Theatrevoice archive, list of recordings 2010

20th March 2012

in Latest News

Recordings from January 2010

Total number of recordings from this month: 21

655 NEW YORK SPECIAL Michael Feingold, chief theatre critic of the Village Voice chats to Philip Fisher about theatrical life in the Big Apple, covering both the big houses of Broadway as well as Off-Broadway venues, looking at both the latest new plays and revivals. “I almost think that the larger New York theatres have priced themselves out of the civilised market. That means that the theatre will not be exciting.” Recording date: 3 January 2010.

656 ASIAN VOICES: BHASKER PATEL The actor, who is currently playing Mau’s father in Mark Ravenhill’s adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s Nation (National), talks to Suman Bhuchar about this play, and about his 30 years in the business, which started at this flagship theatre in the 1970s and includes film and television classics. Recorded at the National. “I am really so glad that Asian theatre companies, such as Tara, Tamasha and Kali, are there for Asian actors to get jobs in contemporary plays.” Recording date: 4 January 2010

657 NEW YORK SPECIAL: HAIR Cast members Gavin Creel and Caissie Levy talk to Philip Fisher about the current Broadway revival of Hair (Al Hirschfeld Theatre), the 1967 Tribal Love-Rock Musical, its characters and the politics of the show, and the chance of bringing it to the West End in April. “It’s all about getting in the audience’s faces and involving them – they’re the other character. That communion between the audience and the actors is what makes this production special.” Recording date: 5 January 2010

658 INTERNATIONAL THEATRE Director Helena Kaut-Howson talks to Heather Neill about Dea Loher’s Innocence (Arcola), a series of loosely connected symbolic stories from one of Germany’s leading contemporary playwrights. Recorded at the Arcola. “Dea Loher doesn’t look for stories; she doesn’t look for narratives. In fact she mistrusts narrative as something which enslaves us.” Recording date: 12 January 2010

659 CHEKHOV SPECIAL Actor Michael Pennington talks to Heather Neill about A Jubilee for Anton Chekhov (Hampstead Theatre), a week-long event hosted by him and Chekhov specialist Rosamund Bartlett which celebrates the playwright’s 150th anniversary and aims to raise money to save the White Dacha in Yalta, where he wrote some of his greatest plays. “Chekhov married Olga Knipper without telling his sister Masha – he was full of all the usual male cowardice.” Recording date: 13 January 2010

660 MIME FEST SPECIAL Postshow discussion with Dimitri De Perrot and Martin Zimmermann of Switzerland’s Zimmermann & De Perrot, about their show, Oper Opis (Someone, Something), performed as part of the 32nd London International Mime Festival, at the Barbican Theatre. Hosted by Dr Dick McCaw, Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts at Royal Holloway, University of London. Recorded by Diana Damian. “Who cares what it is called now? Visual theatre, physical theatre? It is some of the best theatre that I see in the year.” Recording date: 14 January 2010

661 MIME FEST SPECIAL Postshow discussion with performers Renana Raz and Yuval Fingerman of Israel’s Etgar Theatre about their show, Eshet, performed as part of the 32nd London International Mime Festival, at the Southbank Centre. Hosted by Dr Dick McCaw, Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts at Royal Holloway, University of London. Recorded by Diana Damian. “To work with a biblical text is very challenging because it is very concise and economic so you have to fill in the gaps with your imagination.” Recording date: 18 January 2010

662 MIME FEST SPECIAL Postshow discussion with director Dimitry Aryupin of Russia’s BlackSkyWhite about their show, USSR Was Here, performed as part of the 32nd London International Mime Festival, at the ICA. Hosted by Dr Dick McCaw, Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts at Royal Holloway, University of London. Recorded by Diana Damian. “I’m not really fond of the regime of the former USSR, but I was born there so the best time of my life was spent there.” Recording date: 19 January 2010

663 MIME FEST SPECIAL Postshow discussion with director Toby Sedgwick, producer Alison King, and performers Charlotte Mooney, Alex Harvey, Tina Koch, Paul Evans, Stefano Di Renzo, and Phil Supple (lighting designer), of Ockham’s Razor, about their show, The Mill, performed as part of the 32nd London International Mime Festival, at the Linbury Studio. Hosted by Dr Dick McCaw, Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts at Royal Holloway, University of London. Recorded by Diana Damian. “We played around with the stage machinery, and we came up with the idea of the big wheel, a clear metaphor for work.” Recording date: 20 January 2010

664 MIME FEST SPECIAL Postshow discussion with director Patrick Bonté, director/performer Nicole Mossoux and composer Thomas Turine of Belgium’s Mossoux-Bonté, about their show, Kefar Nahum, performed as part of the 32nd London International Mime Festival, at the Barbican. Hosted by Dr Dick McCaw, Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts at Royal Holloway, University of London. Recorded by Diana Damian. “Through improvisation we match up the sound to the object, and surprise and not knowing is the key.” Recording date: 21 January 2010

665 MIME FEST SPECIAL Postshow discussion with performers Julien Clément, Denis Fargeton, Nicholas Mathis and Aline Piboule (music) of France’s Collectif Petit Travers, about their show, Pan Pot, performed as part of the 32nd London International Mime Festival, at the Southbank Centre. Hosted by Dr Dick McCaw, Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts at Royal Holloway, University of London. Recorded by Diana Damian. “Sometimes we started with the music, and sometimes with silence, using just the rhythm of the juggling to guide us.” Recording date: 22 January 2010

666 MIME FEST SPECIAL Postshow discussion with choreographer/performer Kitt Johnson and composer Sture Ericson of Denmark’s Kitt Johnson X-Act about their show, Rankefod, performed as part of the 32nd London International Mime Festival, at the ICA Theatre. Hosted by Donald Hutera, Theatre and Dance Critic for The Times. Recorded by Diana Damian. “I like to give myself tasks that are impossible in order to stretch myself to the absolute limits of what I can do.” Recording date: 22 January 2010

667 MIME FEST SPECIAL Postshow discussion with performers Xavier Bouvier and Benoit Devos of Belgium’s Okidok, about their show, Slips Inside, performed as part of the 32nd London International Mime Festival, at the Southbank Centre. Hosted by Dr Dick McCaw, Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts at Royal Holloway, University of London. Recorded by Diana Damian. “We met at school, and we were both bad at soccer so we both went to a circus workshop during the holidays.” Recording date: 23 January 2010

668 MIME FEST SPECIAL Postshow discussion with director Adrian Schvarstein and performers Teresa San Juan Gonzalez, Emiliano Sanchez, Cristina Sole, Joan Catala, Petra Rochau, Rebecca Macauley, Nigel Haywood and Angel Estevez of Spain’s Circus Klezmer, which performed as part of the 32nd London International Mime Festival, at the Southbank Centre. Hosted by Dr Dick McCaw, Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts at Royal Holloway, University of London. Recorded by Diana Damian. “Street theatre, and circus, is more alive than opera but you make less money – we come from lots of different places and schools.” Recording date: 24 January 2010

669 INTERVIEW: URSULA MARTINEZ Ahead of a new show at the Barbican Centre, My Stories Your Emails, Ursula Martinez, best-known now for her involvement in cabaret sensation La Clique, talks to Carole Woddis about her work and why she was dismayed to find her subversive strip-tease act laid bare on the web. “I started receiving emails from fans from all over the world, mostly innocuous and charming, some of them not so charming…” Recording date: 25 January 2010

670 MIME FEST SPECIAL Postshow discussion with performers Daniel Blanga Gubbay and Paola Villani of Italy’s Pathosformel about their show, Timidity of Bones, performed as part of the 32nd London International Mime Festival, at the ICA Theatre. Hosted by Dr Dick McCaw, Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts at Royal Holloway, University of London. Recorded by Diana Damian. “What we wanted to do was to hide behind the screen, to make a gift to the audience’s imagination and to surprise them with a sight of our bodies.” Recording date: 25 January 2010

