fri 23/08/2019

Theatre Features

The restoration of Nell Gwynn

Jessica Swale

I never thought I’d be a writer. Writers are people with something to say, big ideas, agendas. I was a director, through and through. I love working with actors, playing with music and text, thinking in three dimensions. The solitary confinement of a writer’s life filled me with dread.

Read more...

First Person: Playing Jane

Madeleine Worrall

I am writing this in the sun after many days on the trot spent from morning until 11 at night in Jane Eyre’s wonderful new home at the National Theatre. During previews we work every day, refining, changing, have a quick dinner break and then perform a preview performance. It’s the culmination of over two years of living with this story, since Sally Cookson first contacted me in late spring 2013 to discuss her plan to turn this extraordinary book into a piece of theatre.

Read more...

First Person: Dear Lupin

Michael Simkins

When I got the call enquiring whether I’d like to adapt The Sunday Times Humour Book of the Year Dear Lupin for the stage, the first thing I did was to thank my lucky stars. Dear Lupin: Letters to a Wayward Son is a collection of real letters, written over 40 years, by racing correspondent Roger Mortimer to his wayward son Charlie (christened “Lupin” after Mr Pooter’s disreputable son in Diary of a Nobody).

Read more...

Extract: The Time Traveller’s Guide to British Theatre

Aleks Sierz And

Theatre is one of the glories of British culture, a melting pot of creativity and innovation. Beginning with the coronation of Elizabeth I and ending with the televised crowning of the current Queen Elizabeth, our The Time Traveller’s Guide to British Theatre tells the compelling story of the movers and shakers, the buildings, the playwrights, the plays and the audiences that make British theatre what it is today.

Read more...

Positive: Introducing a comedy about HIV/AIDS

theartsdesk

Of all the art forms, theatre has been most attentive to the story of HIV/AIDS. Leading the way in America there was Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart (1985) and Tony Kushner’s Angels in America (1991). In the UK the most resonant exploration of the virus’s devastating impact was Kevin Elyot’s My Night with Reg (1994).

Read more...

Keeping up with the Joneses

Jasper Rees

Gruff Rhys has called it the Great Welsh Media Gang-Bang. This year everyone who is anyone (who can get funding) has hopped on a plane for Argentina to follow in the footsteps of the 150 Welsh men, women and children who emigrated to Patagonia 150 years ago – broadcasters, musicians, politicians, journalists, comedians.

Read more...

Arise, Sir Van, Sir Lenny and Sir Kevin. Dame who?

Jasper Rees

If the honours system is used to award deserving individuals, its other job is to provide an aspirational marker for the country as a whole. This, it tells us twice a year, is who we want to be: inclusive, non-sexist, colour-blind. From the look of the awards dished out in the arts for the Queen’s birthday honours list, in the summer of 2015 it looks very much as if we want to be a society which favours male privilege. Don’t hold the front page.

Read more...

'You must accept that muscle is machinery'

theartsdesk

Basketball doesn’t often stray onto the arts pages. Cinema pays the occasional visit. White Men Can’t Jump starred Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson as a pair of slamdunking hustlers. Hoop Dreams followed two inner-city college kids in Chicago as they tried to turn pro. The hero of Almodovar’s Live Flesh was a wheelchair-bound basketball player embodied by Javier Bardem. But what about theatre?

Read more...

First Person: Learning the lessons

Jonathan Lewis

A Level Playing Field is the first play in my trilogy Education Education Education. The trilogy is my response to the black cloud of exams which has arrived in our household every spring for the last nine years – just as the sun was beginning to shine.

Read more...

Brighton Festival: The Locations That Make the Festival

Thomas H Green

Andrew Comben, CEO of the Brighton Festival, chooses ten locations that have resonance with the annual event. He talks about their past and future but, most particularly, what will be happening this May

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?

latest in today

Prom 46: Kanneh-Mason, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla review - brillia...

Let us never tire of singing the praises of the Proms, nor ever take them for granted. For two...

CD: Tanya Tucker - While I'm Livin'

When Johnny Cash and Rick Rubin released the former’s stripped back, soul-bearing American Recordings in 1994 the impact was massive. Not...

Edinburgh International Festival 2019: Breaking the Waves, S...

Love him or hate him, Lars von Trier has time and again made the unpalatable and the improbable real and shatteringly moving in a succession of...

Bauhaus 100, BBC Four review - a well-made film about the ma...

The Bauhaus school and its subsequent influence make an extraordinary story, and this...

Eels, Hammersmith Apollo review – dark, swampy and endlessly...

"Would you mind if I jammed on my new... castanets?" We’re halfway through Eels’ triumphant set at Hammersmith's...

CD: Sleater-Kinney - The Center Won't Hold

This album’s title began as a reaction to fractiousness under...

Heartbreak Holiday, BBC One review - can it match up to Love...

The BBC’s version of Love Island has familiar ingredients:...

Pain and Glory review - masterful meditation on age and art

The Almodovar who made his name as an all-out provocateur in the Eighties considers that wild art’s becalmed far...