With the exception of that early elocution lesson from Macbeth and a walk-on part in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Geraldine McEwan's early career centered around West End Comedies. McEwan was starring in her third West End hit before her Shakespeare career began.
Though she was determined to do classical roles, she had no formal drama school training. So, she used her salary and free time during the 18 month run of For Better or Worse to train privately with famous voice teacher, Iris Warren.
It was Peter Hall, after directing her in Summertime with Dirk Bogarde who invited McEwan to Stratford-upon-Avon to play the Princess of France in Love's Labour's Lost (1956) for the Shakespeare Memorial Company.
Following that, Geraldine returned to play in the now famous and controversial production of Twelfth Night with Dorothy Tutin and in several other roles. (see below)
In the early 60's Peter Hall formed the Royal Shakespeare Company and McEwan enjoyed playing Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing and Ophelia in Hamlet.
Some early audio performances are still available, including an impressive recording with Jeremy Brett in Love's Labour's Lost. In 2001, a Naxos recording of King Richard III with Kenneth Branagh won several audio awards and the role of Queen Margaret was given a fresh and glorious interpretation by McEwan.
"Glamis thou art and Cawdor..."
This speech by Lady Macbeth was the 'a ha!' moment for Geraldine McEwan. As a schoolgirl she recited those famous lines and that experience changed her life in a dramatic way. Shakespeare, introduced at that young age became a life-long passion for McEwan.