thu 22/08/2019

Theatre Features

Opinion: The Tricycle were right over the UK Jewish Film Festival

Fisun Güner

Imagine an industrial disaster that manages to kill, maim or make homeless a significant percentage of the population of a densely populated city. Then imagine the effects of that disaster for years to come: the catastrophic physical and psychological effects on the city’s surviving inhabitants; the complete destruction of the region’s infrastructure; and the utterly devastating impact on its already struggling local economy.

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First Person: 'Thomas Bernhard? I love him'

Peter Eyre

Some years ago I read a piece about a novel of Thomas Bernhard, Wittgenstein’s Nephew. Bernhard (1931-1989) was perhaps the most famous Austrian writer of his time, but unknown to me. In this article he was described as intense, manically obsessive, addicted to the unvarnished truth, and innovative in his constructions. I read the novel and was hooked. Bernhard’s novels have no paragraphs, and read like the monologues of a man possessed. You almost need to read them in one sitting...

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'Gimme a vodka and a floorplan': Elaine Stritch remembered

David Benedict

My (very) small haul of autographs collected as a schoolboy ran the gamut from Peter Pears to Linda McCartney but even back then I knew the classiest signature I bagged was that of Elaine Stritch. Years later, she was described as someone who went from being a sensation to a legend without ever being a star, but “starring” is the only word to describe her performance in the title role of the shortlived London premiere of a less than good Neil Simon play The Gingerbread Lady in 1974...

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First Person: Gotta Have Faith?

Robin Soans

A still Sunday morning in late October… the sky monotone grey… my friend and I are on a fact-finding mission in Jackson, Mississippi. We drive to the outskirts of the city, take a left onto Hanging Moss Road, and see ahead of us, in isolation among the pines, the Word and Worship church where Bishop Jeffrey Stallworth will be conducting morning service.

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David Schneider Makes Stalin Laugh

David Schneider

When Dostoyevsky was asked why he wrote Crime and Punishment he famously replied, “To further my career and get shortlisted for book prizes.” He didn’t, of course. I made that up. But what artist/writer/actor creates a piece of art/writing/acting without at least a bit of shallow consideration for their career? (What?!

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Extracts: John Tusa - Pain in the Arts

ismene Brown

In the midst of ferment as the arts world faces fast-shrinking public subsidy, Sir John Tusa, former managing director of the BBC World Service and the Barbican Arts Centre, publishes this week a brisk new book that urges arts and politicians to reject the emotive clichés and lazy token battles and focus on what matters. In Pain in the Arts, Tusa urges that both sides take personal responsibility for an essential part of human life.

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Brighton Festival Final Weekend - with the Family

Thomas H Green

Sitting outside Mrs Fitzherbert’s, the pub named after George IV’s notorious mistress, nursing a pilsner top and a packet of peanuts on a sunny Saturday afternoon, the world is a benevolent place with the Brighton Festival (and Fringe) at the heart of the fun.

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RE:naissance: Festival under the influence

Matthew Sharp

Shakespeare's ubiquitous “planetary influence” is well-documented. As Stephen Marche points out in How Shakespeare Changed Everything, not much from our sex lives to the assassination of Lincoln remains untouched. And, of course, there's the language. You may think that what you are reading has more rhyme than reason, be madness (though there is method in it) or amount to nothing more than a wild goose chase.

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A Will of My Own

Steven Berkoff

I hardly knew anything about Shakespeare as a schoolboy and it was only when attending my first acting classes, when we sallow and uncouth students were required to do a speech each week to be tested on, that I had my first awakenings. At the very first I found the dense text too complex and remote for my taste, but persevered, swallowed the language in great chunks and then heaved it out. But from the outset I felt that something had bit.

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A 21st-century Three Sisters

Anya Reiss

About a week after my modern adaptation of The Seagull closed in 2012 at Southwark Playhouse the director Russell Bolam texted me, "Same again?" So it’s now in 2014 that at (the new) Southwark Playhouse we’ve got our modern take on Chekhov’s Three Sisters, which has just opened.

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