wed 20/03/2019

Theatre Features

First Person: Tackling FGM

Charlene James

I knew that if I was going to write a play about female genital mutilation, I would have to try and understand why any mother or grandmother would make their child undergo such a brutal procedure. In my research, I read many articles and accounts of young women who were living with the emotional and physical consequences of FGM.

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'We played to the Queen of Denmark. We did a turn for Barack Obama'

Matthew Romain

A few days after two Taliban rockets had quivered in the Afghan skies above us, I found myself looking up at an altogether different set of heavens in the Sistine Chapel. Moments of reflection on this tour were, out of necessity, brief; our schedule, out of necessity, hectic. Contrasts were commonplace. Vatican City was our 191st country, and our two-year tour to play Hamlet to every nation in the world was rolling rapidly to its conclusion.

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Shakespeare: The Top 10 Deaths

Thomas H Green

Today marks 400 years since the death of William Shakespeare. To celebrate this and, indeed, put the two together, the Brighton Festival 2016 commissioned The Complete Deaths, a show based around the 74 deaths that take place onstage in the work of the most renowned playwright in history. It's a collaborative effort between physical theatre group Spymonkey and theatrical innovator Tim Crouch, both acclaimed Brighton talents.

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Arnold Wesker: His Life and Career in 10 Scenes

Jasper Rees

Of all the dramas with the name Arnold Wesker attached to them, the most absorbing ran as long as The Mousetrap, but offstage rather than on. It was in the style of a remorselessly black farce, in which the little man as hero suffers an endless series of blows, reverses and pratfalls.

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'What’s he doing - this kid - where’s he going?'

Leo Butler

I notice a teenage boy hanging around the bus stops near where I live in south-east London. I’m reminded of myself when I was 17, after I’d left school with hardly any qualifications, looking for something to do, suddenly lost without the day-to-day structure of lessons, breaks and home-time.  

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10 Questions for Artist Marc Rees

Thomas H Green

Marc Rees (b 1966) is an interdisciplinary artist-performer from Wales whose works are renowned for imaginitively mixing media, as well as for their underlying sense of fun. Over the years he has been based in Berlin, Amsterdam and Canada, and now runs the collaborative arts company RIPE (Rees International Project Enterprizes).

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Bon voyage, Jean Anouilh!

Anthony Weigh

In the icy early hours of 1 February 1918 a bizarre figure was seen wandering aimlessly along the platform of a railway station in Lyon. A solider. Lost. When asked his name he answered, “Anthelme Mangin”. Other than that he had no memory of who he was, of where he had been, of where he was going, or of what had happened to him prior to arriving on that station platform on that frigid February night.

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The police stopped 'To be or not to be' and asked to see our permits

Matthew Romain

Za’atari set a precedent. Our performance in the Syrian refugee camp in Jordan became a template for how to perform Hamlet in every nation in the world – in a world that rendered travel to Syria, Yemen, Libya and Central African Republic out of the question. And it paved the way for our most ad hoc and unconventional performance yet.

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Seven sides of Alan Rickman

theartsdesk

When sorrows come they come not in single spies. It is a bad week to be 69. Hard on the heels of David Bowie's death from cancer comes Alan Rickman's. He was an actor who radiated a sinful allure that first gave theatregoers the hot flushes back in 1985 when he played the Vicomte de Valmont in Christopher Hampton's Les Liaisons Dangereues.

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Best of 2015: Theatre

Matt Wolf

Say what you will about London theatre during 2015, and by my reckoning it was a pretty fine year, there certainly was a lot of it. I can't recall a year that brought with it a comparable volume of openings, not least during September and December, this year's pre-Christmas slate of major press nights roughly double the same time period in 2014. And as proof that people were actually attending the stuff on offer, empirical evidence as ever was the best guide.

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