wed 24/04/2024

Theatre Interviews

theartsdesk Q&A: Actor Simon Callow

graeme Thomson

Simon Callow is on the phone when I arrive at his five-star digs, booming his apparently considerable misgivings vis-a-vis appearing in some reality TV exercise in which he will be asked to tutor disadvantaged kids in the mysterious arts of Shakespeare. “They keep saying it will be great”, he rumbles, “but it will only be great if it’s great.” And Amen to that.

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Q&A Special: Writer-composer Richard Thomas

Ismene Brown 'Outraged complaints, not family joy - that's Thomas's area': So what will 'Shoes' be like?

Richard Thomas wrote Jerry Springer, The Opera, as everyone knows - and he is soon to unveil Anna Nicole, the opera. Can this be the same Richard Thomas who’s written a dance show at Sadler’s Wells, with a cheesy poster, called Shoes? It hardly seems likely. Flames, expletives, scabrous lines, suppurating satire - that’s what makes a Richard Thomas show, not (surely) tap-dancing in platforms and ballet-dancing in flip-flops?

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theartsdesk Q&A: Stage Designer Es Devlin

Hilary Whitney

For the past five years British stage designer Es Devlin has been creating extraordinarily ambitious and imaginative sets for some of the biggest crowd-pullers in the music industry, from Take That to Lady Gaga. But this week she returns to her theatrical roots with a new play, Pieces of Vincent, by David Watson at the small but prestigious Arcola Theatre in London.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Playwright Howard Brenton

Carole Woddis

Political playwright Howard Brenton (b. 1942) is always in the process of being "rediscovered". Yet at the same time he has been at the heart of British theatrical life for the past 40 years, since his debut in 1969 with Christie in Love. True, he has spent the odd decade out of the theatrical limelight - a few years ago, he "went out of fashion" in his own phrase – and then he just happened to pen some of the liveliest scripts on television with the BBC’s spy drama series, ...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Writer Willy Russell

Jasper Rees

No one understands escapism like Willy Russell. Either side of 1980, he wrote two plays about working-class Liverpool women in flight from a humdrum existence. In one a young hairdresser seeks fulfilment through a literary education with the Open University. In the other, a middle-aged housewife has an island-holiday romance. As films, Educating Rita and Shirley Valentine earned Oscar nominations for, respectively, Julie Walters and Pauline Collins.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Theatre Director Dominic Dromgoole

Matt Wolf

Dominic Dromgoole (b. Oct.1963) had directed professionally precisely one Shakespeare play - Troilus and Cressida for the Oxford Stage Company, with a then little-known Matt Lucas as Thersites - when he was appointed artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe, the Thames-side playhouse that has defied nay-sayers to become a London theatrical fixture since opening to the public in 1997. Could the amiably scruffy one-time leader of west London's tiny Bush, a space given over exclusively...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Composer Alan Menken

Jasper Rees

For many years the composer who made his name with Little Shop of Horrors abandoned the theatre to work in Hollywood. He returned to Broadway in 2008 with an enlarged songbook for The Little Mermaid, but it closed within a year. Later came the gospel-tinged Leap of Faith, based on the 1992 film starring Steve Martin as a faith-healing charlatan, and the stage version of the Whoopi Goldberg vehicle Sister Act (pictured below right).

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Interview: Opera and Theatre Director Luc Bondy

Jasper Rees

Last September Luc Bondy watched his name speed around the world, if not for the most desirable reasons. His Tosca opened the season at the Met, a more grounded, less opulent replacement for one of the opera house’s many much loved productions by Franco Zeffirelli. As Bondy walked onstage to take his directorial bow, a chorus of boos crescendoed from the audience.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Playwright David Greig

Hilary Whitney

A new play by David Greig opens at the Hampstead Theatre for the Royal Shakespeare Company next week. A theatre director as well as playwright, Greig (b. 1969) is one of the most prolific and artistically ambitious playwrights of his generation and a key figure in the current burgeoning of Scottish theatre. In addition to an extraordinarily diverse range of plays such as Europe (Traverse Theatre, 1994), The Cosmonaut’s Last Message to the Woman He Once Loved in the Former ...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Actor Lesley Sharp

Matt Wolf

Lesley Sharp could be thought of as an actor's actor: a talent equally at home in theatre, cinema and TV who has been impressing audiences and critics regularly for a quarter-century without quite becoming a star name.

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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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