fri 25/09/2020

Theatre Features

theartsdesk at the Ravenna Festival 2019 - in heaven with Dante's Purgatorio and Estonian rites

David Nice

Two years ago Ermanna Montanari and Marco Martinelli, the visionary partners who have powered Ravenna's revolutionary Teatro delle Albe since 1986, led local people and international visitors down through the circles of Dante's Inferno. In 2021, the 700th anniversary of the greatest Italian poet's birth, they will take us into the presence of God.


First Person: Damian Cruden on reinvigorating the Bard away from London with Shakespeare's Rose

Damian Cruden

How we deliver culture in the modern day is complex. There are many misconceptions about where and who is capable of leading the nation’s cultural charge. The accepted conceit is that if culture doesn’t emanate from certain places, like London or Stratford, then it couldn’t possibly be of value.


Franco Zeffirelli: 'I had this feeling that I was special'

Jasper Rees

"I am amazed to be still alive. Two hours of medieval torment.” Franco Zeffirelli - who has died at the age of 96 - had spent the day having a lumbar injection to treat a sciatic nerve. You could hear the bafflement in his heavily accented English.


First Person: Matt Henry on fulfilling 'a dream come true' to play the legendary singer Sam Cooke

Matt Henry

When I first read One Night in Miami, I instantly felt a strong connection to the piece and its story.


First Person: Ellen McDougall on finding the commonality in the American classic 'Our Town'

Ellen McDougall

I’ve wanted to direct Thornton Wilder’s Our Town for a long time.

The play is beautifully written and its form feels not only ahead of its time (it was written in 1938), but also extremely powerful for a contemporary audience in an open air theatre.


Trevor Nunn: 'I'm amazed by Harley Granville Barker's prescience and extraordinary modernity'

Sir Trevor Nunn

So here we are with another edition of IQ, and the subject this week is theatre. Question one: which actor originated several leading roles in the plays of George Bernard Shaw, including Marchbanks in Candida, Dubedat in The Doctor's Dilemma, and Jack Tanner in Man and Superman? Answer: Harley Granville Barker.


Robert Hastie: 'a seam of love runs through the play' - interview

Heather Neill

Robert Hastie is a little late for our meeting. Directing Shakespeare's darkest tragedy in London while also running Sheffield Theatres must sometimes cause a logjam of simultaneous demands, but whatever the morning's problem in the north of England, he remains smiling, relaxed, thoughtful and gracious during a break from rehearsals.


Don Quixote rides again, and again

Jasper Rees

It’s a story of a mad old man who imagines himself to be a knight errant. On his quests he sees virgins in prostitutes and castles in roadside inns. His adventures have spawned an adjective that describes delusional idealism, typified by the activity of tilting one’s lance and charging at windmills one has mistaken for an army of giants.


James Graham: 'the country of Shakespeare no longer recognises arts as a core subject'

James Graham

Thank you. It’s an honour to have been asked to speak here today. Although looking at the h100 List this year, I’ve no idea why I’m presumptuously standing here; given the talent, creativity and achievements far surpassing my own within this room. But I’m also excited, and genuinely inspired, to be part of such a group.


Anil Gupta and Richard Pinto: 'We figured Molière would have toyed with it too'

Anil Gupta And

Back in June 2017, in the days when English summertime was a lazy idyll rather than an apocalyptic inferno, RSC artistic director Greg Doran met us at his office in Stratford-upon-Avon and asked whether we wanted to write a new version of Molière’s Tartuffe.



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.

latest in today

Album: Róisín Murphy - Róisín Machine

This is a musical homecoming for Róisín Murphy, both geographically and figuratively. She may have been raised in Dublin and spent her gig-going...

Monsoon review - like something almost being said

Building very promisingly on the achievement of his ...

Album: Corey Taylor - CMFT

The graveyard of tedious musical vanity projects – and the bargain bins of many record shops – is filled with solo albums by the lead vocalists of...

The Cheeky Chappie, The Warren Outdoors review - entertainin...

It’s fitting that there’s another run of Dave Simpson’s terrific play...

theartsdesk Q&A: musician Kevin Rowland - 'it was p...

“Whoargh! Steady lads!” Under that headline, NME reported that Kevin Rowland had “announced his return to the music scene with a bizarre...

Album: Public Enemy – What You Gonna Do When the Grid Goes D...

It will come as a surprise to nobody that the esteemed elders of rap ...