671 MIME FEST SPECIAL Postshow discussion with director Leandre Ribera and performers Emma Norin, Lina Johansson and Silvia Fratelli of Mimbre about their show, Until Now, performed as part of the 32nd London International Mime Festival, at the Southbank Centre. Hosted by Dr Dick McCaw, Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts at Royal Holloway, University of London. Recorded by Diana Damian. “We work really well together as friends, and we complement each other very well, and so it was quite natural for us to work together as three women.” Recording date: 26 January 2010

672 MIME FEST SPECIAL Postshow discussion with performer Jeanne Mordoj of France’s Comagnie Bal/Jeanne Mordoj about her show, Eloge Du Poil, performed as part of the 32nd London International Mime Festival, at the Barbican. Hosted by Dr Dick McCaw, Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts at Royal Holloway, University of London. Recorded by Diana Damian: variable quality. “The beard provoked existential questions: I wondered what would happen if a normal woman went to a bar wearing a beard.” Recording date: 28 January 2010

673 MIME FEST SPECIAL Postshow discussion with directors Jean-Pierre Larroche and MarionLefevbre of France’s Les Ateliers du Spectacle about their show, A Distances, performed as part of the 32nd London International Mime Festival, at the ICA Theatre. Hosted by Dr Dick McCaw, Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts at Royal Holloway, University of London. Recorded by Diana Damian. “There is no reason why Marion is dressed as an 18th-century page, but it pleases me, and it is a wink to the audience.” Recording date: 29 January 2010

674 ASIAN VOICES: RANI MOORTHY The actor and playwright talks to Suman Bhuchar about her career and her latest play, Handful of Henna (Rasa with Oxfordshire Theatre Company), a touring production which examines the magical powers of henna in the context of a wedding story. Recorded at Watermans. “For the first time, here in Britain, I could explore ideas that I could not touch on because of censorship in Malaysia or Singapore.” Recording date: 29 January 2010

675 MIME FEST SPECIAL Postshow discussion with performers Jonathan Guichard and Fnico Feldmann of France’s Compagnie Ieto about their show, Ieto, performed as part of the 32nd London International Mime Festival, at the Southbank Centre. Hosted by Dr Dick McCaw, Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts at Royal Holloway, University of London. Recorded by Diana Damian. “We created the benches first to see how interesting they would be to use, and second to get the maximum comedy from them.” Recording date: 30 January 2010

Recordings from February 2010

Total number of recordings from this month: 6

676 INTERVIEW: ROGER REES The Welsh actor, who has made his return to the London stage as Vladimir in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (Haymarket) opposite Ian McKellen’s Estragon, talks about the role, his days at the RSC and his more recent work. Dominic Cavendish quizzes. “I think Vladimir gets very near the point of giving into the anarchy. He holds himself back but he knows it’s there and he’s changed forever.” Recording date: 11 February 2010

677 SPANISH GOLDEN AGE SPECIAL Director Simon Evans talks to Heather Neill about his production of Lope De Vega’s Madness in Valencia (which has just transferred to the Trafalgar Studios from the White Bear), a revival of a classic from 16th-century Spain by a contemporary of Shakespeare. Recorded at the Trafalgar Studios. “The treatment of insanity was very barbaric at the time. But madness was also equated with love, which gives it a warm sheen.” Recording date: 12 February 2010

678 NEW WRITING SPECIAL Lecture entitled Blasted and After: New Writing in British Theatre Today, about in-yer-face theatre in 1990s and its aftermath, given by Aleks Sierz (Visiting Research Fellow, Rose Bruford College) at a meeting of the Society for Theatre Research, at the Art Workers Guild, London. Expletives not deleted. “It is worth noting that British theatre in the Noughties had little to say about some of the topics that people actually argue about.” Recording date: 16 February 2010

679 WEST END REVIEW (1/2) Mark Shenton (Sunday Express) and his guests David Benedict (Variety), Charles Spencer (Daily Telegraph), and Matt Wolf (International Herald Tribune) discuss Judi Dench as Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Rose Theatre, Kingston), Measure for Measure (Almeida), An Enemy of the People (Sheffield Crucible), Three Sisters (Lyric Hammersmith), The Caretaker (Trafalgar Studios) and Six Degrees of Separation (Old Vic). Recorded at Dewynters, London. “I don’t think you can say Peter Hall’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is banal, that’s absurd! I think it’s very true to the spirit of the play…” Recording date: 19 February 2010

680 WEST END REVIEW (2/2) Mark Shenton (Sunday Express) and his guests David Benedict (Variety), Charles Spencer (Daily Telegraph), and Matt Wolf (International Herald Tribune) discuss The Little Dog Laughed (Garrick), Really Old, Like Forty-Five (Cottesloe, RNT), Peter Brook’s 11 and 12 (Barbican), Serenading Louie (Donmar); plus the transfers of Enron (Noel Coward) and Jerusalem (Apollo Theatre). Recorded at Dewynters, London. “One very odd thing about ‘Really Old, Like 45′ is that it’s the third play at the National in the last 18 months to have a scene set at the National…” Recording date: 19 February 2010

681 INTERVIEW: IAN RICKSON The director of Jez Butterworth’s smash-hit, mythic extravaganza Jerusalem (currently at the Apollo Theatre) talks to Aleks Sierz about his long relationship with the work of this playwright, including The Night Heron, The Winterling and Parlour Song. Recorded at the Young Vic. “Jez accords articulacy and eloquence to each and every character of his plays, regardless of class, gender or empowerment.” Recording date: 22 February 2010

Recordings from March 2010

Total number of recordings from this month: 8

682 SHAKESPEARE: MEASURE FOR MEASURE Director Michael Attenborough talks to Heather Neill about his modern-dress production of Shakespeare’s problem play, currently on at the Almeida, and starring Rory Kinnear and Anna Maxwell Martin. Recorded at the Almeida. “There surely must be part of Isabella that is thinking: surely I could commit a small sin and thus save a human life.” Recording date: 1 March 2010

683 INTERVIEW: SIR RICHARD EYRE The director tells Philip Fisher about directing Kim Cattrall and Matthew MacFadyen in Noel Coward’s Private Lives (Vaudeville), a triumphant debut at New York’s Met with George Bizet’s Carmen, and his ongoing relationship with the National Theatre. Recorded at the National. “If you put a celebrity actress in a very celebrated part, she has to achieve something remarkable, so it’s all credit to her that she’s pulled it off in such a convincing way.” Recording date: 11 March 2010

684 BLACK VOICES: OLADIPO AGBOLUAJE The playwright, whose play Iya-Ile (The First Wife) won the 2009 Alfred Fagon Award and was nominated for an Olivier Award this year, talks to Steven Luckie about current work, and responds to recent newspaper criticism about the ‘ghetto mentality’ in Black British theatre. “Lots of black plays that are set in urban areas, but you also have to look at the themes of those plays. The true content of a play is the theme.” Recording date: 11 March 2010

685 INTERVIEW: CAROLINE PARKER The deaf actress talks about her cabaret show Signs of a Star Shaped Diva, written by Nona Shepphard and co-produced by Graeae Theatre Company and Theatre Royal Stratford East, which tours the UK through April. Carole Woddis quizzes. Recorded at Graeae. “We still get the odd disgrunted audience-member complaining that the sign-language distracts them. But I think interpreters add to the show.” Recording date: 15 March 2010

686 ASIAN VOICES: INTERNATIONAL THEATRE SPECIAL Shahid Naseem, playwright, director and founder member of Ajoka, a theatre for social change that was set up in Lahore, Pakistan, in 1984, talks to Suman Bhuchar about his uncompromising career, and the company’s history plays and political interventions. Recorded at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. “History has been distorted by the Establishment, so we have to go back to history to understand where present-day problems originate.” Recording date: 16 March 2010

687 WEST END REVIEW Mark Shenton (Sunday Express) and his guests David Benedict (Variety), Charles Spencer (Daily Telegraph) and Matt Wolf (International Herald Tribune) discuss Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies (Adelphi), Private Lives (Vaudeville), London Assurance (National Theatre), Ghosts (Duchess Theatre) and Ghost Stories (Lyric Hammersmith). Recorded at Central School of Speech and Drama, London. “The whole web community is basically full of malcontents, it seems to me, and no one has ever got anything nice to say about [Love Never Dies].” Recording date: 17 March 2010

