mon 19/08/2019

Theatre Features

At Your Service: The Birth of Privates on Parade

Peter Nichols

It was in Singapore in 1947 that my real education began. For the first time I read Lawrence, Forster, Virginia Woolf, Melville, Graham Greene and Bernard Shaw’s political works, becoming a lifelong Leftie. When Stanley Baxter explained Existentialism in our billet block, we nodded intelligently. When Kenneth Williams spoke Parlyaree, we were in advance of the rest of the nation who wouldn’t hear of it till Beyond Our Ken.

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The Mouse and His Child: Redemption, salvation and transformation

Tamsin Oglesby

I read and loved The Mouse and His Child as a child. Apparently. I was reminded of this by the inscription in the copy I gave to my god-daughter 15 years ago. And again, when I read it to my own daughter 10 years later. It’s such an extraordinarily original, moving, funny, story, I couldn’t believe I’d forgotten it.

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theartsdesk in Dublin: Your City, Your Stories

Helen Meany

Irish theatre generates high expectations. So much so, that if there isn’t a premiere of a play by one of Ireland’s leading playwrights – Sebastian Barry, Enda Walsh, Marina Carr, Frank McGuinness, Martin McDonagh, Conor McPherson or Mark O’Rowe – the annual Dublin Theatre Festival tends to be viewed by regular Dublin theatregoers as somehow deficient.

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Our Country's Good: Director Max Stafford-Clark opens up

Carole Woddis

Our Country’s Good, a play that proclaimed the power and enduring worth of theatre and that celebrated its centrality to our lives, was of importance in the third term of a government which deemed 'subsidy' a dirty word.” So wrote Max Stafford-Clark of the play he directed at the Royal Court in 1988.

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Priestley in the House: Cornelius Revived

Tom Priestley

I am keenly looking forward to seeing the new production of JB Priestley’s play Cornelius at the Finborough Theatre. This will be the first time I have seen the work performed, though I have of course read it. But my father always said his plays were made for the stage rather than the page. They need the skill of a cast and director to bring the characters alive and the active engagement of the audience to enhance the experience. 

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theartsdesk at the Avignon Festival

Andrew Todd

The vast Avignon Festival is not a neatly curated sequence of works which can be experienced - like certain art biennales or the Proms - as if on a conveyor belt. There are 50 productions in the official “In” during three weeks, and more than a thousand shows - mostly dross - in the “Off” fringe.

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theartsdesk in Buxton: G&S live on (and on)

philip Radcliffe

Within hours of the opera buffs leaving town, having had their fill of Buxton Festivalia, the old spa changes gear for operetta. For three weeks, the town becomes the jolly international capital for Gilbert & Sullivan. Enthusiasts and performers from all over the country and foreign parts gather to celebrate the seemingly never-ending attraction of those old familiar tunes, characters and satirical send-ups.

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I, Cinna: The Streaming of Shakespeare's Bard

Tim Crouch

It has been nearly 10 years since I started writing for theatre. The second thing I wrote was a commission for the Brighton Festival who offered me the opportunity to make and perform a piece for young audiences inspired by a Shakespeare play. That was I, Caliban – a separate production of which is currently touring with Bristol Old Vic/Company of Angels alongside their version of I, Peaseblossom, the second of my Brighton commissions.

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How Globe to Globe Staged the World

Tom Bird

Over the past six weeks, we at the Globe have put on a festival called Globe to Globe. The concept (an idea of Dominic Dromgoole’s) was always very simple to explain: all of Shakespeare’s plays, each in a different language. But the reality of that, of course, was unprecedented, unwieldy and just plain large.

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The Glastonbury of the Mind: Hay turns 25

Jasper Rees

Apart from “I did not have sex with that woman” and maybe “It’s the economy, stupid”, Bill Clinton seems never to have said anything quite as memorable. Indeed, of all the phrases with his name attached, none is quoted quite so tremulously as Clinton's description of an event that takes place annually on the border between England and Wales as May makes way for June.

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