Andrew Dickson goes backstage at the new Sam Wanamaker Playhouse to check the 17th-century-style candelabras, trapdoors, winches, sound machines, and costume and makeup shops.
“English National Opera is to begin broadcasting productions live to cinemas – only 18 months after its artistic director, John Berry, suggested that he was far from enthusiastic about the idea.”
“The great French director, who died recently, took some persuading to do a play in London – and was seriously ill when he did. But the experience was life-changing, recalls the Young Vic’s artistic director.”
Back in 2006, Roberto Alagna actually stormed off the stage and out of the theater mid-performance after some of La Scala’s notorious loggionisti let him have it. This year – again in the house’s season-opening production – they did it again.
A new poll by English Touring Theatre finds that it is … one you’ve probably heard of, but it may not leap immediately to mind.
“Running one of Britain’s regional playhouses, a theatre director once told me, was a combination of ‘comedy on stage, tragedy off’. … So how do you construct a regional programme that will work?”
“After the first half-hour, it felt like someone was sticking needles in my arms and legs.”
“The moment I unwrapped my present I knew something had gone horribly wrong.”
“The whole point of a bankruptcy is to solve deep and structural problems in the economic organization of a major city – not to strip-mine everything from the Bellinis at the museum to the baboons at the Detroit Zoo for however much one-time cash you can squeeze out of them.”
“Maybe I write stories that people get very involved in, maybe it is the complexity and the lives presented in them. I hope they are a good read. I hope they move people.”
London sucks up most of the air – and definitely most of the money – for the arts in the UK. Can the National Theatre somehow reach “the country’s furthest flung corners”?
“He is keen to rebel against the beige treatment of sex in mainstream cinema: the soft stroking of hairless limbs, the passionate kiss that cuts to a dishevelled duvet, the straight-sex, softcore-only policies.”
“As many as a quarter of the top 100 Kindle books on Amazon.com are from indie publishers, according to data revealed at a trade presentation by the retailer.”
“Strange days when a production of Death in Venice provokes an uproar, then ends in a theatre being defaced.”
Director Jean-Luc Choplin: “How do you translate ‘the rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain’? I mean, you can come up with something in French but it doesn’t have the same clarity or sonority. … And it’s such an important part of the play.”
“You set out to whip the world. And then when you get beat up a little bit … In my case, you say, ‘Father, I’m gonna let you have it. I’ve done what I can do.’ You turn your will over to God.”
“Among the pools of sweat, ripe brie, knotted vines, hot stones, damp glades and chocolatey tobacco in this year’s entries, it was the exploding supernovas of Manil Suri’s third novel, The City of Devi, that clinched him the most dreaded award in the world of books: the Literary Review bad sex prize.”
Judith Mackrell reviews the bizarre and dramatic backstage saga at the theater that (probably hasn’t) ended with the guilty verdicts in the trial of the men accused of throwing acid into Sergei Filin’s face.
“Mike Poulton, the man charged with condensing [Hilary Mantel’s] Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies for the Royal Shakespeare Company” and “Geoffrey Beevers, [who] has hacked George Eliot’s Middlemarch (904 pages) into a trilogy for the Orange Tree theatre in London”, try to explain.
“Laure Prouvost was the rank outsider from a particularly strong 2013 shortlist that included the higher-profile artists Tino Seghal and David Shrigley. She was awarded the £25,000 prize by the actor Saoirse Ronan at a ceremony in Derry, Northern Ireland.”
Head to Google on Dec. 2 to celebrate what would be the opera star’s 90th birthday.
“We’ve all had moments when we’ve dozed off. But there is also a sense that the best art is like life. Some of it is a bit dull, but you need the boring parts to appreciate the climaxes.” The Guardian (UK) 12/01/13
“It definitely was theatre, but this piece that has no actors and only a paying, playing audience also had as much claim to be reviewed on the gaming or psychology pages. Part of what makes it so fascinating is the fact that it is so hard to define.”