688 INTERVIEW: DENNIS KELLY AND MARIA ABERG The playwright and director of The Gods Weep, a Royal Shakespeare Company production at the Hampstead Theatre, starring Jeremy Irons, talk to Aleks Sierz about this epic play, which depicts the descent into an apocalyptic nightmare of Colm, its turbo-charged capitalist protagonist. Recorded at the RSC. “I wanted the play to be messy and crazy – I didn’t want it to be too clean and too neat. Which is good, because it isn’t!” Recording date: 19 March 2010

689 DIRECTING SPECIAL Director John Caird talks to Philip Fisher about his new book, Theatre Craft: A Director’s Practical Companion from A to Z (Faber), a huge volume of practical knowledge about the art of theatre directing, as well as about a career that has taken him not only to great heights with the Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre, but also around the globe. “I felt that I needed to be talking to somebody throughout the book so I decided to address ‘You the director’.” Recording date: 22 March 2010

Recordings from April 2010

Total number of recordings from this month: 6

690 NEW DIORAMA SPECIAL On the eve of its inaugural show, David Byrne, Programming Manager of the New Diorama Theatre (a newly built 80-seat venue in central London), and Robert Gillespie, author of Love, Question Mark, the venture’s first show, tell Aleks Sierz about the thrill of opening a new theatre. “I think that there’s a gap which I want to fill – to help all those companies who are doing exceptional work but are being overlooked by subsidised theatres.” Recording date: 6 April 2010

691 ASIAN VOICES: SANJEEV BHASKAR The actor and comedian talks to Suman Bhuchar about his role in Joe Penhall’s Dumb Show (2004), which is currently being revived at the Rose Theatre, Kingston, and is a black comedy about celebrity. He also discusses his roles in Art, Spamalot and his early career. Recorded at the Rose Theatre. “I have a recurring dream in which I am offered a great role – then I wake up and it’s just a dream. Dumb Show was an offer, but it very rarely happens!” Recording date: 10 April 2010

692 INTERVIEW: JONATHAN HARVEY The playwright talks to Aleks Sierz about his latest play, Canary, an epic which charts gay history over 50 years, in an ambitious co-production between the Liverpool Playhouse, Hampstead Theatre and the English Touring Theatre. Recorded at the ETT. “Historically, gay people don’t have children to pass stories down to, so what happens to those stories when you’re dead and don’t have kids?” Recording date: 12 April 2010

693 FOCUS ON NON ZERO ONE Founder members Iván Gonzales, Cat Harrison, Fran Miller and Alex Turner talk to Matt Boothman about their site-specific debut show, Would Like To Meet, in which the audience explore a series of environments in the Barbican Centre while led by a voice heard through a pair of headphones. With excerpts from this audio-guided work. Recorded at the Barbican. “We discovered that the minutes and seconds on our recorders were slightly different from those on our stop watches – which seems impossible!” Recording date: 15 April 2010

694 ASIAN VOICES: GURPREET KAUR BHATTI The playwright talks to Suman Bhuchar about her latest play, Behud (Beyond Belief) (Soho), which is an imaginative take on her own controversial play, Behzti (Dishonour), which was stopped by a riot outside the theatre on its first production at Birmingham Rep in December 2004. They also explore other aspects of Asian theatre, including Bhatti’s earlier career. “I’m writing a play and not my autobiography, so it’s got to work as a piece of fiction which comes from my imagination.” Recording date: 29 April 2010

695 REGIONAL THEATRE SPECIAL On the eve of the election, Patrick Sandford (artistic director of the Nuffield, Southampton), Simon Stokes (artistic director of the Theatre Royal, Plymouth) and Rachel Tackley (director of English Touring Theatre) join Dominic Cavendish to discuss the state of play in theatre outside London. Recorded at the Young Vic, London. “I don’t think there is a fortress mentality, a competitiveness, but there is a lot more swapping of creative ideas and impulses and personnel.” Recording date: 30 April 2010

Recordings from May 2010

Total number of recordings from this month: 14

696 ASIAN VOICES: PRAVESH KUMAR The artistic director of Rifco Arts talks to Suman Bhuchar about his latest project, Britain’s Got Bhangra (Stratford East/Warwick and touring), a musical composed by Sumeet Chopra which starts with 1980s sequins and evolves into R ‘n’ B fusion. He also discusses other Rifco shows. Recorded at the Theatre Royal Stratford East. “British Bhangra is unique to Britain – in India, Punjabi folk music is very different. So I wanted to tell its story.” Recording date: 1 May 2010

697 INTERVIEW: HOWARD DAVIES The director talks to Carole Woddis about his current production of Mikhail Bulgakov’s The White Guard (National), a play about Russia during the revolution which was Stalin’s favourite drama and is now staged in a new version by Andrew Upton. Recorded at the National. “Russian plays have the same scale as the best American drama, and the same social commitment. I want to do plays about politics.” Recording date: 5 May 2010

698 WEST END REVIEW: REVIVALS SPECIAL Mark Shenton (Sunday Express) and his guests Kate Bassett (Independent on Sunday), David Benedict (Variety) and Charles Spencer (Daily Telegraph) discuss Hair (Gielgud), Women Beware Women (National), Beyond the Horizon/Spring Storm (National), Shirley Valentine/Educating Rita (Menier Chocolate Factory) and The Real Thing (Old Vic). Recorded at Dewynters, London. “Hair? I just had a really good time. I was expecting not to because I get quite annoyed by all the hippy nonsense.”Recording date: 7 May 2010

699 WEST END REVIEW: NEW PLAYS SPECIAL Mark Shenton (Sunday Express) and his guests Kate Bassett (Independent on Sunday), David Benedict (Variety) and Charles Spencer (Daily Telegraph) discuss Laura Wade’s Posh (Royal Court), Lynn Nottage’s Ruined (Almeida), Mark Haddon’s Polar Bears (Donmar) and Tommy Murphy’s Holding the Man (Trafalgar Studios). Recorded at Dewynters, London. “Posh is entertaining but by the time it reaches its conspiracy theory finale, I became less and less convinced.” Recording date: 7 May 2010

670 HOWARD BARKER SPECIAL (1/2) The legendary playwright and Artistic Director of the Wrestling School talks to Professor David Ian Rabey (University of Aberystwyth), about history, abandoning social realism, and creating new definitions of political theatre. Part of the Howard Barker at the Segal Centre Day, a celebration of his work. Recorded live at the Martin E Segal Theater Center at CUNY Graduate Center, New York. “I never contemplate the existence of the audience at all when I create the text: I enjoy ambiguity and I like contradiction.” Recording date: 10 May 2010

671 HOWARD BARKER SPECIAL (2/2) The legendary playwright and Artistic Director of the Wrestling School talks to Professor David Ian Rabey (University of Aberystwyth), about tragedy, working with actors, and the ethics of directing. Plus Q&A. Part of the Howard Barker at the Segal Centre Day, a celebration of his work. Recorded live at the Martin E Segal Theater Center at CUNY Graduate Center, New York. “I love working with actors, and it alters you in some way. But because writers work in solitude it can be difficult to enter a room with 15 people and start organising them.” Recording date: 10 May 2010

672 SHAKESPEARE: MACBETH Actor Will Keen, who plays the title role opposite Anastasia Hille’s Lady Macbeth, talks to Heather Neill about this Cheek by Jowl production, which is directed by Declan Donnellan. Recorded at the Theatre Royal, Brighton. “The first act is very hard work because there is so much backstory there – it’s incredibly intense and fraught work.” Recording date: 14 May 2010

673 INTERVIEW: DREW PAUTZ The Canadian-born playwright talks to Aleks Sierz about his latest play, Love the Sinner (National), which examines the relationship between personal belief and emotional experiences, as well as the tensions between the West and Africa. Recorded at the National. “The question is what is Michael’s wife Shelly willing to swap in exchange for putting up with his lies? The answer is the chance to have a child.” Recording date: 17 May 2010

