thu 13/08/2020

Theatre Features

Complicite and the Mozart and Salieri of Maths

Jasper Rees

In 1913 a 25-old-year mathematician from Tamil Nadu sailed to England. He journeyed at the behest of a Cambridge professor who had been mesmerised by the display of untutored genius evident in the young Indian’s correspondence. Within four years the visitor had grown so depressed by his isolation that he attempted to throw himself under a train.

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theartsdesk in Berlin: Requiem for a Shaker-Upper

Kate Connolly Christoph Schlingensief: 'described as Germany's most disciplined anarchist'

It is tempting to playfully twist the German language a little to come up with a word that best describes the avant garde German theatre and film director Christoph Schlingensief. A “Wachrüttler”, literally a shaker-upper or rouser, is probably the best title to describe a man who seemed to put every vein and sinew of his body into shaking German society awake. The loss of Schlingensief, who died of lung cancer last Saturday aged 49, has left a gaping hole in the German arts world.

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Shakespeare's Sitcom: Merry Wives Return to The Globe

Jasper Rees

“It isn’t a surprise to me, but it is a surprise to him that it isn’t a surprise to me.” On a Monday morning in the rehearsal room at Shakespeare’s Globe, actors and actresses are getting into character. “You’re acting panic,” clarifies the director, “and when you hear his voice it’s real panic.” Exactly how funny is The Merry Wives of Windsor in the 21st century?

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Site-Specific Theatre: theartsdesk round-up

theartsdesk

There is no consensus about what site-specific theatre actually constitutes. Does it grow organically out of the space in which the theatre piece is performed, and can therefore be staged nowhere else? Or is it no more than any theatre piece which happens away from the constricting formality of the thrust stage or the proscenium arch?

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Justin Fashanu in Extra Time

Hilary Whitney

Ten years after Justin Fashanu - not only the first openly gay footballer, but the first black player to command a £1 million transfer fee - committed suicide in a lock-up garage in the East End, his former agent, Eric Hall, breezily informed the BBC that football was “not a world that attracts gay people". Has anyone told Elton John, Watford FC’s most famous fan?

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Alan Plater, thinking aloud

Adam Sweeting Dramatist Alan Plater, enjoying a good yack

Alan Plater's final drama for television, Joe Maddison's War, is due to be screened on ITV this autumn. Fittingly, it gave the Jarrow-born Plater the opportunity to revisit his background in the north-east. The story is set on Tyneside during World War Two, and reflects the impact of the war on a closely knit group of working-class families. The cast looks a little like Plater's own extended family, since it includes Geordieland stalwarts Robson Green, Kevin Whately and Trevor Fox (...

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The Epic of England: Adapting Morte d'Arthur

Mike Poulton

The RSC’s Morte d’Arthur is not what you’d call a rushed job. John Barton, the company’s advisory director, has been on a mission to see the work performed for at least 50 years. The director Greg Doran had also been wanting to stage Malory’s epic for many years. He asked me to produce a version when we were working together on the York Mystery Plays in the Minster, to mark the Millennium. We’ve been putting it together ever since, and now it's finally opening.

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Mick Gordon on directing The Tempest

Mick Gordon

The central character in Shakespeare's final play, The Tempest, is a betrayed Duke called Prospero. Prospero means omniscient panic: an apt name for an all-powerful creator of tempests and general wreaker of revenge.

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theartsdesk in Brighton: Festival Beside the Seaside

bella Todd

Site-specific theatre spread from artists’ studios to police cells with the realisation that all the city (and a wee chunk of neighbouring Newhaven) is a stage. Dreamthinkspeak’s Before I Sleep (pictured below), a promenade Festival commission based on The Cherry Orchard, was staged in the derelict Co-op building on London Road.

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Iram: Shalom Aleichem's shtetl life comes to London

james Woodall `Holy and not so holy; superstitious, avaricious, ambitious, loving and cruel': the vanished Jews of Iram

Tonight at the Barbican's Pit, kicking off a run of ten performances, a rather unusual piece of theatre opens. It's not a big play, it probably won't make great waves and it does involve reading surtitles. Called Iram, it's an Israeli adaptation, in Hebrew, of the stories of the Yiddish writer Shalom Aleichem. Outside Israel - excluding, at a pinch, bookish circles in transatlantic Jewish communities (Aleichem emigrated from the Ukraine to the US before the First World War) - this...

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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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