fri 23/08/2019

First Person

Ewa Banaszkiewicz and Mateusz Dymek: 'Is our film porny?'

Spoiler alert: About sixty-four minutes into our debut feature film, one of the main female characters undresses for the camera. Alicja is being filmed by the other protagonist, a young American documentarian named Katie. As the sexually charged...

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On making The Left Behind: 'We've plugged into the mains'

The Left Behind is a television drama marinated in real-world research. It tells the story of a young man unable to break free from his bullshit job, zero-hour existence, thrown out of his family home when the council decide that as a...

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'A product not only of his era but also of his travels': Ian Page on Mozart's cosmopolitan education

When Mozart was an established composer living in Vienna during the final years of his short life, a young student seemingly came to him to seek his advice. The would-be young composer said that he was planning to write a symphony, and asked Mozart...

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Roger Wright on Oliver Knussen: ‘his challenge to us all to remain curious lives on’

The composition course founded more than 25 years ago at Snape by composers Oliver Knussen and Colin Matthews is in full swing. The scene is the Britten Studio at Snape Maltings on the Suffolk coast. Like Colin, Olly's connections to Aldeburgh and...

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First Person: Matt Henry on fulfilling 'a dream come true' to play the legendary singer Sam Cooke

When I first read One Night in Miami, I instantly felt a strong connection to the piece and its story. The fact that Sam Cooke, Malcolm X, Cassius Clay and Jim Brown, four iconic black men at the top of their game in 1964, actually...

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First Person: Conductor Maxime Pascal on Stockhausen at the Southbank Centre

Stockhausen stands alongside Monteverdi and Beethoven as a composer who exploded the understanding of his art. Stockhausen deeply changed the relationship between space, time and music; there’s a human, intimate dimension to his composition, and he...

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

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...

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First Person: Liam Byrne on bringing Versailles to the City's 'Culture Mile'

When you dedicate your life to studying and performing on a musical instrument that essentially went extinct at the end of the 18th century, nostalgia plays a certain unavoidable role in your daily routine. I don't mean fetishistic historicism - I'm...

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First Person: Sam Lee on singing with endangered nightingales

Every spring for the last five years, we have gathered around a camp fire in hidden locations in a wood in Sussex, to join the nightingales and to “re-wild” ancient folk ballads. We walk in silence through the forest at night, with no torches,...

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For Folk's Sake: 'I owe my very existence to Morris dancing'

Halfway through filming For Folk’s Sake, a documentary for BBC Four about Morris dancing, I received a package in the post that would dramatically change the course of the programme. It was from my mother. Inside were a number of yellowing newspaper...

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

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...

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

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....

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