674 INTERVIEW: DAVID LAN The Artistic Director of the Young Vic talks to Philip Fisher about reviving legendary American playwright August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (1984), which is currently at this venue, as well as about his career, and the mission and future of the Young Vic. Recorded at the Young Vic. “I’m particularly keen to reintroduce to the mainstream, plays which have been left on the side for one reason or another, especially the black repertoire.” Recording date: 20 May 2010

675 SHAKESPEARE: MACBETH Director Lucy Bailey talks to Heather Neill in depth about her current production of Macbeth at Shakespeare’s Globe, which stars Elliot Cowan and Laura Rogers. Recorded at Shakespeare’s Globe. “They are a golden couple, with everything going for them, but Lady Macbeth is also someone who is frustrated in society because she’s a woman.” Recording date: 21 May 2010

676 INTERVIEW: THEA SHARROCK The director offers a few thoughts about playwright Terence Rattigan and his so-called lost 1939 play, After the Dance, which she is reviving successfully now at the National Theatre. Dominic Cavendish quizzes. “There are moments when I think the older generation look at the younger generation and for a split second they realise: ‘That was me’.” Recording date: 24 May 2010

677 FOCUS ON FAR AWAY Debates are part of the nightly format for Simon Godwin’s revival of Caryl Churchill’s Far Away (2000) at the Bristol Old Vic. Here the director invites the novelist Jim Crace and Chris Campbell, literary manager of the Royal Court, to respond to the work – and asks the audience for their contributions too. Sound level: variable. Recorded at the Bristol Old Vic. “You had three separate emotions each of which unnerved you in different ways and you were left to work out quite what that meant.” Recording date: 28 May 2010

678 INTERVIEW: LYN HAILL The Head of Print and Publications at the National Theatre talks to Carole Woddis about how the flagship’s programmes have evolved from simple cast lists into the lavish publications that have proved so popular today. Recorded at the National Theatre. “The programmes now make more of a profit because they are part of the theatregoing experience – one in three audience members buy them.” Recording date: 28 May 2010

679 INTERVIEW: NICK GROSSO The playwright talks to Philip Fisher about Ingredient X (Royal Court), his new play about the nature of addiction, and also about his close relationship with this new writing venue. Recorded at the Royal Court. “I really wanted to show how addiction also impacts on those around the addict and how they leave a trail of destruction in their wake.” Recording date: 29 May 2010

Recordings from June 2010

Total number of recordings from this month: 9

680 NEW WRITING: DENNIS KELLY The playwright gives a career overview to Aleks Sierz, talking about his plays, Debris (2003), Osama the Hero (2005), After the End (2005), Love and Money (2007), Taking Care of Baby (2007), and Orphans (2008). Recorded at Narrative in Drama, the 19th Annual Conference of the German Society for Contemporary Drama in English, held in Paderborn. Substantial extract. Expletives not deleted. (Edited transcript available as ‘Narrative in Contemporary Drama (Dennis Kelly in Conversation with Aleks Sierz)’, in Merle Tönnies and Christina Flotmann (eds), Narrative in Drama (CDE 18), Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2011.) “I wanted Love and Money to shift every time you come to a new scene so that you feel that there is something different happening all the time.” Recording date: 6 June 2010

681 NINETEENTH-CENTURY THEATRE SPECIAL While walking around the exhibition of West End Theatre in the 19th Century at the National Theatre, which features posters, playbills and costumes, Heather Neill talks to Judith Bottomley, local studies librarian at the Westminster City Archive, source of many of the exhibits, and Robert Tanitch, author of The London Stage in the Nineteenth Century (Carnegie), about the dramatic arts of the Regency and Victorian eras. “Spoken drama was seen as a threat because it often had a political message – licences were a way of controlling theatre and preventing riots.” Recording date: 7 June 2010

682 ASIAN VOICES: ALIA BANO The playwright talks to Suman Bhuchar about her latest play, Hens, which has had a short run at the Riverside Studios before being screened by the Sky Arts channel on 23 June in their series of contemporary televised drama. They also discuss her other work, including her debut Shades and her current Let Them Eat Cake (Royal Court), as well as Gap (National Connections season). Recorded at the Riverside. “How can I possibly shy away from the fact that I am a woman and an Asian? I’m very proud of where I come from, and of my identity as a writer.” Recording date: 17 June 2010

683 INTERVIEW: OLLIE KADERBHAL AND POPPY CORBETT The Artistic Director and Associate Director of DELIRIUM: talk to Matt Boothman about staging their debut promenade production, Your Nation Loves You, in the Old Vic Tunnels underneath Waterloo station. “We had walkie talkies from the dress rehearsal – until then me and Poppy had to scream at each other and hope that the echoes carried far enough.” Recording date: 18 June 2010

684 FOCUS ON FEMINIST THEATRE Theatre researcher and curator Susan Croft talks to Carole Woddis about the How the Vote Was Won: Art, Theatre and Women’s Suffrage exhibition (Museum of Richmond), which she curated with Irene Cockroft, as well as about her book She Also Wrote Plays (Faber) and the Unfinished Histories project, which she co-founded with Jessica Higgs. “The suffrage campaign is so contemporary in its commitment, energy and inspiration, and in its effects on all the arts.” Recording date: 18 June 2010

685 TONY AWARDS 2010 London critics Mark Shenton (Sunday Express) and Matt Wolf (International Herald Tribune) shuttled over to New York to watch the Tony Awards, at which British-originated productions triumphed, with a total of 10 wins out of a possible 26. Here they deliver their verdicts on the whole shebang. “I feel sorry for David (Babani) but I think they should have realised in advance that in no award do three people to the podium…” Recording date: 18 June 2010

686 WEST END REVIEW Mark Shenton (Sunday Express) and his guests Kate Bassett (Independent on Sunday), Charles Spencer (Daily Telegraph) and Matt Wolf (International Herald Tribune) discuss Arthur Miller’s All My Sons (Apollo), Simon Gray’s The Late Middle Classes (Donmar), Terence Rattigan’s After the Dance (National), Drew Pautz’s Love the Sinner (National) and Ingmar Bergman’s Through a Glass Darkly (Almeida). Recorded at Dewynters, London. “The Late Middle Classes was supposed to move into the West End – instead the Gielgud theatre booked Boy Band The Musical.” Recording date: 21 June 2010

687 INTERVIEW: LINDA BASSETT As the Arcola Theatre stages a mini-season of the South African playwright Athol Fugard’s work – The Road to Mecca (1984) and Coming Home (2009) – the actress (who stars in The Road to Mecca) talks to Heather Neill about working with the playwright. Recorded at the Arcola. “We’ve tried every which way of working with the accent, and we just do our best, but you do worry about the South Africans in the audience.” Recording date: 22 June 2010

688 INTERVIEW: HOWARD BRENTON The playwright talks to Carole Woddis about his three current productions: his new play, Anne Boleyn (Shakespeare’s Globe), his adaptation of Robert Tressell’s The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (Liverpool/Chichester) and his version of Georg Buchner’s Danton’s Death (National). “Sartre said that some writers write for God, some writers write for themselves and some writers write for others – I’m a writer who writes for other people.” Recording date: 28 June 2010

Recordings from July 2010

Total number of recordings from this month: 10

689 INTERVIEW: NF SIMPSON Extracts from a conversation with Dominic Cavendish at Simpson’s home in Cornwall in which the 91-year-old ‘absurdist’ playwright ranges across his life and various topics – his 1957 debut A Resounding Tinkle, the Royal Court, the Goons, Harold Pinter – ahead of the world premiere of his latest play, If So, Then Yes, at the Jermyn Street Theatre. Conducted at teatime in the presence of the play’s director Simon Usher, and Molly, Simpson’s Jack Russell. “I know I’m paranoid. If people came up and praised me I hated it, because I had this feeling that behind my back they were nudging one another.” Recording date: 6 July 2010

690 INTERVIEW: MARK BALL The new artistic director of the London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT), introduces Carole Woddis to this year’s programme highlights, discussing site-specific theatre and new audiences, and presents his vision for the future. Recorded at the ICA. “The theatre sector has been slow to understand the digital revolution, and the new digital culture which has transformed society over the past 15 years.” Recording date: 9 July 2010

