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Tempest brews over funds.

THE Royal Shakespeare Company needs to perform more often in Wales if it is to continue getting lottery funding.

That's the call from Rhondda MP Chris Bryant, who is a member of the Government's culture, media and sport select committee.

He says the company should abandon its elitist status. Mr Bryant said: "Shakespeare wrote his plays as entertainment for everyone, not just rich old fogies."

The Labour MP made his comments about the company's failure to tour more in Wales while taking evidence from the board of the RSC.

He said: "I've always said that Shakespeare is a British, not just an English, playwright and every young person in Wales is likely to study him at school.

"When Shakespeare's plays are performed they really come to life and it's unfair that such a lot of lottery funding goes into the Royal Shakespeare Company while they still don't tour Wales, or at least come here very rarely.

"In Rhondda I know there's a lot of talent and interest in the theatre with lots of productions going on at the Parc and Dare Theatre.

"It's time the benefits of the investment that goes into the country's best theatre is felt everywhere, not just where people have the money to go to expensive shows in a few metropolitan centres."

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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 30, 2002
Words:222
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