mon 22/07/2019

Theatre Features

Jeanie O'Hare: 'The play taught me how European we really are'

Jeanie O'Hare

I admit it took me a while to give myself permission to do this project. We English are very squeamish about altering Shakespeare. Our cousins in Germany thrive on radical undoings of our scared son, but we cross our arms and say no. 

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Sir Peter Hall: a day of thanksgiving and celebration for a colossus of culture

Matt Wolf

Sir Peter Hall had no ordinary life, as might be expected from the director who more than any other defined the British theatre of the last half of the 20th century. The same can be said of the unforgettable two-part send-off he received exactly a year on from his death in 2017, age 86.

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'You won't be able to handle this lady': remembering Fenella Fielding

Jasper Rees

Fenella Fielding - “one of the finest female impersonators in the business,” joked Eric Morecambe – has died at the age of 90. Most actors of such a great vintage tend to be forgotten, but not Fielding. Last year she celebrated her big birthday with a memoir.

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theartsdesk at bOing! International Family Festival - the best of European children's theatre

Katie Colombus

Theatre for children can often be dismissed – a box to tick for parents who want to keep up with cultural practices; a job for actors who haven't quite made it in the mainstream; theatre that mums and dads want to see that works for their little ones, too.

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Neil Simon: 'I don’t think you want it really dark'

Jasper Rees

Asked to nominate the most important playwright in America since the war, theatregoers would probably plump for Arthur Miller, Edward Albee or David Mamet. But in terms of sheer popularity there is another candidate.

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F Off: National Youth Theatre puts social media on trial

Tatty Hennessy

F Off came about off the back of a meeting I had with Paul Roseby, the artistic director of the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain. I’d come in to talk to him about my writing and through complete coincidence, someone had just auditioned for Paul with a monologue from one of my plays, so we started talking about me potentially writing something for the NYT.

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Greed as the keynote: Robert Carsen on the timelessness of 'The Beggar's Opera'

Robert Carsen

In the time of composer John Gay, greed and self-interest were the main motives for life; and his work The Beggar’s Opera is an open critique on the way that society behaved. The work’s opening number sets the tone, basically saying: “we all abuse each other, we all steal from each other, we all want to get as much as we can and to hell with everybody else.”

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h 100 Awards: Theatre and Performance - excellence and inclusion across the map

Matt Wolf

Amidst ever-uncertain times, one thing is for sure: this country's ability to regenerate and renew itself theatrically remains alive and well.

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Brian Friel, the private playwright of Ballybeg

Jasper Rees

Brian Friel, who died in 2015 at the age of 86, was a shy man who shunned interviews, keeping his powder dry for the work and shrouding his personal life in mystique. Not that he never opened his mouth at all. When Dancing at Lughnasa (1990) was winning Tony Awards in New York, he got into trouble for saying that a good stage manager is preferable to a director who disobeys the script.

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Charlotte Jones: ‘Plays come from your scar tissue’

Charlotte Jones

I think it’s always a dangerous sport to try and consciously unravel where your ideas come from. Lest you break the spell and inadvertently silence yourself…

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