691 NEW WRITING SPECIAL Paul Robinson and Tim Roseman, artistic directors of Theatre 503 in London, tell Aleks Sierz about their theatre’s work with new playwrights, including their contribution to the current Latitude Festival. They also discuss Nimer Rahsed’s Wild Horses, Porn the Musical, and Urban Scrawl, as well as their upcoming projects. Recorded at RADA. “Recently, there has been a feeling that writers were no longer at the heart of new writing theatres: we want to change all that.” Recording date: 9 July 2010

692 INTERVIEW: DAVINA ELLIOTT The dresser and theatre novelist chats to Philip Fisher about her two novels, Chewing the Scenery and Climbing the Curtain (Puck Books), as well as giving insights into twenty-plus years of dressing the stars, including for Wicked (Apollo). “There are some amazingly horrendous things that go on backstage that the audience don’t know about, and I have tried to keep everything as accurate as possible in the novels.” Recording date: 9 July 2010

693 INTERACTIVE SPECIAL BAC’s joint artistic director David Jubb talks to Matt Boothman about the venue’s One-on-One Festival, the first ever of intimate theatre which plays to audiences of one person at a time, and then with practitioners Emma Benson (You Me Now) and Sheila Ghelani (Nurse Knows Best). Recorded at BAC (Battersea Arts Centre), including in the noisy foyer. “One-on-One work is becoming increasingly important because it engages with what is central to theatre – live exchange.” Recording date: 10 July 2010

694 INTERVIEW: MIKE BRADWELL (1/2) The director talks to Aleks Sierz about his new book, The Reluctant Escapologist: Adventures in Alternative Theatre (Nick Hern), which tells of his early experiences of making contemporary theatre, and his memories of East 15, Joan Littlewood, Living Theatre and Mike Leigh. Expletives not deleted. “It seemed to me that what Joan Littlewood said and did just chimed with what I felt: I wanted popular entertainment that meant something.” Recording date: 13 July 2010

695 INTERVIEW: MIKE BRADWELL (2/2) The director talks to Aleks Sierz about his new book, The Reluctant Escapologist: Adventures in Alternative Theatre (Nick Hern), which tells of his experiences of making contemporary theatre with Hull Truck, which he founded in 1971, and at the Bush, which he headed 1996-2007, and with Ken Campbell. Expletives not deleted. “We were doing social satire, looking at our contemporaries across a wide class spectrum from public schoolboys to people on the dole.” Recording date: 13 July 2010

696 INTERVIEW: MIKE BARTLETT A series of extracts from a conversation with Dominic Cavendish about Earthquakes in London (Headlong), the playwright’s debut hit at the National Theatre, in which he talks about climate change, the Baby Boomer generation and why Coldplay shouldn’t be given the cold shoulder in the theatre. “We actually want to do things without a constant contextualisation in the past, a constant sense of ‘You’re doing what we did, but slightly worse’.” Recording date: 19 July 2010

697 INTERVIEW: POLLY FINDLAY The director talks to Carole Woddis about her current revival of Caryl Churchill’s Light Shining in Buckinghamshire (Arcola), her 1976 play about the radical ideas that surfaced during the English Revolution of the 1640s, as well as about the James Menzies-Kitchin Young Director Award, which she won in 2007. Recorded at the Young Vic. “At the time, women were taking up roles that they otherwise wouldn’t have done so it seemed appropriate to have female actors playing men.” Recording date: 23 July 2010

698 INTERVIEW: JOE HILL-GIBBINS The director talks to Philip Fisher about his cracking revival of Martin McDonagh’s 1996 debut, The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Young Vic). He also looks back at his controversial debut, Wallace Shawn’s A Thought in Three Parts, and forwards to his upcoming production of Tennessee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie. Recorded at the Young Vic. “What sets it out from so many plays is that the storytelling and more specifically the plotting is just magnificent. It’s what makes it really powerful in front of an audience.” Recording date: 29 July 2010

Recordings from August 2010

Total number of recordings from this month: 16

699 ASIAN VOICES: SUDHA BHUCHAR and KRISTINE LANDON-SMITH The writer and director of Tamasha discuss their latest, The House of Bilquis Bibi (Hampstead, and touring), with Suman Bhuchar. The play is an adaptation of Federico Garcia Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba and is part of the company’s 21st birthday celebrations. “Why, when a British Asian company chooses to use Indian accents in a play set in the sub-continent, do some critics think this is incomprehensible?” Recording date: 1 August 2010

700 ON CRITICISM Nicholas Dromgoole, onetime dance critic of the Sunday Telegraph, talks to Aleks Sierz about his new book, The Role of the Critic (Oberon), which surveys the history of arts criticism from the ancient Greeks right up to the present. “Quite often, critics in the past not only got it wrong, but they also did positive damage to the art form they should have been serving.” Recording date: 2 August 2010

701 INTERVIEW: ANGUS MacKECHNIE The producer of the National Theatre’s Watch This Space events tells Carole Woddis about this 14-week free festival, the longest open-air theatre programme in the land, now in its 12th and most ambitious year. Recorded at the National. “We call the Theatre Square our fourth auditorium – and it has a distinctive tone to its work, which usually has a strong narrative thread.” Recording date: 3 August 2010

702 SHAKESPEARE: HENRY IV PARTS 1 AND 2 Actor Roger Allam talks to Heather Neill about his critically acclaimed performance as Falstaff in Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 (Shakespeare’s Globe), directed by Dominic Dromgoole. Recorded at Shakespeare’s Globe. “So much has been written about Falstaff, but you really can’t say that this character has read all that has been written about him!” Recording date: 3 August 2010

703 INTERVIEW: JANE PRITCHARD The Curator of Dance at the V&A talks to Carole Woddis about Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballets Russes, the upcoming V&A exhibition which marks the centenary of the Ballets Russes, including items relating to The Firebird (1910) and The Rite of Spring (1913). She also describes the V&A’s Theatre and Performance Collection, located at Blythe House. “Dance was moribund when Diaghilev revitalised it, and by doing so he created a template that influenced the whole theatrical profession.” Recording date: 4 August 2010

704 EDINBURGH 2010 Andy Field and Deborah Pearson, co-artistic directors of Forest Fringe, talk to Dominic Cavendish about their Fringe-transforming venue, which creates new opportunities for artists to make work during the festival while letting audiences in on a pay-what-you-can basis. Recorded at Forest Fringe, Edinburgh. “We’d hate to be poster-boys for David Cameron’s big society – we see ourselves as part of a theatre ecology in which funding is absolutely crucial.” Recording date: 12 August 2010

705 EDINBURGH 2010 Producer Richard Jordan talks to Philip Fisher about the economics of producing shows for the Edinburgh Festival during the recession, and chats about some of the biggest shows currently in town. “I think everyone is affected by the global recession. Edinburgh has been very buoyant with audience numbers and again, like last year, it’s been very busy.” Recording date: 14 August 2010

706 ASIAN VOICES: TAQI NAZEER The actor, who plays the part of Ajay Chopra in Bryony Lavery’s play (Frantic Assembly/National Theatre of Scotland), talks to Suman Bhuchar about his professional debut in the show. Recorded at the Pleasance Forth. “It has taken time for Asian people to come through in the arts and sports – and they usually need the support of their family.” Recording date: 14 August 2010

707 EDINBURGH 2010 Nilaja Sun, the New York actor and writer, talks about No Child (Assembly Rooms), her one-woman tragicomic expose of the worst aspects of the American schooling system, and her attempts to improve kids’ lives through the use of theatre. Excerpt from monologue. Interview by Philip Fisher. “I am in a festival where people love theatre. I cannot believe how everyone’s souls are so open and so ready to love the show.” Recording date: 15 August 2010

708 EDINBURGH 2010 Irish playwright Michael West discusses collaborative creation in the context of his Freefall (Traverse), a hit about the uncertainties of life seen through the eyes of a dying man, and also his previous play Dublin by Lamplight. Interview by Philip Fisher. “There’s a chemical change in the air in Ireland and ordinary people are feeling the sense in which we do have choices to make in our lives.” Recording date: 18 August 2010

