, welcomes all who are interested in being involved in producing or presenting drama. While we cannot in all conscience welcome you physically to our theatre for the time being, the RSS is still keen to embrace new members and, if that might be you, please investigate our website at – – for further information, or contact our membership secretary on There’s life in the old Bard yet.


We are pleased to announce that The All-Female Pallas Players Present WHISKY GALORE, despite being withdrawn from live performance, will be presented as an RSS ZOOM Production over two evenings in December!  Our website will carry further details.


The Richmond Shakespeare Society at the Mary Wallace Theatre, the Embankment, TWICKENHAM, TW1 3DU  

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