From the category archives:

Political theatre

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The Confessions of Gordon Brown, post-show debate (excerpt)

5 July 2014

in Political theatre

THE CONFESSIONS OF GORDON BROWN, roundtable. Post-show talk in which Kevin Toolis, the author and director of this acclaimed one-man show about former Labour PM Gordon Brown, hears the views of Iain Martin, political commentator for the Daily Telegraph and Dominic Cavendish, one of its theatre critics. Recorded at the New Ambassador’s Theatre, London on 24-June-2014.

Playwright Moira Buffini puts Thatcher and the Queen on stage in Handbagged (1/2)

INTERVIEW: MOIRA BUFFINI (1/2) The playwright talks to Heather Neill about her play Handbagged, which examines the relationship between Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the Queen in the 1980s. Elegantly structured, with two actresses playing both parts, it opened at the Tricycle Theatre in 2013 and is currently at the Vaudeville in the West End.

Playwright Moira Buffini puts Thatcher and the Queen on stage in Handbagged (2/2)

INTERVIEW: MOIRA BUFFINI (2/2) The playwright talks to Heather Neill about her play Handbagged, which examines the relationship between Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the Queen in the 1980s. Elegantly structured, with two actresses playing both parts, it opened at the Tricycle Theatre in 2013 and is currently at the Vaudeville in the West End.

Leesa Gazi on Birangona: Women of War, stories of female survivors

ASIAN VOICES: LEESA GAZI Suman Bhuchar talks to the actor, translator and founder of Komola Collective, a new theatre company whose debut production, Birangona: Women of War, tells the stories of the women who were systematically raped by the Pakistani army and local collaborators (known as razzakars) during the Bangladesh War of Liberation (1971).

Writer Stella Feehily and director Max Stafford-Clark on This May Hurt a Bit

INTERVIEW: STELLA FEEHILY and MAX STAFFORD-CLARK The playwright and Out of Joint’s artistic director talk about This May Hurt a Bit, which tracks the embattled NHS since its foundation in 1948, while also telling the story of one woman and her family. Report by Judi Herman.

Director Yael Farber talks about Nirbhaya, a searing work about rape and redemption

INTERVIEW: YAEL FARBER The South African playwright and director talks to Suman Bhuchar about Nirbhaya, a hit at last year’s Edinburgh Festival, which tells the true story of the 2012 incident in which a 23-year-old Indian student and her male friend were attacked on a bus in Delhi. The play visits London as part of the Women of the World Festival, and will also tour India.

Caroline Bird reveals her Secret Theatre play, Chamber Piece

INTERVIEW: CAROLINE BIRD Continuing TheatreVOICE’s examination of the Lyric Hammersmith’s Secret Theatre, poet and playwright Caroline Bird tells Matt Trueman about her play Chamber Piece, which is the third show of the season. A deranged, Ortonesque farce around an imagined system of capital punishment in a futuristic capitalist state, Chamber Piece has since been shortlisted for the Susan Smith Blackburn prize.

Playwright Howard Brenton on his new political play about Partition: Drawing the Line

INTERVIEW: HOWARD BRENTON The political playwright talks to Judi Herman about his latest, Drawing the Line (Hampstead), which tells the turbulent story of the 1947 Partition of India by placing centre stage the figure of Cyril Radcliffe, the man who had to draw the border between India and Pakistan. He also talks about his other recent successes that have brought history to vibrant dramatic life.

Director Alex Thorpe discusses Michael Hastings’ play Lee Harvey Oswald

INTERVIEW: ALEX THORPE The director talks to Judi Herman about his revival of the late Michael Hastings’ play, Lee Harvey Oswald, currently at the Finborough Theatre on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F Kennedy. Told through the eyes of Oswald’s wife and mother, coupled with extracts from the Warren Commission’s report, and based on Oswald’s own diary notes and interviews, this rediscovery is the first London production in more than 40 years.

Unfinished Histories: Susan Croft introduces Re-Staging Revolutions

INTERVIEW: SUSAN CROFT The writer and historian talks to Aleks Sierz about Re-Staging Revolutions, an exhibition — with talks and other events — about alternative theatre in the London boroughs of Lambeth and Camden, which is now at Ovalhouse in south London and moves north of the river in the new year. She also updates him about Unfinished Histories.

Clean Break: playwright Katie Hims discusses her new play Billy the Girl

INTERVIEW: KATIE HIMS The playwright discusses her new play, Billy the Girl (Soho Theatre), which was commissioned by the Clean Break Theatre Company, with Carole Woddis. She talks about the workshop process and about Clean Break’s work in women’s prisons, and the differences between stage and radio plays.