709 EDINBURGH 2010 Versatile performer Issy van Randwyck discusses her Edinburgh show, Brian Parks’ Imperial Fizz (Assembly Rooms), and chats about balancing family and theatre work, and her varied career. Interview by Philip Fisher. “Brian Parks has a delicious use of the English language. It’s Stoppard crossed with Noel Coward. And it’s a real joy for an actor.” Recording date: 19 August 2010

710 INTERVIEW: SIMON USHER The director talks to Aleks Sierz about his production of If So, Then Yes (Jermyn Street Theatre), his first new play for decades, and about the playwright’s other work, such as A Resounding Tinkle (1957). Recorded at Dewynters, London. “When I saw Simpson recently he quoted a line from Henri Bergson about comedy being a momentary anaesthetic of the heart – but only momentary.” Recording date: 20 August 2010

711 EDINBURGH FRINGE 2010 REVIEW Neil Cooper (The Herald) and Mark Fisher (Scotland on Sunday; Guardian) join Philip Fisher (British Theatre Guide, Western Mail) to select their personal highlights from the Fringe, as it draws to a close in its final week. “Teenage Riot (at the Traverse) – the clue is in the title… it puts two fingers up to the audience and then it puts two fingers up the audience again…” Recording date: 24 August 2010

712 EDINBURGH 2010 REVIEW Neil Cooper (The Herald) and Mark Fisher (Scotland on Sunday; Guardian) join Philip Fisher (British Theatre Guide, Western Mail) to discuss Caledonia by Alistair Beaton (King’s Theatre) at the International Festival; Roadkill by Cora Bissett (Traverse) and Hot Mess (Hawke and Hunter) by Ella Hickson. “Roadkill is not alone in subjecting audiences to pretty harsh examples of men being crap – there’s lots of examples of male brutality.” Recording date: Recording date: 24 August 2010

713 EDINBURGH 2010 Writer and director David Leddy, of Fire Exit Ltd, talks to Matt Boothman about his critically acclaimed show, Sub Rosa (Hill Street Theatre), a Victorian gothic promenade through a dark world of secrets and revolt. Expletives not deleted. Recorded at the occasionally noisy Underdogs cafe. “There have been posts about the show on masonic chatrooms, where people have asked whether their ‘brothers’ have seen it.” Recording date: Recording date: 24 August 2010

714 INTERVIEW: BRYONY LAVERY The playwright talks about her critically acclaimed boxing play, Beautiful Burnout (Frantic Assembly/National Theatre of Scotland), to Carole Woddis, and also gives insights into her long and prolific career. Recorded at the National Theatre. “The gym was vibrating with good energy, with about fifty boys and three girls all training – I think it was the safest possible environment.” Recording date: Recording date: 27 August 2010

Recordings from September 2010

Total number of recordings from this month: 7

715 INTERVIEW: MOIRA BUFFINI The playwright talks to Heather Neill about her latest play, Welcome to Thebes (National), which takes the stories of Antigone, Theseus and Eurydice and sets them in a contemporary war-torn African state. Recorded at the National Theatre. “Greek myths are essentially war stories, and lots of war stories are told in this play, as they are in countries where there has just been a war.” 3 September 2010

716 INTERVIEW: MICHAEL WALLING The artistic director of Border Crossings theatre company, which specialise in intercultural, multimedia shows, talks to Carole Woddis about Re-Orientations (Soho), the last of their Orientations trilogy. He is also Visiting Professor at Rose Bruford College. Recorded at the Soho Theatre. “Some intercultural work can be imperialist, robbing the wealth of another country – but that’s not what we are about.” 10 September 2010

717 INTERVIEW: JESSICA BREWSTER The Joint Artistic Director of Theatre Delicatessen talks to Matt Boothman about the company’s occupation of derelict spaces in affluent areas of London, and about Theatre Souk, a ‘theatre marketplace’ in which acts and audiences haggle over what each performance is worth. Recorded at 3-4 Picton Place, London. “We have these alternative spaces but we’re not necessarily an alternative theatre company… the next thing we’re planning is A Doll’s House.” 13 September 2010

718 INTERVIEW: ARCHAEOLOGY SPECIAL Heather Knight of the Museum of London Archaeology and Penny Tuerk of the Tower Theatre talk to Heather Neill about excavations of The Theatre, the first purpose-built venue in Elizabethan London, where several of Shakespeare’s plays were first put on. Recorded at the Museum of London Archaeology. “I’ve fallen in love with James Burbage, who was a rotter, because he was so much like modern theatre people.” 14 September 2010

719 INTERVIEW: NELL LEYSHON The playwright talks to Heather Neill about her latest play, Bedlam (Shakespeare’s Globe), the first by a female writer at this venue, and about her award-winning Comfort Me with Apples (Hampstead, 2005). Recorded at Shakespeare’s Globe. “I have worked with vulnerable people, and I have become more comfortable with the idea of writing a funny play about madness.” 16 September 2010

720 WEST END REVIEW: NEW PLAYS SPECIAL Mark Shenton (Sunday Express) and his guests David Benedict (Variety), Charles Spencer (Daily Telegraph) and Matt Wolf (International Herald Tribune) discuss Clybourne Park (Royal Court), Birdsong (Comedy Theatre), Blood and Gifts (National), Yes, Prime Minister (Gielgud) and House of Games (Almeida). Recorded at Dewynters, London. “You couldn’t say any more what an Almeida play is, what does the Almeida believe in? There seems to be no vision…” 29 September 2010

721 WEST END REVIEW: REVIVALS SPECIAL Mark Shenton (Sunday Express) and his guests David Benedict (Variety), Charles Spencer (Daily Telegraph) and Matt Wolf (International Herald Tribune) discuss Deathtrap (Noel Coward), Design for Living (Old Vic), Passion (Donmar Warehouse), Les Miserables (Barbican) and Krapp’s Last Tape (Duchess). Recorded at Dewynters, London. “I don’t think there will ever be a better production of Sondheim’s Passion, one of the best musicals he ever wrote. I was laid waste by it…” 29 September 2010

Recordings from October 2010

Total number of recordings from this month: 18

722 INTERVIEW: LOU RAMSDEN The playwright talks to Aleks Sierz about her latest play, Breed (Theatre503), a terrific story about a dog-fighting family, and about working with 503Five, a group of emerging playwrights in residence at Theatre 503 in south London. “Our rehearsal room wall was covered in pictures of dogs being trained and of the brutal injuries that they inflict on each other, and on humans.” 1 October 2010

723 INTERVIEW: LOUGHLIN DEEGAN The director of the Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival talks to Dominic Cavendish about the 2010 programme, which features work by Samuel Beckett, David Mamet and Harold Pinter. The festival runs to 17 October. “I was offered the job in December 2006 at a time when the city was changing so fast it was really difficult for artists and arts organisations to keep pace.” 2 October 2010

724 INTERVIEW: LISA EVANS AND NATALIE WILSON Playwright Lisa Evans and director Natalie Wilson, head of Theatre Centre, talk to Aleks Sierz about The Day the Waters Came (Unicorn), a youth theatre play about the flooding of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Recorded at the Unicorn. “It’s about empathy: young audiences begin to realise that a disaster does not just happen to other people, but could happen to them.” 7 October 2010

725 INTERVIEW: FRANCIS ALEXANDER The Artistic Director of Chelsea Theatre talks to Diana Damian about programming this year’s Sacred festival, international collaboration and the future of Live Art in the UK. The Sacred festival, a season of contemporary performance, takes place between 26 October and 20 November at the Chelsea Theatre in London. Recorded at a noisy London cafe. “One of the themes of US performance is credit, which is a word whose root means belief as well as meaning money.” 7 October 2010

726 INTERVIEW: STEPHEN UNWIN The artistic director of the Rose Theatre in Kingston talks to Aleks Sierz about his well-received revival of Noel Coward’s 1925 play, Hay Fever, and about his experience of running a large venue with no Arts Council grant. Recorded at the Rose. “I believe in uncovering the specific nature of a play’s historical moment, and then finding the energy realised through that understanding.” 8 October 2010

