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.
This unique and exclusive documentary opens the door to life at the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith, west London, during summer and autumn 2017. DT+ goes behind the scenes to access all areas of the company, from their extensive young people’s programme to the key planning stages for their main house production of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull.
Willy Russell shares what he has learnt about what it takes to write a play with fascinating insight into his own life and career. He explores several of his key works in vivd detail, including Educating Rita, and gives a reading from Shirley Valentine.
Diane Samuels takes an in-depth look at her award-winning play Kindertransport, exploring how real-life people and experiences helped to inspire its creation, and considers the importance of telling female stories.
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 gender with reference to Julius Caesar and As You Like It.
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.
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 family with reference to Macbeth, King Lear and The Merry Wives of Windsor.
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 conflict with reference to Titus Andronicus, King Lear and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Jonnie Riordan, Associate Director of Frantic Assembly's Things I Know To Be True, takes you through six warm-up exercises and provides detailed aims and instructions for use in the classroom. The exercises vary from a fun 'keepie uppie' introduction, through to more demanding cardio and circuit training sessions, all of which are geared towards developing teamwork, stamina, physical confidence and focus.
Kirsty Oswald discusses playing the youngest Price child, Rosie, in Frantic Assembly’s Things I Know To Be True. Kirsty talks about the family that developed through rehearsing the play, the physical and emotional exhaustion that the production provokes, and describes the movement of the piece as loving familial support made manifest.
Matthew Barker plays Mark and Mia in Frantic Assembly’s production of Andrew Bovell’s Thing I Know To Be True. Matthew discusses the extensive research into, sincere approach towards and delicate examination of gender dysphoria that characterised the play’s and the company’s storytelling, from first read-through, to audience response.
Richard talks about playing ‘Mummy’s boy’ Ben Price in Andrew Bovell’s Things I Know To Be True. He discusses how an actor’s ‘track’ is as much physical as mental, why hitting peak energy can be easier in the throws of performance than rehearsal, and his conviction that experiencing the Frantic Assembly method would better any performer.
Scott Graham, Artistic Director of Frantic Assembly, explores the honest and collaborative process of developing the physical and textual language of Things I Know To Be True, alongside co-director Geordie Brookman, writer Andrew Bovell and a cast that grew into their characters as rehearsals progressed.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
Ben explains the context in which actors and audiences would have encountered Shakespeare's plays, considers how one can decipher intended accent in a text, and discusses the possibility that the canon's mother tongue has been lost over time.
Roxana Silbert, Artistic Director of Birmingham Repertory Theatre, discusses Gogol's personal eccentricities, Tsar Nicholas I's surprising support for the work, and the difficulties present in translating a text across both time and language.
Talking About Plays
Director Dominic Cooke has a wealth of experience in staging both classic and contemporary theatre, having worked at the RSC before an eight-year tenure as Artistic Director of new writing playhouse the Royal Court.
Dominic talks of his surprise at being approached by Sam Mendes to bring four Shakespeares to the small screen in The Hollow Crown, why directing Shakespeare is a particular craft, and what a theatre director can bring to film.