tue 20/08/2019

Theatre Features

Tanika Gupta on Adapting Great Expectations

Tanika Gupta

A few years ago my brother and I were stuck in a traffic jam somewhere in London and a Rolls Royce drew up next to us with an elderly Asian gentleman at the wheel. He turned to us both and smiled sweetly before gliding on. For a blink of an eye, the driver morphed into our dad who died 20 years ago.

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Interview: Playwright Enda Walsh

Hilary Whitney

No prizes for guessing what the future holds for the four Irishmen ensconced in the empty swimming pool in Enda Walsh’s latest play, Penelope, which opens at Hampstead Theatre next week. For these unfortunate creatures are the last of Penelope’s suitors from Homer’s Odyssey, the pariah who invade Odysseus’s home and make merry at his expense whilst shamelessly trying to win the hand of his faithful wife – and their time is up.

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Interview: Novelist DBC Pierre

Jasper Rees Embarking on 'Vernon God Little', DBC Pierre's ambition was 'to write the roof off the fucken world'

Very early in 2003 I went to the offices of Faber & Faber in Bloomsbury to meet a first-time novelist. At 41, he looked slightly long in the tooth to be fresh out of the traps, even a bit roughed up by life. With seasoned teeth and capillaried cheeks, he had evidently survived a battle or two. It was his first ever interview. I remember asking him if he had any idea how good his book was. To be taken on by such reputable publishers after half a lifetime of epic underachievement...

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Opinion: 'Internalised' acting is a complete turn-off

Carole Woddis

Do Stanislavski and Lee Strasberg have a lot to answer for? Or can we place the blame, if blame it is, elsewhere? I’m referring to the steady, insidious advance of theatre mumbling. You may have noticed it at a theatre near you. It’s the art that disguises itself in “naturalism”, a kind of quasi “Method” style of acting.

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theartsdesk in Moscow: The Sovremennik Theatre Visits London

Tom Birchenough

Twenty-odd years ago, on the eve of the break-up of the Soviet Union, the country’s cultural world was anticipating cardinal changes – anything from a series of closures to a radical alteration in which the way art would be produced under new economic circumstances. Nowhere more perhaps than in theatre, where the established universal nationwide system of repertory companies faced potential implosion.

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Year Out/Year In: Theatre Raises the Bar, From Old to New

Matt Wolf

One expects Shakespeare to be rediscovered afresh on the British stage (if not here, where?), and it was gratifying during 2010 to find the Royal Court - a venue all about the new - raising the authorial bar ever higher via an (almost) unbroken series of triumphs culminating, for me, with E V Crowe's Kin.

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Bah Humbug: Judi Dench - the greatest stage actor ever?

Carole Woddis

Seems we’re living through a silly season. There are rumours afoot that our PM’s Big Society is nothing other than a fig leaf for a chaos theory of how to run society, ie let the devil take the hindmost. And in the arts we’ve got theatre’s esteemed trade paper declaring, in a much-publicised puff - organised through a star-studded panel of the Great and the Good and “hundreds of readers voting from a list of 10 actors” - that...

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The Seckerson Tapes: Composer Dario Marianelli

Edward Seckerson Composer Dario Marianelli wields his Oscar for his score to the film 'Atonement'

Dario Marianelli won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for his score for the movie Atonement, and his return to the theatre after a long absence as composer for the Young Vic's new production of Tennessee Williams's first big Broadway success, The Glass Menagerie, is hotly anticipated. In the rehearsal room he talks about the intricate process that marries music to drama, be it on celluloid or stage. He talks about what fires his imagination and how, for instance, a typewriter...

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theartsdesk in Belfast: Scenes from the 48th Belfast Festival

Bruce Dessau 'New circus' troupe Circa 'howl in the face of gravity'

In National Anthem, the debut play by bestselling novelist Colin Bateman, a composer lies prostrate on the floor. Half hungover, half waiting for inspiration, he has been commissioned to co-write an anthem for Northern Ireland with a poet and has a day to do it before flying back to his continental tax haven. The ad-hoc alliance soon fractures as differences emerge. One is Catholic, passionate and pretentious, one has sold his Protestant soul to MOR rock and platinum...

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On Adapting Birdsong for the Stage

Rachel Wagstaff

I remember walking into the Hawthorn Ridge cemetery, seeing a grave of a 20-year-old boy who died on 1 July, 1916, and knowing for the first time why Sebastian Faulks needed to write Birdsong, and why I desperately wanted it to live and breathe and be brought back to the public consciousness again.

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