727 INTERVIEW: LYNNE PARKER The founder and artistic director of Rough Magic Theatre Company talks to Carole Woddis about Phaedra, a new version of Racine’s play, written by Hilary Fannin, and with music inspired by Rameau’s opera by Ellen Cranitch. Recorded at Rough Magic, Dublin. “We’re a very text-based company – the spoken word is our stock-in-trade, but there’s always a point when language becomes musical.” 8 October 2010

728 INTERVIEW: EINA McHUGH The director and chief executive of the Ark, the first custom-built cultural centre for children in Europe, talks to Carole Woddis about The Girl Who Forgot To Sing Badly by Tasmanian Irish writer, Finegan Kruckemeyer, directed by Lynne Parker, in association with Theatre Lovett. A one-man show, performed by Louis Lovett, it has garnered plaudits. Recorded at the Ark. “Access, providing high-quality, inspirational, child-centred work that can really show people new possibilities is what we wanted to do.” 10 October 2010

729 INTERVIEW: GARRY HYNES The artistic director of Galway’s Druid Theatre Company talks to Carole Woddis talks about Sean O’Casey’s The Silver Tassie (Gaiety Theatre), and about her vision for the company which she co-founded with Mick Lally and Marie Mullen. Recorded at the Gresham Hotel, Dublin. “O’Casey was a man of ferocious beliefs and you can actually feel his pen digging into the paper when he wrote this play.” 11 October 2010

730 INTERVIEW: GEORGE PERRIN and JAMES GRIEVE The new joint artistic directors of Paines Plough, talk to Dominic Cavendish about their plans for the touring new writing company on the eve of the UK premiere of Love Love Love by Mike Bartlett at the Drum, Theatre Royal, Plymouth. “We are drawn to writers and to plays that are innately theatrical – we want to do more work that absolutely embraces the theatrical space.” 12 October 2010

731 ASIAN VOICES: IQBAL KHAN The director talks to Suman Bhuchar about his current revival of Arthur Miller’s 1994 play, Broken Glass (Tricycle), which stars Antony Sher, and about his career, and the state of Asian theatre today. Recorded at the National Theatre. “I am disappointed by the lack of genuine Asian playwriting voices – there are not enough people writing big stories or experimenting with form.” 15 October 2010

732 SHAKESPEARE: HAMLET Actor Rory Kinnear gives Heather Neill an in-depth analysis of the central role in Nicholas Hytner’s critically lauded production, which is currently running at the National Theatre (it will be broadcast as part of NT Live on 9 December). Recorded at the National. “Hamlet’s famous advice to the Players is fairly fundamental and these ideas have not really changed in 400 years.” 19 October 2010

733 INTERVIEW: BASIL JONES The co-founder, with Adrian Kohler, of Handspring, the South African puppetry company, talks to Carole Woddis about Or You Could Kiss Me (National Theatre), their current collaboration with writer and director Neil Bartlett. Recorded at the National. “This time, the innovative puppets have more joints than human beings, which allows them to do so many more things.” 20 October 2010

734 INTERVIEW: MATTHEW EVANS This year’s James Menzies-Kitchin Award-winning director talks to Diana Damian about his new show at London’s Hoxton Hall, the classic She Stoops To Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith, and the challenges of directing farce as a young director. “My approach was to have fun with the cast, and let the audience have fun too – which is what Goldsmith was also interested in.” 20 October 2010

735 INTERVIEW: CATHERINE CUSACK and PAUL McEWAN The two actors, who are appearing together in a rare revival of The Two-Character Play by Tennessee Williams at the Jermyn Street Theatre, join the production’s director, Gene David Kirk, to discuss the challenges of this experimental piece. Dominic Cavendish quizzes. “There were levels of various bewilderment from the 1967 audience because it was something so very different to anything Williams had written in the past.” 22 October 2010

736 BLACK VOICES: FEMI ELUFOWOJU Jr The Artistic Director of Tiata Fahodzi theatre company talks to Amardeep Sohi about his radical, all-female revival of Joe Penhall’s 2000 hit, Blue/Orange, currently running at the Arcola Theatre, London. Recorded at Tiata Fahodzi. “I haven’t really concentrated on the theme of race and madness. I was more interested in how power, class and ambition are easily transferable across gender.” 26 October 2010

737 INTERVIEW: ATHOL FUGARD Ahead of the UK premiere of his latest play, The Train Driver, at Hampstead Theatre, South Africa’s leading playwright, now 78, a key figure in the artistic struggle against Apartheid, talks to Dominic Cavendish about the play, his career and his feelings of disillusion about the state of his country today. Recorded at the Hampstead Theatre. “I’m not afraid or ashamed of the word entertainment – it’s got to be that, that’s the bottom line. Anything you want to do in addition to entertainment comes on top of that.” 26 October 2010

738 INTERVIEW: LUCY BAILEY and ANDA WINTERS The co-artistic directors of The Print Room in Notting Hill, London’s newest theatre venue, talk to Matt Boothman about the venture, which launches with Fabrication by Italian writer Pier Paolo Pasolini. Recorded at The Print Room. “I’m sure it is a bold thing to be self-financing, and I am sure that the Arts Council is relieved that we are not at the moment knocking on their door for money.” 29 October 2010

739 ASIAN VOICES: MEERA SYAL The actor, writer and comedian talks to Suman Bhuchar about her role in Willy Russell’s 1986 classic Shirley Valentine (Trafalgar Studios), her film and writing career, and her advice to aspiring actors. Recorded in her dressing room, Trafalgar Studios. “Keep knocking on the door with your own I deas – you need to find a way of surviving this profession with all of your dignity and sanity intact.” 30 October 2010

Recordings from November 2010

Total number of recordings from this month: 15

740 INTERVIEW: TIM ETCHELLS The director and founding member of Forced Entertainment, the Sheffield-based experimental theatre company, talks to Aleks Sierz about their latest show, The Thrill of It All, which uses deranged dance, voice distortion and Japanese lounge music, and is currently visiting London. Recorded at the Riverside Studios. “I really love it when the show is funny but I also like to take an uncomfortable moment and stretch it, just to see where it will go.” Recording date: 2 November 2010

741 WEST END REVIEW: AUTUMN REVIVALS SPECIAL Mark Shenton (Sunday Express) and his guests Charles Spencer (Daily Telegraph) and Matt Wolf (International Herald Tribune) discuss Hamlet, starring Rory Kinnear (National Theatre), Men Should Weep (National), When We Are Married (Garrick), Country Girl (Apollo), Broken Glass (Tricycle) and Blasted (Lyric Hammersmith). Recorded at Dewynters, London. “These plays essentially come, all of them, from a mind that has been in the hell of depression. Not to mention that seems to me to be absurd and dishonest.” Recording date: 2 November 2010

742 WEST END REVIEW: AUTUMN NEW PLAYS Mark Shenton (Sunday Express) and his guests Charles Spencer (Daily Telegraph) and Matt Wolf (International Herald Tribune) discuss Tribes (Royal Court), Or You Could Kiss Me (National Theatre), Onassis (Novello), Enlightenment (Hampstead) and Flashdance (Shaftesbury). Recorded at Dewynters, London. “You do get this extraordinary sense of what it must be like to live in a family of belligerent over-achievers where everyone kind of shouts at one another.” Recording date: 2 November 2010

743 INTERVIEW: STEVE WATERS The playwright and teacher instructs Aleks Sierz in the mysterious arts of playwriting, and talks him through his new book, The Secret Life of Plays (Nick Hern), which explores the emotional as well as the technical aspects of the writer’s craft. Recorded at the Bush Theatre. “Stage time is hard to talk about because we have a very impoverished language for it, but it is all about energy and life.” Recording date: 4 November 2010

