“The Stratford Festival ended its 2014 season in the black – but the latest news on the Ontario theatre festival’s attendance is less black and white.”
“With backstage space in the 123-year-old building being severely limited, and no spare cash available to rent an office, Ms Squire instead parked the car outside the theatre, and worked from there. So while having to dodge Westminster City Council’s enthusiastic traffic wardens, she would sit in the driver’s seat and do all the paperwork.”
She’s disturbed by the way “many large-scale institutional theaters today have become roadhouses to incubate commercial productions headed for Broadway,” alarmed at the “relative paucity of female voices rising to the top of our profession” and frustrated that funding sources are so heavily focused on new-play development that there is “virtually no support for the training of actors” and not all that much for new approaches to the classics.
Adam Gopnik: “Many people have pointed out the eerie resemblance of Durst’s words to a Shakespearean soliloquy. Actually, only one kind of soliloquy – the villain’s kind – takes this form. Durst’s words are not at all Hamlet-like, as some have said. They recall, instead, the soliloquies of Iago, in Othello, and of Edmund, in King Lear – the moments when an evil man speaks out loud of his own capacity for evil, and then assures us that there’s nothing really shocking there.”
“In December 1968, the computer scientist Douglas Engelbart … brought together for the first time a mouse, word processing, multimedia communication and networking to demonstrate interactive computing before an audience of a thousand leading computer scientists. His presentation would become known as the Demo.” Ben Neill and Mikel Rouse have now made the Demo into a stage work .
After Raeda Taha’s father was killed while hijacking a passenger plane in 1972, she was, in effect, adopted by Yasir Arafat and later worked as his press secretary. In Where Can I Find Someone Like You, Ali, Taha looks at the human costs of the conflict, especially those that Palestinians like her father exact on their families.
A spokesman for Amazon said that, up until this week, the retailer’s theatre ticket offering had been based around “deals” and discounted tickets. “Although that will still be the case for some shows, this is a move to being a genuine ticketer. We are moving away from deals to offering the full range of ticket prices, from bottom to full price.”
Nigel Farage is leader of the UK Independence Party, a nationalist group that wants to curb immigration and take Britain out of the EU. Dan Glass took his Beyond UKIP cabaret to Farage’s hometown and briefly confronted him on the street – and it hit the news. Here’s a report from the one journalist who was there.
“An earlier version of Mr. Miller’s story centered on a salesman named not Loman, but Schoenzeit. An actor, Joseph Buloff, translated the play into Yiddish and put on a small production of his translation in Brooklyn in 1951, titled Toyt fun a Salesman. This new production hopes to draw and expand on Mr. Buloff’s.”
“The girls were terrific. Silly and shy, coy and rambunctious, attention-seeking, wise beyond their years, strikingly immature, they strutted about the room like little heroines in a post-modern novella. … Their monologues, however, were a disappointment. Not because they were poorly written or lacking in style or stingy with words, but because only one girl wrote a monologue that wasn’t about getting a boyfriend, keeping a boyfriend, or losing a boyfriend.”
“Yeah, this is embarrassing. And the Broadway ego takes a shellacking every time a list like this gets published. How are we supposed to uphold our reputation as being the biggest and best producer of live theater if other countries are beating us to the market? The UK and Canada are exporting and distributing better than we are!”
Michael Billington: “Brook himself hates looking back over his career … [but] the rest of us are entitled to put his 70-year-long career in perspective and the stock idea is that it falls into two distinct parts” – the British period and the internationalist period. “It’s a neat division but, to me, Brook’s career is far more unified than it seems.”
“None has a name, but their [well-known] identities emerge from the tales they tell. Each narrates a monologue, never acknowledging the others. But they have common memories – of childhood, of war – and when their stories cross, one stops and another picks up the thread. They cook as they speak, each in her own kitchen corner, chopping, cutting, mixing … This is Hamhavaie (acclimatising), … which is now being prepared for Europe and possibly the United States.”
Rupert Christiansen: “The glut of hugely successful shows – Mamma Mia!, Let It Be, Thriller, Jersey Boys, The Commitments – which effectively trade on nostalgia is rather depressing. Even more significant is the undeniable truth that the scores of the more recent crop of successful ‘original’ musicals – The Lion King, Billy Elliot, The Book of Mormon, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, Wicked – are their weakest element. Has one of them yielded a single song which has passed into the general consciousness?” (Maybe “Hakuna Matata”?)
Alan Bennett (The Madness of George III, Talking Heads, The History Boys): “To a playwright, what immediately commends him is the amount of work he puts in. Directing can be quite a lazy profession with the play once roughed out and in preview left to coast along or settle down. Not with Nick; he never lets up.”