Writer Daniel Rosenthal discusses the various ways to analyse and engage with Shakespeare’s The Tempest in three different stages: reading, watching and writing about the play.
Having been named one of the most influential people in British theatre, Vicky Featherstone discusses her path to success, from her role as Artistic Director of touring company Paines Plough to leading the National Theatre of Scotland and her current position with the Royal Court Theatre in London.
John Godber, one of the most performed playwrights in the UK, delves into his process for creating work that focuses on the plight of individuals who suffer judgement and misfortune as a result of class prejudice.
Writer, actor and director Patrick Barlow provides a unique insight into his theatre-making process, from the creation of his comedic double-act The National Theatre of Brent to the physical and fast-paced adaptation of the Alfred Hitchcock film and John Buchan novel The 39 Steps.
Writer Andrew Davies, best-known for adapting some of literature’s greatest novels for television, such as Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, discusses the cinematic potential of language and the process of bringing words to life on screen.
British writer Lee Hall discusses the processes for creating some of his most popular works, such as the ground-breaking radio drama Spoonface Steinberg, the play of The Pitmen Painters based on the Ashington Group, and the film and musical adaptation of Billy Elliot.
Playwright Tanika Gupta discusses her writing process, inspiration and passion for adapting Meera Syal’s semi-autobiographical novel, Anita and Me, as well as exploring her career progression from radio dramas to stage plays.
Writer and director Polly Teale discusses her experience of dramatising the lives of the Brontë sisters, elaborating on the challenges they faced as women in the 19th century and examining the representation of their inner worlds through their work.
Professor Kate McLuskie, former Director of the Shakespeare Institute, leads two directors – Lucy Bailey and Phillip Breen – and two actors – Ray Fearon and Zoe Waites – in an in–depth discussion of love and sex with reference to Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, Othello and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Oswald explores the symbiotic responsibility of opening the play to an audience in soliloquy, inviting them as friends on a shared journey, while coming to terms with and conveying the emotional singularity of her own story.
Barker outlines his process of learning to play a son, a daughter, a brother and a sister, within the precincts of the same character. He discusses the edifying journey through language, science and autobiographical illustration, which allowed him to sit comfortably in playing the understanding that there are as many stories about transition as there are people who experience it.
Mylan reads Things I Know To Be True as a continuous crisis point for Ben, an impending train wreck, hurtling towards a catastrophic act of envy and selfishness. He describes developing Ben’s character by learning his extremes, before pulling back to something stiller to internalise that turmoil, and explains that every moment of the production is intensely physical, even in its stillness.
Artistic Director of Frantic Assembly, Scott Graham, discusses the collaborative process of working with writer Andrew Bovell on Things I Know To Be True, and how he came to incorporate a physical language into the production.
Adrian Lester talks to Digital Theatre+'s Creative Producer about the roles and industry realities he has encountered in his career, from speaking without words to walking in women's shoes. Lester explains how drama school teaches aspiring actors about graft, how mastering Taekwondo helped focus him as a performer, how roots aren't necessarily geographical, and how he will always, ultimately, return to the stage.
“The writer is the thing. Sometimes I feel that I haven’t really earned the accolades – I didn’t write it, I’m only saying it out loud really. But when those big parts come along you do have a huge responsibility, and I will rise to that because I am my worst critic... So it's exhausting doing theatre, but wonderful.”
Michael Grandage explains, to Digital Theatre+’s Fiona Lindsay, why he dislikes the term ‘revival’, how an old play must become new for a company to ‘crack’ it, and talks of bringing current work into perspective through the past.
Matt Adams is a co-founder of Blast Theory with Ju Row Farr and Nick Tandavanitj. This interview by Professor Andy Lavender, author of Performance in the Twenty-First Century, is a fascinating discussion of the company’s inception; its unique experiments with interactive media, theatre and location-based games; and its working processes and creative practices.
Tim Etchells, founding collaborator of Forced Entertainment, talks to theatre critic and journalist Matt Trueman about a 30-year process of trying to reinvent the theatrical experience in a way that can get past an audience’s defences, implicate them, involve them and allow them to form their own imaginative connections, beyond the ‘tyrannous architecture of narrative’.
Alison Hodge is a director, actor-trainer, author and lecturer, and the Artistic Director of ’The Quick and the Dead’, an international performance ensemble. In this wide-ranging interview she describes the fundamental principles of her work in actor training, and the myriad benefits that work on the breath or the spine can bring to the performer.
Paul Allain is Professor of Theatre and Performing Arts at the University of Kent, as well as a movement director and actor trainer. Paul talks about the benefits of multidisciplinarity and the increased need for a global generation of directors to be flexible, adaptable and collaborative. He discusses training directors, working with actors, the advantages of maturity and how all theory is necessarily born out of practice.
In an ideal introduction to Jerzy Grotowski’s work, Paul Allain discusses in detail the various phases from traditional director, through researcher and theorist, and the constant principles with which it is always underpinned. He discusses Grotowski’s influences, practices and lifelong exploration of the ‘total’ act, on his journey towards the development of Poor Theatre.
Tim Crouch is a theatre artist: an experimental theatre-maker who acts, writes and directs plays. In this fascinating interview, he talks about early influences (his teacher Edward Braun, as well as Beckett, Brecht and Churchill), about story-telling, transformation, and the importance of the audience’s process in the theatre.
Kelly Hunter was for many years a renowned actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company and is now Artistic Director of Flute Theatre. Hunter, author of Shakespeare’s Heartbeat and Cracking Shakespeare talks here with Michael Dobson, Director of the Shakespeare Institute, about her work developing games for children on the autism spectrum using Shakespeare’s texts.
Having studied English Language and Linguistics at Lancaster University, Ben has written extensively on Shakespearean language and recently staged the first reading of Macbeth in original pronunciation for four centuries, with his Shakespeare Ensemble.
Phillip Breen, theatre director, describes how the life of the play, which was originally expected to run for a fortnight, was unexpectedly extended, details the challenges of staging such sensitive subject matter in his 2011 production, and relives the playwright's response to seeing his life laid bare on stage.
Talking About Plays