744 INTERVIEW: MEHMET ERGEN The artistic director of the acclaimed Arcola theatre in Dalston, East London, talks about his Turkish upbringing, his career in the UK and the imminent plans to relocate the theatre. Steven Luckie quizzes. “When I came to London I couldn’t speak English – what do I do with my three-month student visa? I enrolled at an English school! It was the last days of the Thatcher dictatorship…” Recording date: 4 November 2010

745 SARAH KANE SPECIAL Post-show discussion involving playwrights Simon Stephens, Laura Wade and David Watson about the influence of Kane’s 1995 debut play, Blasted, which is currently being revived at the Lyric Hammersmith in a production directed by its artistic director Sean Holmes. Short excerpt. “I remember reading about what they were calling in-yer-face theatre and thinking it was very distant from what I was doing.” Recording date: 8 November 2010

746 INTERVIEW: DAN REBELLATO The playwright and academic talks to Aleks Sierz about his latest successful play, Chekhov in Hell (Drum Theatre, Plymouth), which sees the Russian playwright come awake, after a 100-year coma, in 21st-century Britain. “I was asking, ‘What would Chekhov’s characteristic gaze be on the contemporary? How would he see the world today?’” Recording date: 9 November 2010

747 INTERVIEW: REBECCA PRICHARD The playwright talks to Carole Woddis about her new play, Dream Pill (Soho Theatre), on the subject of child trafficking, which features in Charged, a two-part season of six plays produced by Clean Break theatre company. She also discusses her 1998 hit Yard Gal. Recorded at the Soho Theatre. “I feel angry that when I raise the subject of feminism some people say that that’s a 1970s retrograde opinion, but it’s not.” Recording date: 12 November 2010

748 COALITION CUTS SPECIAL (1/2) Steven Luckie asks what the arts funding cuts might mean for black, Asian and other diverse theatrical cultures in the UK. His guests – Deborah Bestwick (Oval House Theatre), Patricia Cumper (Talawa), Tyrone Huggins (Sustained Theatre), and Jatinder Verma (Tara Arts) – begin by looking at the effects of funding reductions. “Can we become part of the arts scene without special pleading? If I look at the Arts Council’s 10-year plan, for the first time there is no specific policy for diversity.” Recording date: 15 November 2010

749 COALITION CUTS SPECIAL (2/2) Steven Luckie asks what the arts funding cuts might mean for black, Asian and other diverse theatrical cultures in the UK. His guests – Deborah Bestwick (Oval House Theatre), Patricia Cumper (Talawa), Tyrone Huggins (Sustained Theatre), and Jatinder Verma (Tara Arts) – continue by looking at the future of training and education. “I think there is a reordering of the values of society – and there’s a movement away from anything that’s seen as even slightly less left-leaning.” Recording date: 15 November 2010

750 INTERVIEW: NICA BURNS Philip Fisher persuades Nica Burns, current President of the Society of London Theatre, to reflect on a career that started on the Fringe, and eventually led to ownership of Nimax – a production company which she runs along with Max Weitzenhoffer – and five West End theatres. “There are no more cuts to be made. The government is very short-sighted because I don’t really see it as a subsidy, it’s an investment.” Recording date: 15 November 2010

751 INTERVIEW: TIM LUSCOMBE The playwright and director talks to Aleks Sierz about his latest play, Hungry Ghosts (Orange Tree Theatre), which is set in Shanghai and concerns a British Grand Prix racing driver and his relationships with Chinese party members and reformers. Recorded at the Actors Centre. “I wanted to highlight some of the problems in Communist China, but also to show how corporate Europe is no better in some respects.” Recording date: 16 November 2010

752 SHAKESPEARE: NEW STRATFORD THEATRES To coincide with the unveiling of the £112.8m improved, enhanced and astounding Royal Shakespeare (RST) and Swan theatres, Michael Boyd – artistic director of the RSC – talks to Carole Woddis about this major new chapter in the company’s near 50-year-history. “If theatre is going to achieve that gift of community on a scale that allows it to take part in mainstream culture, it has to be in a large auditorium.” Recording date: 23 November 2010

753 INTERVIEW: DAVID LANE The playwright, dramaturg and academic tells Aleks Sierz about his new book, Contemporary British Drama (Edinburgh University Press), which surveys the role of the writer in the different fields of new writing, verbatim theatre, collaborative processes, black theatre, plays for young people and various forms of adaptation. Recorded at the Young Vic. “I was interested in how the writer’s vision was manifested in work by dance companies, physical theatre companies, verbatim testimony and theatre for young people.” Recording date: 24 November 2010

754 INTERVIEW: MICHAEL LAWRENCE After a brief extract from the work, the writer and performer talks to Matt Boothman about his new play, Krapp, 39 (Tristan Bates Theatre), which is an autobiographical piece in which Laurence, a Samuel Beckett fan and inspired by Krapp’s Last Tape (1958), creates a diary using video, a laptop and audio recording on his 39th birthday. Recorded at Tristan Bates. “On a really good night we have the sense, going into it, that this might be a little awkward and embarrassing for all of us – that I might be revealing a little too much of myself.” Recording date: 27 November 2010

Recordings from December 2010

Total number of recordings from this month: 6

755 INTERVIEW: CORA BISSETT The multi-talented actress chats to Philip Fisher about creating and performing in David Greig and Gordon McIntyre’s 2009 smash hit Midsummer, currently playing at the Tricycle, and also about devising and directing the Amnesty Award-winning Roadkill, last seen earlier in the year at Edinburgh and which will tour in 2011. Recorded at the Tricycle. “David has an incredible way of creating an atmosphere where you feel comfortable sharing your innermost life stories, then you realise, aha these are going to end up in a play.” Recording date: 5 December 2010

756 WEST END REVIEW (1/2): CLASSICS Mark Shenton (Sunday Express) and his guests David Benedict (Variety), Charles Spencer (Daily Telegraph) and Matt Wolf (International Herald Tribune) discuss King Lear (Donmar Warehouse), The Master Builder (Almeida), The Rivals (Theatre Royal Haymarket), An Ideal Husband (Vaudeville), Season’s Greetings (National Theatre) and The Glass Menagerie (Young Vic). Recorded at Dewynters, London. “Because the Donmar has been covered in white planks for Lear, you feel like you’re in the presence of everybody, so nobody has to play up.” Recording date: 10 December 2010

757 WEST END REVIEW (2/2): MUSICALS Mark Shenton (Sunday Express) and his guests David Benedict (Variety), Charles Spencer (Daily Telegraph) and Matt Wolf (International Herald Tribune) discuss End of the Rainbow (Trafalgar Studios), Love Story (Duchess Theatre), Matilda (RSC Stratford) and Fela! (National Theatre). Recorded at Dewynters, London. “What can one say about Matilda? I would say this is the single greatest British musical I have ever seen. It’s a complete triumph.” Recording date: 10 December 2010

758 ASIAN VOICES: JATINDER VERMA The founder and artistic director of Tara Arts gives a lecture entitled Intercultural Theatre as a Paradigm for European Modernity, part of the 4th Intercultural Practice Exchange: Interculturalism – Art and Policy, a collaboration between Border Crossings and the Platform for Intercultural Europe, held at Rose Bruford College. “The modernity of Britain is enshrined in its interculturalism – it’s impossible to walk the streets without encountering its sights, sounds and smells.” Recording date: 15 December 2010

759 ASIAN VOICES: DAVID TSE KA SHING The creative director of Chinatown Arts Space and founder of Yellow Earth gives a lecture entitled Working with British East Asian Communities, part of the 4th Intercultural Practice Exchange: Interculturalism – Art and Policy, a collaboration between Border Crossings and the Platform for Intercultural Europe, held at Rose Bruford College. “For the British East Asian arts sector, the mere fact that you manage to put on a show is itself a political act.” Recording date: 15 December 2010

760 INTERVIEW: MARK WAKELING The actor and managing director of the Actors Temple talks to Aleks Sierz about how his actors’ training centre offers an alternative, or supplement, to drama school, and how the techniques of Sanford Meisner have inspired him and his colleagues. Recorded at the Actors Temple, London. “In the commercial world, most actors are completely powerless, whereas if you are independent you can get together with others and do what you really want.” Recording date: 20 December 2010

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