The Royal Shakespeare Company’s deputy artistic director, Erica Whyman, knows the North East very well indeed.
Ms Whyman was artistic director at Northern Stage for seven years before going to the RSC.
Her comments on the news that the RSC won’t be appearing in Newcastle at all in 2015 and not at the Theatre Royal until 2017 are therefore backed by local knowledge.
She reasons that Newcastle’s theatre scene is thriving and healthy and that because people are going to the theatre in greater numbers they are less likely to sign up to several Shakespeares every year.
The first point is true, the second rather more debatable.
The question remains: are Newcastle’s theatre-goers likely to be overjoyed with the RSC giving us a miss for a year?
Not really, no.