sat 21/09/2019

Theatre Features

'The kaleidoscope of an entire lifetime of memories'

Maggie Bain

When director Bruce Guthrie first gave me the script for Man to Man by Manfred Karge, I was immediately mesmerised by the language, each of the 27 scenes leapt off the page. Some are a few short sentences, other pages long; every one a perfectly formed fragment from a unique and potentially broken mind, flipping from prose to poetry.

Read more...

The 'self-experimenter': Howard Brenton on Strindberg in crisis

Howard Brenton

I wrote The Blinding Light to try to understand the mental and spiritual crisis that August Strindberg suffered in February 1896. Deeply disturbed, plagued by hallucinations, he holed up in various hotel rooms in Paris, most famously in the Hotel Orfila in the Rue d’Assas.

Read more...

Christopher Shinn: 'I did not know if I would be alive and someone wanted me to write a play'

Christopher Shinn

Plays do not usually come into being in isolation. When I search my gmail archive I see that my first communication with Robert Icke about a commission came in April 2012. Rupert Goold and Rob were still at Headlong then. I was busy so asked that we keep the conversation going but not commit to anything.

Read more...

h.Club 100 Awards: Theatre and Performance - is this a new golden age for the stage?

Matt Wolf

Could we be inhabiting a new golden age of theatre? It sometimes seems that way, not least in the blurring of boundaries that increasingly is the norm. Few might have guessed, for instance, that the author of the hottest play in years – Jack Thorne, who wrote Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – would be a by-product of the Royal Court.

Read more...

When Sam Shepard was a Londoner

Jasper Rees

Sam Shepard came to live in London in 1971, nursing ambitions to be a rock musician. When he went home three years later, he was soon to be found on the drumstool of Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder tour. But in between, not long after he arrived in London, he was waylaid by the burgeoning fringe scene, and the rock god project took a back seat.

Read more...

'You win in the end!' Deborah Bruce introduces her play 'The House They Grew Up In'

Deborah Bruce

My inspiration for The House They Grew Up In, my new play at Chichester Festival Theatre came about five years ago, in the café of an art gallery near my house.

Read more...

Matthew Dunster on adapting 'A Tale of Two Cities'

Matthew Dunster

When you are adapting a novel like A Tale of Two Cities, it's a privilege to sit with a great piece of writing for a considerable amount of time. You also feel secure (and a bit cheeky) in the knowledge that another writer has already done most of the work.

Read more...

theartsdesk at The Hospital Club

theartsdesk

The Arts Desk is delighted to announce a new partnership with The Hospital Club in Covent Garden. There are plenty of private members club in central London, but The Hospital Club is uniquely a creative hub with its own television studio, gallery and performance space, which for certain events are open to non-members.

Read more...

'It was probably the most effective act of resistance in the history of the Third Reich'

Stephen Unwin

“I’ve got a terrible confession to make”, I said to my long-suffering partner who had been away for the weekend with our young daughter. “Oh yes,” I could see her thinking, “what have you done now?” “Well, I’ve written a play about the Nazi persecution of the disabled,” was my shifty reply. The truth is it’s such a disgusting subject, I was almost ashamed of what I’d done.

Read more...

'What did you do?' Actors reveal their Shakespearean secrets

Julian Curry

Much of the brilliance of Shakespeare lies in the openness, or ambiguity, of his texts. Whereas a novelist will often describe a character, an action or a scene in the most minute detail, Shakespeare knew that his scenarios would only be fully fleshed out when actors perform them. He was the first writer to create character out of language. Falstaff has an idiosyncratic way of speaking that is quite distinct from Juliet, as she does from Shylock, and he from Lady Macbeth.

Read more...

Pages

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

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

theartsdesk Radio Show 24 - hot subcontinental sounds with...

This episode of Peter Culshaw's occasional global music radio update features guest interview Viveick Rajagopalan, one...

The Best Films Out Now

There are films to meet every taste in theartsdesk's guide to the best movies currently on release. In our considered opinion, any of the titles...

10 Questions for author Martin Gayford

Over the past four decades Martin Gayford, The Spectator’s art critic, has travelled the world, been published in an amazing range of...

CD: Rachid Taha - Je suis africain

Rachid Taha, sadly felled by a heart attack just over a year ago, has come back from the dead! He could not sound more lively than on this vibrant...

Ólafsson, Hallé, Mäkelä, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review...

The Hallé Orchestra has a good track record when it comes to bringing in young talents with exciting prospects,...

The Permanent Way, The Vaults review – devastating resurrect...

The Permanent Way first roared its way into the national consciousness in 2003 when, after a triumphant opening in York, it toured...

The Cameron Years, BBC One review - quite interesting but a...

David Cameron has been a recluse since the fateful days of June 2016 when the...

Count Arthur Strong, Leeds City Varieties review - stargazin...

Count Arthur Strong, the character created by Steve Delaney, started life in the late 1990s and  became a cult figure at the...