VIDEO: Globe Theatre actor unveils Civic Society plaque at Ripon’s former theatre

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A stage star from Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, who appeared in King Lear at Newby Hall this week, unveiled a new green plaque marking surviving parts of Ripon’s former Theatre Royal on Thursday, July 18.

The spotlight fell on Joseph Marcell, who played King Lear and is best known for his role as Geoffrey the Oxford-educated butler in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, as he took part in the ceremony at the invitation of Ripon Civic Society, ahead of Thursday’s closing night performance.

Joseph Marcell from Shakespeare's Globe Theatre unveils the plaque at the site of the former theatre. Pictuire by Gerard Binks.

Joseph Marcell from Shakespeare's Globe Theatre unveils the plaque at the site of the former theatre. Pictuire by Gerard Binks.

Chairman of Ripon Civic Society David Winpenny told the Gazette: “Ripon’s Theatre Royal saw some of the great eighteenth and nineteenth century actors, including Edmund Keane, on its stage, so it’s very appropriate that Joseph agreed to come along to mark the unveiling of this new plaque.”

Joseph is part of The Globe Theatre’s Touring Company, which has a significant link with Ripon’s Theatre Royal – the theatre in Ripon was built in 1792 for novelist Samuel Butler’s touring theatre company, when some of the most famous actors of the day graced the stage.

Only two walls from the eighteenth century theatre survived a fire in 1918 – by then the building had been converted first into a military riding school and then a drill hall.

They are now incorporated into the Calvert’s Carpets store, and the company has made a generous contribution to the cost of the plaque.

David added: “We are very grateful to Joseph and his colleagues, and to Will Calvert of Calvert’s Carpets, for their support.’

- For an interview with Joseph, visit: www.ripongazette.co.uk/lifestyle/local/video-joseph-marcell-talks-to-the-gazette-about-playing-king-lear-1-5851014