Welcome to my blog of Trevor Nunn’s theatrical spectacular, Wars of the Roses, Peter Hall’s & John Barton’s legendary reworking of Shakespeare’s tetralogy, which goes on at the Rose in Kingston in September. We’re right in the thick of rehearsals now – and this blog was supposed to start on day 1 following a rash promise to the Rose marketing team during the meet ‘n’ greet. However, I’ve been doing Taming of the Shrew in Guildford for a couple of weeks, getting ill, and I have a two year old boy who has inherited his father’s vocal projection & need for attention – so a little tricky to find the time, to be frank. Still, better late than never.

I’ll fill you in on the previous weeks’ rehearsals as we go, but for now, know that I am the Earl of Somerset (stroppy, sneering, bit of a git) & I bat for the House of Lancaster (Rose: red). Today, after legging it from one rehearsal room to another, I end up with broadsword in hand, standing opposite Robbie Sheehan with pretend limp & genuine bobble hat, and Malcolm Ranson, our fight director, eyeing his swords with what can only be described as paternal concern. Robbie plays Richard III (bad back, bad man, bad carpark), and he bats for the House of York (Rose: white). And today, he kills me. Whilst doing his best not to actually kill me. Or me him. Right now, it looks like this:

Hopefully, it’ll look better with some practice & a smattering of battle armour. The basic idea is that Richard surprises everyone by being an ace on the battlefield, in spite of his resembling a human question mark on top of two left feet. Please note Robbie’s footwear for rehearsals:


Whereas Somerset, being a Flashman-esque aristo tosser, should by rights have Richard for breakfast. Sadly for Somerset, it doesn’t quite work out that way. 

Ooops, spoilers… 

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