"We're attracted to the weaker and darker sides of ourselves, because that's what we are trying to solve all the time, I think - our vulnerabilities and our fears. That's why it's great to play them, to share them. You're sharing your own puzzles and people are watching because they want to solve the conundrum."
"I think everything I have experienced in my life is both things. When you give birth to your first child, it's the most extraordinary event you will ever have encountered; but of course giving birth is the most ordinary thing. The same is true of death, presumably. All the great events in our lives are both ordinary and extraordinary."
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. Adrain 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.
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.
Bob Crowley, scenic and costume designer and theatre director, has worked in the industry for 40 years and is particularly renowned for his extensive work with the RSC and the National Theatre.
Declan Donnellan is a co-founder and joint Artistic Director of british theatre company Cheek by Jowl, whose award-winning theatrical technique reimagines classic works to put actors firmly at the centre.
Dawn Walton is the Founder and Artistic Director of Black-led theatre company, Eclipse. Renowned for their delivery of diverse programming to regional theatres, Eclipse strives to disrupt and enrich the contemporary theatrical landscape.
Gareth Fry, sound designer, is one of the theatre industry's most innovative sonic specialists and is particularly known for his work with celebrated directors Katie Mitchell, John Tiffany, and Sacha Wares.
Founded in 2001, Gecko is an artist-lead organisation, producing work which, whilst epic, speaks to audiences' personal experiences. Gecko strives to ensure that its collaborative process empowers cast, creative and technical team members alike, in contributing to a work's development.
Jenny Sealey has lead Graeae Theatre Company for 19 years as its Artistic Director. Renowned for pioneering work with emerging and established deaf and disabled theatre makers, Graeae has been instrumental in improving accessibility across the industry.
Having trained at Mountview and Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Mic specialised in sound and has been creating theatrical sonic spaces for over 30 years. His sound design for The 39 Steps won the discipline's first ever Tony Award in 2009.
Mic walks us through his first steps in the industry, explains how a designer develops an aural palette during rehearsals, and opines sound as the primary design discipline within theatre.
Nancy Meckler was Shared Experience's second ever Artistic Director, after Mike Alfreds, and was instrumental in crystallising a distinctive performance style that celebrates the union of physical and text-based theatre.
Founded in 1986, Talawa has grown to become a leading platform for Black British voices.
Michael considers the implications of leading a company without a building, details the mission to enrich the British cultural landscape, and explains how Talawa's objectives today compare with those it held when established three decades ago.
Kristine Landon-Smith and Fin Kennedy are past and present Artistic Directors of Tamasha Theatre Company. Tamasha specialises in privileging the assimilation of Asian artistic culture into the British mainstream.
Talking About Plays
An Interview with... Dominic Cooke
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.
An Interview with... Meera Syal
Meera Syal is one of the UK's best-known performing arts polymaths, having turned her hand to acting, writing, singing and producing across both stage and screen. She is currently playing the role of Nurse in Kenneth Branagh's all-star Romeo and Juliet at The Garrick Theatre.
In this interview, Meera explores the origins of her stage-adapted novel Anita and Me and reflects upon the joy of collaborative work and why it's important for a writer to invest in the small characters.
An interview with... Tamara Harvey
Theatr Clwyd's Artistic Director, Tamara Harvey has directed award-winning work in the West End, throughout the UK and abroad; she has tackled the classics, new writing, musical theatre and film.
Tamara speaks to us about a director's sense of responsibility, how smaller venues engender a valuable intimacy between audience and performance, and why Theatr Clwyd is a place where the imagination can run riot.
An Interview with... Timberlake Wertenbaker
Playwright and practitioner Timberlake Wertenbaker has penned work for renowned production houses including the Royal Court and the RSC over a career spanning half a century.
Timberlake discusses writing internationally celebrated set text Our Country's Good, explores the craft of translation, and reveals the challenges of adapting Tolstoy's War and Peace.
Simon Schama explores the life and times of William Shakespeare to shed a new and fascinating light on some of the greatest plays ever written. In film one, Schama discovers how in his history plays Shakespeare created a rich vision of the nation which still influences and inspires today, presenting not only preening kings and queens for his audience's pleasure but country squires, cutpurses, common prostitutes and of course, his iconic and irreverent embodiment of England, Sir John Falstaff.
Irving Roth tells of his experiences as a Holocaust survivor in a world where the number of living survivors has started to wane.
Asked to share his deeply moving story in schools across the USA, Roth reflects on the importance of young people in ensuring that these last voices of the Holocaust are documented.
National Jewish Theater
Ron McAllister is the Chief Executive of South Hill Park, the arts centre that helped develop From Up Here and from which the livestream of the musical was broadcast in 2012.
Ron explains his journey with the musical and why, for him, it was the appealing of a choice of shows to take into production.
Filmed by Perfect Pitch.
Luke Sheppard was the Director of From Up Here, a new musical developed by Perfect Pitch.
Luke reflects on the challenge of lifting a new production from the page and into the third dimension. He shares his thoughts on having a performance filmed and explains why he considers it so important that new writing is supported across the industry.
Filmed by Perfect Pitch.
Tom Attwood was the Musical Director for From Up Here, developed by Perfect Pitch.
Tom explains how one can mine the composer's score for information and why it's a Musical Director's responsibility to ensure clarity of storytelling throughout a show's development and into production.
Filmed by Perfect Pitch.
Aaron Lee Lambert is the writer of From Up Here, a new musical developed by Perfect Pitch.
Aaron shares his experience of writing a new production and suggests that his acting background helped him to achieve a deep understanding of his characters during the writing process.
Filmed by Perfect Pitch.
How do you take a 40,000 word classic novel and transform it into a piece for the stage? Join the director, writer, composer and actors as they reveal how they took Thomas Hardy's classic Far from the Madding Crowd and made it work on the stage.