sun 19/09/2021

Theatre Interviews

theartsdesk Q&A: Actress Siân Phillips

Jasper Rees

Siân Phillips (b 1933) belongs to a remarkable generation of British actresses. They include Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Eileen Atkins, Vanessa Redgrave, Joan Plowright and Sheila Hancock. Although just as indomitable a presence on stage and screen, Phillips is set apart from them not only by dint of her Welshness – Welsh was her mother language as a child – but also by the curious shape of her career.

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Dramatist Lee Hall

Hilary Whitney

Like his most famous creation, Billy Elliot, Lee Hall left his native North East to pursue what turned out to be a glittering career in the arts. Although I can’t speak for the fictitious Billy, Hall has certainly never forgotten his working-class roots, which continue to inform and inspire his work.

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Director Mike Leigh

Jasper Rees

There is somewhere called Leighland, where people may be ineffably sad or existentially cheerful, old or young, live in a high rise or a semi. But they are all recognisably inhabitants of the world famously conjured up over a long period of clandestine development in the now time-honoured fashion. Nothing and everything changes in the work of Mike Leigh (b 1943).

Read more...

Q&A Special: On Recreating South Pacific

Jasper Rees

It was early in 1949. South Pacific, the follow-up to Rodgers and Hammerstein’s huge wartime hit Carousel, had entered the try-out phase before hitting New York.

Read more...

Q&A Special: Magician Paul Kieve

Jasper Rees 'You are flying by the seat of your pants': Paul Kieve on stage illusion

Hollywood has turned the special effect into a birthright for a generation of movie-goers. “How did they do that?” is no longer a question you hear in the multiplex. In the theatre it’s another thing entirely. Whatever the reception for the show in its entirety, the musical version of The Lord of the Rings did contain one remarkable illusion in which Bilbo Baggins vanished before the audience’s eyes. Even...

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Director Emma Rice

Hilary Whitney

Based in a collection of barns on a cliff top near Mevagissey on the south Cornish coast, Kneehigh theatre company has always looked defiantly away from London and out towards the sea and the wider world. This streak of independence runs right through the heart of the company, which produces extraordinarily inventive, highly visual and sometimes surreal work that has been seen all over the world, from Australia to Colombia to Broadway and, yes, the West End.

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Writer/Director David Leland

Hilary Whitney David Leland: 'There was a lot of me in Trevor. I was getting rid of a lot of anger in my system about what I went through in terms of education - or lack of it'

David Leland (b 1947) has worked extensively both sides of the Atlantic but he is best known, both as a writer and a director, for his shrewd observations of ordinary people struggling against the constraints and hypocrisy of the accepted social mores of English life in films such as Mona Lisa (1986), Personal Services (1987) and Wish You Were Here (1987). However, it was Made in Britain (1982), a television play written by Leland for Channel 4 and...

Read more...

Q&A Special: Actor Nigel Lindsay

Jasper Rees

His only previous visit to musical theatre was as Nathan Detroit in the Donmar’s West End production of Guys and Dolls. And now Lindsay sits in the sumptuous dressing room – it feels more like a small flat – at Drury Lane once occupied, he is proud to note, by the likes of Rex Harrison. The first role in which he caught the eye was as Mugsy, the eternally optimistic victim in Patrick Marber’s poker play Dealer’s Choice.

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Actor Christopher Eccleston

Hilary Whitney

Christopher Eccleston’s performances have a raw-boned, visceral quality which makes him a sometimes unsettling - but always compelling - actor to watch.

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Artist/Dramatist John Byrne

graeme Thomson

"I’m very hard to categorise,” says John Byrne (b 1940), tugging at his magnificent moustache. A restless, defiant, shape-shifting polymath who was an exponent of multimedia long before computers ruled the world, Byrne's singular career is perhaps doomed to gentle underappreciation simply because he can do so much so well. “If you’re hard to categorise they don’t like that." He peers into his coffee as though looking for something. "Whoever 'they' are.”

Read more...

Pages

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

Reissue CDs Weekly: Help Yourself - Passing Through, The Com...

“Reaffirmation” is the sound of a San Francisco ballroom in 1968. The 12-minute long track opens mysteriously with what might be a Mellotron on...

Podium odes to joy: conductors at the 2021 BBC Proms

They must have been especially overjoyed to be back in front of (or with back to the greater part of) a live audience. But inspiring musicians is...

Rose Plays Julie review - a sombre story of rape, adoption a...

Rose (Ann Skelly; The Nevers) is adopted. The name on her birth certificate is Julie and the possibility of a different identity –...

The Magic Flute, Royal Opera review - all but a guarantee of...

Rarely has the revolving door of opera twirled so efficiently. David...

Album: Sufjan Stevens & Angelo De Augustine - A Beginner...

For those amongst you who listened obsessively to the soundtrack of Call Me By Your Name, the idea of an album by cult...

Hofesh Shechter Company, Double Murder, Sadler's Wells...

If I had to sum up in a single impression the work I’ve seen of Brighton-based, Israeli-born choreographer...

The Starling, Netflix review - a slender idea unsatisfyingly...

Despite an alluring cast which includes Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd and Kevin Kline, The Starling is doomed to be remembered, if at...

Helen Frankenthaler: Radical Beauty, Dulwich Picture Gallery...

When you stand in front of Helen Frankenthaler’s Freefall, 1993, in your mind you drop into its gorgeous, blue abyss. It is enveloping,...

Album: Lil Nas X - Montero

Lil Nas X is good at being a pop star. Like, what could pop culture need more than a young, flamboyant, witty gay rapper from the deep south who...