Recap: The Actors From The London Stage residency and performances


Eric Fogle

From left to right: Hilary Maclean, Kaffe Keating, Thomas Wingfield, Dr. Jean Feerick (JCU English Department), Jonathan Oldfield and Grace Andrews after the Saturday performance

Eric Fogle, Opinion Editor

In a prior article, The Carroll News anticipated the visit of The Actors From The London Stage. Last week, the Actors were escorted to classrooms across campus and ended their week of residency with three dazzling renditions of Romeo and Juliet. Their stop in University Heights and their performances in Kulas were enjoyed by all who encountered them.

After the Saturday show, The Carroll News spoke with Thomas Wingfield, who played Romeo, Lady Montague, as well as Gregory in the productions. When asked about the highlights of their week and things to remember, Thomas had this to say: “It’s been absolutely fantastic. We’ve been very well looked after while we’ve been here, especially by Jean (Feerick). We really appreciate all of the care, love and attention we’ve received.”

Students and professors all over campus had plenty of positive things to say about the classroom visits. Susan Horne, a professor in the Boler College of Business, had an actor visit two sections of her Supply Chain and Operations Management course. 

“It was great fun and a phenomenal educational experience,” Horne said. “Students were given direct and specific feedback which they immediately incorporated into a second iteration of presentations.” When asked about the visits later, her students “enthusiastically agreed that it was both really fun and really helpful in improving their presentation skills.”

Thomas returned the appreciation for his visit to Horne’s classes,  he particularly identified his visit to Boler as a highlight from the week: “I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve never been in that sort of space before,” he said, referring to the business school. “We did a public speaking workshop and it was an absolute joy to do and the students seemed to have lots of fun doing it.”

Across campus in O’Malley, the company’s Grace Andrews (who played Juliet, Benvolio and an Apothecary) visited a poetry class which was met with praise from Professor George Bilgere’s students. 

“Having the actors from the London Stage perform and work with us was an all around lovely experience,” Bella Benz ‘24, a student in the class, told TCN. “After engaging in a few warm up activities, we zeroed in on how to properly connect with our audience in order to convey the full meaning of our poems. With kind constructive adjustments, Grace taught us the power of a voice and brought us closer together as a class.”

With five actors on stage and props that could probably fit into a 10 by 10 foot square on the ground, The Actors From The London Stage have found a way to thoughtfully perform Shakespeare in 2023. What the company sacrifices in large casts and extravagant theatrical scenery it makes up for in originality and uniqueness. Their minimalism brings the attention to where it should be: on the brilliance of the script and the skill of the actors performing it.