sun 12/07/2020

Theatre Features

Precocity of Vice: 'Tis Pity She's a Whore returns

Martin White In the family: Sara Vickers and Damien Molony as the incestuous lovers in ''Tis Pity She's a Whore'

John Ford’s tragedy‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, set in the Italian city of Parma, tells the story of a young brother and sister, Giovanni and Annabella, who discover a mutual love for each other and embark on a passionate sexual relationship. The challenges of family, church and society increasingly curtail their freedom to pursue their desires, and the play culminates in a terrifyingly brutal and bloody climax. When Ford wrote the play, probably in the late 1620s, he was in his...

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In the Beginning Was the Word: The King James Bible 400th

theartsdesk

The King James Bible, that great monument in the biography of the English language, is 400 years old this year. To use its own wording, it is as old as the hills, as old as Methuselah. Contemporaneous with Shakespeare, it has given us as many of the richly colourful phrases by which we still live: a nest of vipers, a thorn in the flesh, a fly in the ointment, a lamb to the slaughter, the skin of your teeth, in the twinkling of an eye. And so on and on.

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Rona Munro on writing Little Eagles

Rona Munro

My latest play, Little Eagles, marks the 50th anniversary of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s first orbit around the Earth. Gagarin’s place in history is, quite rightly, assured but little is known about Sergei Korolyov, a brilliant engineer and the chief designer of the Soviet space programme. Koroloyov may not have won the race to put a man on the moon, but he was responsible for a series of extraordinary firsts in the space race, including the first human in space.

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Crawling in the Dark: youth theatre at the Almeida

Alice Vincent Some kids do 'ave 'em: Michael Lewis, Kellie Bright and Tahirah Sharif rehearse 'Crawling in the Dark'

In a play about drugs for a secondary-school audience there is always the potential for cringing. My own experience of theatre for a young audience involved PSHE lessons, overtly moral drama from hammy actors and dated street names for drugs. It was The Magic Roundabout, only more awkward and less entertaining. The Almeida Theatre and its solid Young Friends scheme is working hard to give youth theatre a better image through Crawling in the Dark, a new play which...

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Opinion: Please will you stop talking?

Jasper Rees

I can tell you the year (1983). I can tell you the theatre (the newly opened Barbican), the actors (Gambon, Sher), and the speech (“Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks!”). Hell, I can all but tell you the seat number. Lear and the Fool in the storm stood on a platform mounted on a high pole. It was an arresting way of establishing their elemental isolation. Or it would have been if the gantry gaining the actors access to the platform had been withdrawn.

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Interview: Actor James Purefoy

Hilary Whitney James Purefoy: 'When you’re an actor you’re constantly walking this tightrope of being lauded one minute and completely humiliated the next'

A disproportionate number of column inches seem to have been devoted to James Purefoy’s matinee-idol looks, his ability to carry off a pair of breeches and the amount of time he appears on television naked. However, while he has admittedly spent much of his career swaggering around in period costume - Vanity Fair with Reese Witherspoon, Mark Antony in HBO’s...

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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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Advertising feature

★★★★★

A compulsive, involving, emotionally stirring evening – theatre’s answer to a page-turner.
The Observer, Kate Kellaway

 

Direct from a sold-out season at Kiln Theatre the five star, hit play, The Son, is now playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre for a strictly limited season.

 

★★★★★

This final part of Florian Zeller’s trilogy is the most powerful of all.
The Times, Ann Treneman

 

Written by the internationally acclaimed Florian Zeller (The Father, The Mother), lauded by The Guardian as ‘the most exciting playwright of our time’, The Son is directed by the award-winning Michael Longhurst.

 

Book by 30 September and get tickets from £15*
with no booking fee.


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