mon 22/07/2019

obituary

Franco Zeffirelli: 'I had this feeling that I was special'

"I am amazed to be still alive. Two hours of medieval torment.” Franco Zeffirelli - who has died at the age of 96 - had spent the day having a lumbar injection to treat a sciatic nerve. You could hear the bafflement in his heavily accented English....

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Obituary: Bibi Andersson 1935-2019

"One talks, the other doesn’t" is about as crude a description as could be of the Swedish masterpiece, Persona. Profoundly experimental even today, Ingmar Bergman’s film was at base about the intense, vampiric encounter between a mute actress...

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Q&A Special: Actor Bruno Ganz on playing Hitler

There is nothing quite like the Iffland-Ring in this country. The property of the Austrian state, for two centuries it has been awarded to the most important German-speaking actor of the age, who after a suitable period nominates his successor and...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Theatre Producer Elyse Dodgson

The Royal Court Theatre has long been a leader in new British drama writing. Thanks to Elyse Dodgson, who has died aged 73, it has built up an international programme like few others in the arts, anywhere. At the theatre, Elyse headed up readings,...

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Montserrat Caballé (1933-2018): from Bellini to 'Barcelona'

Her special claim to fame was the most luminous pianissimo in the business, but that often went hand in velvet glove with fabulous breath control and a peerless sense of bel canto line. To know Maria de Montserrat Viviana Concepción Caballé i Folch...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Chas and Dave

Chas Hodges has died at the age of 74, bringing to an end a career that reaches back to the very beginnings of British pop music. He was best known as one half of Chas and Dave. The duo he formed with Dave Peacock were the poster boys of rockney, a...

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'I read French from left to right and Arabic from right to left': remembering Algerian rebel rocker Rachid Taha

Rachid Taha, rockeur and provocateur, died this week of a heart attack. He was one of the last of the rebel rockers, a devotee of both The Clash and Oum Khalsoum. He brought rock and Algerian music together in a fabulously...

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'You won't be able to handle this lady': remembering Fenella Fielding

Fenella Fielding - “one of the finest female impersonators in the business,” joked Eric Morecambe – has died at the age of 90. Most actors of such a great vintage tend to be forgotten, but not Fielding. Last year she celebrated her big birthday with...

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Neil Simon: 'I don’t think you want it really dark'

Asked to nominate the most important playwright in America since the war, theatregoers would probably plump for Arthur Miller, Edward Albee or David Mamet. But in terms of sheer popularity there is another candidate. Neil Simon’s wiseacre comedies,...

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Brian Friel, the private playwright of Ballybeg

Brian Friel, who died in 2015 at the age of 86, was a shy man who shunned interviews, keeping his powder dry for the work and shrouding his personal life in mystique. Not that he never opened his mouth at all. When Dancing at Lughnasa (1990) was...

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Milos Forman: 'The less you know about yourself, the happier you are'

The second thing I noticed about Miloš Forman, who has died at the age of 86, was the spectacular imperfection of his English. All those decades in America could not muffle his foghorn of a Bohemian accent, nor assimilate the refugees from Czech...

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Sir Matthew Bourne remembers Scott Ambler 1960-2018 – 'A prince among men'

Nobody deserves the title of New Adventures “legend” more than Scott Ambler; nobody is remembered more affectionately – the generosity of spirit, the many kindnesses, the fierce loyalty, the tears of pride in company notes sessions, the endearing...

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