sat 27/05/2017

First Person

A Time to Live: 'I did not want to reveal at the end who was alive or dead'

Do you ever wonder what you’d do if you were given a terminal diagnosis and told you may only have months to live? That question is what my latest film is all about. It may sound maudlin and sad but I can assure you it isn’t. And the reason for that...

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'It was probably the most effective act of resistance in the history of the Third Reich'

“I’ve got a terrible confession to make”, I said to my long-suffering partner who had been away for the weekend with our young daughter. “Oh yes,” I could see her thinking, “what have you done now?” “Well, I’ve written a play about the Nazi...

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'What did you do?' Actors reveal their Shakespearean secrets

Much of the brilliance of Shakespeare lies in the openness, or ambiguity, of his texts. Whereas a novelist will often describe a character, an action or a scene in the most minute detail, Shakespeare knew that his scenarios would only be fully...

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Fracked! Alistair Beaton on his anti-fracking satire

If you’d asked me five years ago whether I might one day write a comedy about fracking, I’d have wondered whether you were entirely in possession of your faculties. Not because fracking sounds dull and boring (although let’s be honest, it does), but...

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There's more to Karen Blixen than Meryl Streep

Karen Blixen (1885-1962), the prolific Danish storyteller, is perhaps most immediately recognised for the portrayal of her and her works on the big screen, above all by Meryl Streep in Out of Africa. But her own story, and her place in the literary...

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'Backstabbing, betrayal and love': Ryan Craig on Filthy Business

The monster has come alive and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. Thirteen actors playing three generations of a very explosive family arrive in full period costume. Towering Dexion shelving units, heaving with foam and cushions and fabrics and...

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Refugees and referendums: Ramin Gray on staging Aeschylus's The Suppliant Women

I’m sitting in a rehearsal room in Manchester preparing an Actors Touring Company’s new version of Aeschylus’ The Suppliant Women, listening to a group of young women raise their voices in praise of “untameable Artemis”. She’s the goddess of...

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'My father Sabahattin Ali is being rediscovered'

I was 11 years old when my father was killed. A body was found near the border between Turkey and Bulgaria. According to authorities it belonged to my father even though the corpse was decomposed beyond recognition. My mother and his mother were not...

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Dr Michael Scott: How to make the most of globalisation

The Guardian called Brexit “a rejection of globalisation.” That’s as may be, but the reality is we cannot, however much we might want to, check out of the globalised world in which we live. Globalisation has defined the 20th and 21st century and...

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Natalie Clein: 'The cello is part of my being'

The cello is so deeply engrained in my fingers, my imagination, it’s part of my being – my life would feel amputated without it. You fall in love with the instrument, the music, and then you embark on the life-long task of trying to get closer to...

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Radio Cymru: Penblwydd Hapus (= Happy Birthday)

Forty years ago, BBC Radio Cymru – the one and only Welsh-language national radio station – was born. It broke free from the world of opt-outs, where you might emerge from listening, say, to The Archers and stumble across a Welsh-language...

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'Hamlet’s actors are kings of infinite space'

“I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, Were it not that I have bad dreams…” 2016, with all its protectionist voting, has been the year I’ve taken my production of Hamlet – with just six actors, a sofa and a drum...

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