Headlong’s Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan talk Orwell and Nineteen Eighty-Four

INTERVIEW: ROBERT ICKE and DUNCAN MACMILLAN The director and playwright talk to Dominic Cavendish about their much acclaimed adaptation of George Orwell’s classic Nineteen Eighty-Four for Headlong theatre. This co-production with the Nottingham Playhouse and the Almeida is currently touring.

fanSHEN theatre company, and friends, discuss how theatre changed the world

DEBATE: HOW THEATRE CHANGED THE WORLD — OR DID IT? — A DISCUSSION AROUND ART AND BEHAVIOUR CHANGE Dramaturg Carissa Hope Lynch chairs the discussion, with guests Dan Barnard and Rachel Briscoe (artistic directors, fanSHEN), Stella Duffy (novelist and theatre maker), Lucy Neal (co-founder of LIFT) and Aleks Sierz (critic), during the run of Nikki Schreiber’s Cheese at 29-31 Oxford Street, in a production powered by renewable energy.

Actor Lyndsey Marshal looks at Othello through Emilia’s eyes

SHAKESPEARE: OTHELLO Actor Lyndsey Marshal talks to Heather Neill about her role as Emilia in Nicholas Hytner’s superb modern-day version of Othello, which also stars Adrian Lester as Othello and Rory Kinear as Iago, and is currently at the National Theatre.

Award-winning actor Richard McCabe talks about his role in The Audience

INTERVIEW: RICHARD McCABE The Olivier winning actor talks to Heather Neill about playing Harold Wilson in The Audience, Peter Morgan’s superb new play about the Queen’s audiences with her Prime Ministers (Gielgud Theatre), and which stars Helen Mirren as Her Majesty.

A Thousand Shards of Glass by the Jane Packman Company

INTERVIEW: JANE PACKMAN COMPANY Director Jane Packman, writer Ben Pacey and performer Lucy Ellinson talk to Diana Damian about their surround sound action adventure show A Thousand Shards Of Glass, dystopias, political theatre, graphic novels, Bourne films and insurrectionist texts. The show is currently touring the UK.

Canadian playwright Arthur Milner discusses his controversial Facts

INTERVIEW: ARTHUR MILNER The Canadian Jewish playwright and theatre practitioner talks to Judi Herman about his play Facts (Finborough Theatre). Set in the West Bank in Palestine and inspired by a true story, two detectives — one Israeli, one Palestinian — put aside their differences to find the killer of an American archaeologist and discover what he was excavating that cost him his life. Milner also reads from the play and speaks about its tour to the West Bank and Israel in an Arabic translation and about his career.

Activist playwright Anders Lustgarten challenges the ideology of austerity

INTERVIEW: ANDERS LUSTGARTEN The playwright and political activist talks to Aleks Sierz about his latest play, If You Don’t Let Us Dream, We Won’t Let You Sleep (Royal Court), which questions the pervading clichés about austerity and challenges the global financial system. He explores the politics of the drama and previews his plans for the future.

Michael Walling’s Border Crossings investigate sex, money and the internet

INTERVIEW: MICHAEL WALLING The artistic director of Border Crossings theatre company talks to Suman Bhuchar about their latest show, Consumed (touring), which features a story about Tong Zheng, who returns to Shanghai with money on his mind after spending 20 years in the USA. But the China he finds is very different from the one he left behind.

Royal Shakespeare Company special: Roxana Silbert on A Life of Galileo

DIRECTOR’S TALK: ROXANA SILBERT The director of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s A Life of Galileo in conversation with journalist Paul Allen. They talk about what Galileo means to Roxana, who comes from a family of physicists, about working with Mark Ravenhill, who provided the new translation of Brecht’s play, and about how Brecht’s Galileo relates to the real Galileo. A Life of Galileo is playing as part of The World Elsewhere, a season of three plays exploring what was going on in the rest of the world during Shakespeare’s lifetime.

How to play Money: The Gameshow — and survive the experience

INTERVIEW: CLARE DUFFY, LUCY ELLINSON and BRIAN FERGUSON The writer/director and performers of Money: The Game Show, produced by Unlimited Theatre and currently at the Bush Theatre, speak to Ella Parry-Davies. The show is an interactive piece about the human cost of financial crisis, and features £10 000 in real pound coins on stage, asking the participants to bet and hedge the futures of the characters.

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