thu 12/12/2019

Theatre Interviews

10 Questions for Playwright James Graham

Jasper Rees

Coalitions make for drama, and for comedy. We know that from, respectively, Borgen and the final series of The Thick of It. It is little wonder therefore that soon after the 2010 election delivered a hung Parliament, the National Theatre commissioned a play. And yet the drama that emerged was not about deals struck in back rooms by the Cameron-Clegg government.


10 Questions for Actor David Troughton

Heather Neill

David Troughton (b.1950), a familiar face on television and a Royal Shakespeare Company veteran, is a versatile actor. His most recent RSC appearance before Gloucester displayed his talent for comedy: he was a funny and energetic Simon Eyre in Dekker's The Shoemaker's Holiday in his favourite theatre, the Swan at Stratford.


10 Questions for Director Lucy Bailey

james Woodall

Theatre was not Lucy Bailey’s first target. At school she was a flautist, headed probably for music. Then, in her gap year, she took a job as a telephonist at Glyndebourne, and noticed a vigorous man with a beard – name of Peter Hall – moving people around on stage. She asked what he was doing. Directing, she was told. That changed her.


theartsdesk Q&A: Playwright Katori Hall

Jasper Rees

Is Katori Hall (b. 1981) the embodiment of Martin Luther King’s dream? She was born in Memphis, the city where King died. The Mountaintop, her play about his last night alive, had its world premiere at Theatre 503, a tiny pub stage in south London. But the unanimity of the reviews, combined with the timely arrival of a black man in the White House, propelled the two-hander into the West End where it played to standing ovations from notably multiracial audiences.


10 Questions for Playwright Joe Penhall

Jasper Rees

Joe Penhall first thwacked his way to the attention of British theatregoers more than 20 years ago with a series of plays about schizos and psychos and wackos. An iconoclastic laureate of lithium, his early hit Some Voices (1994), about a care-in-the-community schizophrenic, went on to be filmed starring Daniel Craig. In 2000 he returned to the subject in Blue/Orange.


10 Questions for Artistic Director Emma Rice

Jasper Rees

In his last minutes as the artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe, Dominic Dromgoole took to the stage to reflect on his years at the helm. Behind him was the cast of Hamlet, home after two years on the road playing to audiences from every country on the planet. He acknowledged his predecessor Mark Rylance, who waved a hat from the throng of groundlings, and then pointed up to the circle where his successor Emma Rice was greeted with gales of welcoming applause.


10 Questions for playwright Patrick Barlow

Jasper Rees

Patrick Barlow’s last play was parked in the West End for nine years. The 39 Steps finally closed this autumn, but not before travelling all over the world, most prestigiously to Broadway but also, among other destinations, to Russia, Japan, Australia, Korea, Hong Kong and France. There have been no fewer than eight different productions in Germany, including one with an all-female cast.


10 Questions for Director Roger Michell

Jasper Rees

It’s not easy to see the pattern in Roger Michell’s career. More than most British directors, he has zigzagged between the stage and the screen. He was the one who first rehearsed such contemporary classics as Kevin Elyot’s My Night with Reg and Joe Penhall’s Blue/Orange towards their premieres, he has regularly staged the works of Pinter, and yet he is also the director of Notting Hill.


An Open Book: David Lan

Marianka Swain

This year’s Olivier Awards saw the Young Vic trounce its South Bank neighbours, with Ivo van Hove’s revolutionary A View from the Bridge leading 11 nominations and four wins; the production opens on Broadway next week. It reflects an extraordinary period during which the theatre, originally an offshoot of the National, has grown to become one of Britain’s major creative powerhouses – all under the aegis of South African-born David Lan, artistic director since 2000.


10 Questions for Actress Jane Lapotaire

Heather Neill

Jane Lapotaire's distinguished career on stage and screen was cut short in 2000 when she collapsed in Paris with a massive brain haemorrhage. She was giving a Shakespeare masterclass at the time and now, 15 years later, at the age of 70, she is once again acting on stage in Shakespeare.



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A compulsive, involving, emotionally stirring evening – theatre’s answer to a page-turner.
The Observer, Kate Kellaway


Direct from a sold-out season at Kiln Theatre the five star, hit play, The Son, is now playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre for a strictly limited season.



This final part of Florian Zeller’s trilogy is the most powerful of all.
The Times, Ann Treneman


Written by the internationally acclaimed Florian Zeller (The Father, The Mother), lauded by The Guardian as ‘the most exciting playwright of our time’, The Son is directed by the award-winning Michael Longhurst.


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