Alan Rickman; Director & Playwright

On Sunday, 5 February, Latymer Upper School hosted an event in memory of one of its most renowned alumni, Alan Rickman (Class of 1964).

“Alan Rickman: Director & Playwright” focused on his love for theatre. The evening’s programme included excerpts from the play he wrote, My Name is Rachel Corrie, followed by a Q&A with Ian Rickson and Elyse Dodgson, moderated by BBC’s Kirsty Lang. Ian is one of Britain's most sought after and talented stage director, whose credits include the award winning production of "Jerusalem" with Mark Rylance, and Elyse is the current International Director of the Royal Court Theatre. Kirsty knew Alan very well and is herself the mother of a Latymerian, while Ian and Elyse were an integral part of bringing Alan’s play to life at the Royal Court Theatre in 2005 and remained good friends of him and his wife, Rima. It was a privlege to hear about Alan and his love of the theatre from people who were so close to him.

Ophelia Lovibond (Class of 2004) is well known for her roles in Guardians of the Galaxy, Elementary, Hooten & the Lady and W1A, and we were delighted to see her back at her old school to perform as Rachel Corrie alongside two current Sixth Formers, Julia Reinstein and Willa Mackintosh. The excerpts left the audience hungry for more of the play, and now there is hope of a possible revival in London. This is a real testament to the quality of the performance, and we are exceptionally proud of Julia and Willa.

We were particularly honoured to have Rima Horton, Alan’s widow, in attendance at the event, which was the first of two opportunities for Latymer to celebrate her husband, a true Latymerian.

Our special thanks go to Ian, Elyse, Kirsty, Ophelia and Rima for making this event possible.

The evening was tremendously successful and well received. To quote one audience member it was “moving, sincere and inspirational”. £2,000 was raised by the event, all of which will go towards the new Alan Rickman bursary, which is a part of the 2016/17 Bursaries Appeal. Alan attended Latymer Upper School (1956-64) on a scholarship himself, as did Ophelia, and remained hugely supportive of his school’s bursary programme throughout his life.

You can donate further to the Alan Rickman Bursary by clicking HERE and ticking the respective box, or by attending our next event, ‘Alan Rickman; Actor & Friend’ on 14 May. Kirsty Lang will be back, this time “In Conversation with Juliet Stevenson and Ruby Wax” – two leading ladies and longstanding friends of Alan.

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