sat 23/06/2018

directors

Translations, National Theatre review - an Irish classic returns with cascading force

What sort of physical upgrade can a play withstand? That question will have occurred to devotees of Brian Friel's Translations, a play that has thrived in smaller venues (London's Hampstead and Donmar, over time) and had trouble in larger spaces: a...

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Tartuffe, Theatre Royal Haymarket review - dual-language production loses its way

The idea of producing a classic play in a mix of two languages is pretty odd. What kind of audience is a bilingual version of Molière’s best-known comedy aiming at, you wonder. Homesick émigrés? British francophiles with rusty A-level French?...

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Ian Rickson: 'I'm an introvert, I want to stop talking about myself' - interview

Ian Rickson’s route into theatre was not conventional. Growing up in south London, he discovered plays largely through reading them as a student at Essex University. During those years he stood on a picketline in the miners’ strike, and proudly...

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Tully review - Charlize Theron plumps for sentiment

Inside Tully – or maybe inside Charlize Theron’s massively pregnant belly – is a darker, more daring film trying to get out. There are startlingly original moments, but it’s as if writer Diablo Cody and director Jason Reitman, creators of Juno and...

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Absolute Hell, National Theatre review - high gloss show saves over-rated classic

Rodney Ackland must be the most well-known forgotten man in postwar British theatre. His legend goes like this: Absolute Hell was originally titled The Pink Room, and first staged in 1952 at the Lyric Hammersmith, where it got a critical mauling....

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Wake, Birmingham Opera Company review - power to the people

“Would you like a veil?” asked a steward, offering a length of black gauze, and when you’re at a production by Birmingham Opera Company it’s usually wisest to say yes. You get used to it - the frantic Google-mapping to locate the venue; the hike...

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Macbeth, National Theatre - Rufus Norris goes for drab, gory and tricksy

Fair is foul and foul is drab, gory and tricksy in Rufus Norris’s first stab at Shakespeare direction at the National Theatre, Macbeth. It embodies the play's most clichéd quotation (the one about sound, fury, and nada), though whether that's...

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Summer and Smoke, Almeida Theatre - exquisite renaissance of Tennessee Williams's neglected play

That this 1948 Tennessee Williams play is rarely performed seems nothing short of a travesty, thanks to the awe-inspiring case made for it by Rebecca Frecknall’s exquisite Almeida production. Aided by the skyrocketing Patsy Ferran, it also makes a...

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Peter Hall: A Reminiscence

Theatre artist, political agitator, cultural advocate: Sir Peter Hall was all these and more in a career that defies easy encapsulation beyond stating the obvious: we won’t see his like again any time soon. He helped shape my experience and...

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Extract: Peter Brook - Tip of the Tongue: Reflections on Language and Meaning

A long time ago when I was very young, a voice hidden deep within me whispered, "Don’t take anything for granted. Go and see for yourself." This little nagging murmur has led me to so many journeys, so many explorations, trying to live together...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Director Peter Kosminsky, Part 1

The name will never trip off the public tongue. Millions watch his work - most recently his superb realisation of Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall. But there is no hall of fame for television directors. It’s only on the big screen that they get to be big...

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Sunday Book: Nicholas Hytner - Balancing Acts

After the first preview of Mike Leigh’s play Two Thousand Years at the National Theatre, a young Guardian reporter accosted an audience member for his view of the play. The audience member gave his name as Nigel Shapps, his...

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