sun 26/05/2019

Theatre Features

First Person: Ellen McDougall on finding the commonality in the American classic 'Our Town'

Ellen McDougall

I’ve wanted to direct Thornton Wilder’s Our Town for a long time.

The play is beautifully written and its form feels not only ahead of its time (it was written in 1938), but also extremely powerful for a contemporary audience in an open air theatre.

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Trevor Nunn: 'I'm amazed by Harley Granville Barker's prescience and extraordinary modernity'

Sir Trevor Nunn

So here we are with another edition of IQ, and the subject this week is theatre. Question one: which actor originated several leading roles in the plays of George Bernard Shaw, including Marchbanks in Candida, Dubedat in The Doctor's Dilemma, and Jack Tanner in Man and Superman? Answer: Harley Granville Barker.

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Robert Hastie: 'a seam of love runs through the play' - interview

Heather Neill

Robert Hastie is a little late for our meeting. Directing Shakespeare's darkest tragedy in London while also running Sheffield Theatres must sometimes cause a logjam of simultaneous demands, but whatever the morning's problem in the north of England, he remains smiling, relaxed, thoughtful and gracious during a break from rehearsals.

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Don Quixote rides again, and again

Jasper Rees

It’s a story of a mad old man who imagines himself to be a knight errant. On his quests he sees virgins in prostitutes and castles in roadside inns. His adventures have spawned an adjective that describes delusional idealism, typified by the activity of tilting one’s lance and charging at windmills one has mistaken for an army of giants.

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James Graham: 'the country of Shakespeare no longer recognises arts as a core subject'

James Graham

Thank you. It’s an honour to have been asked to speak here today. Although looking at the h100 List this year, I’ve no idea why I’m presumptuously standing here; given the talent, creativity and achievements far surpassing my own within this room. But I’m also excited, and genuinely inspired, to be part of such a group.

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Anil Gupta and Richard Pinto: 'We figured Molière would have toyed with it too'

Anil Gupta And

Back in June 2017, in the days when English summertime was a lazy idyll rather than an apocalyptic inferno, RSC artistic director Greg Doran met us at his office in Stratford-upon-Avon and asked whether we wanted to write a new version of Molière’s Tartuffe.

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Jeanie O'Hare: 'The play taught me how European we really are'

Jeanie O'Hare

I admit it took me a while to give myself permission to do this project. We English are very squeamish about altering Shakespeare. Our cousins in Germany thrive on radical undoings of our scared son, but we cross our arms and say no. 

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Sir Peter Hall: a day of thanksgiving and celebration for a colossus of culture

Matt Wolf

Sir Peter Hall had no ordinary life, as might be expected from the director who more than any other defined the British theatre of the last half of the 20th century. The same can be said of the unforgettable two-part send-off he received exactly a year on from his death in 2017, age 86.

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

Jasper Rees

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 a memoir.

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theartsdesk at bOing! International Family Festival - the best of European children's theatre

Katie Colombus

Theatre for children can often be dismissed – a box to tick for parents who want to keep up with cultural practices; a job for actors who haven't quite made it in the mainstream; theatre that mums and dads want to see that works for their little ones, too.

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