fri 22/06/2018

Theatre Features

The 'self-experimenter': Howard Brenton on Strindberg in crisis

Howard Brenton

I wrote The Blinding Light to try to understand the mental and spiritual crisis that August Strindberg suffered in February 1896. Deeply disturbed, plagued by hallucinations, he holed up in various hotel rooms in Paris, most famously in the Hotel Orfila in the Rue d’Assas.

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Christopher Shinn: 'I did not know if I would be alive and someone wanted me to write a play'

Christopher Shinn

Plays do not usually come into being in isolation. When I search my gmail archive I see that my first communication with Robert Icke about a commission came in April 2012. Rupert Goold and Rob were still at Headlong then. I was busy so asked that we keep the conversation going but not commit to anything.

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h.Club 100 Awards: Theatre and Performance - is this a new golden age for the stage?

Matt Wolf

Could we be inhabiting a new golden age of theatre? It sometimes seems that way, not least in the blurring of boundaries that increasingly is the norm. Few might have guessed, for instance, that the author of the hottest play in years – Jack Thorne, who wrote Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – would be a by-product of the Royal Court.

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When Sam Shepard was a Londoner

Jasper Rees

Sam Shepard came to live in London in 1971, nursing ambitions to be a rock musician. When he went home three years later, he was soon to be found on the drumstool of Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder tour. But in between, not long after he arrived in London, he was waylaid by the burgeoning fringe scene, and the rock god project took a back seat.

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'You win in the end!' Deborah Bruce introduces her play 'The House They Grew Up In'

Deborah Bruce

My inspiration for The House They Grew Up In, my new play at Chichester Festival Theatre came about five years ago, in the café of an art gallery near my house.

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Matthew Dunster on adapting 'A Tale of Two Cities'

Matthew Dunster

When you are adapting a novel like A Tale of Two Cities, it's a privilege to sit with a great piece of writing for a considerable amount of time. You also feel secure (and a bit cheeky) in the knowledge that another writer has already done most of the work.

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theartsdesk at The Hospital Club

theartsdesk

The Arts Desk is delighted to announce a new partnership with The Hospital Club in Covent Garden. There are plenty of private members club in central London, but The Hospital Club is uniquely a creative hub with its own television studio, gallery and performance space, which for certain events are open to non-members.

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

Stephen Unwin

“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 persecution of the disabled,” was my shifty reply. The truth is it’s such a disgusting subject, I was almost ashamed of what I’d done.

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

Julian Curry

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 fleshed out when actors perform them. He was the first writer to create character out of language. Falstaff has an idiosyncratic way of speaking that is quite distinct from Juliet, as she does from Shylock, and he from Lady Macbeth.

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Fracked! Alistair Beaton on his anti-fracking satire

Alistair Beaton

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 because the business of fracking had never really caught my attention.

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