Theatrevoice archive, list of recordings 2003

4th February 2012

Recordings from April 2003 Total Number of Recordings from this month: 3
1 HITCHCOCK BLONDECritics David Benedict and Rachel Halliburton assess Terry Johnson’s latest Royal Court play. Dominic Cavendish hosts. “I just think that there’s so much more that Terry Johnson could have done with the material.” Play: Hitchcock BlondeTheatre: Royal Court Downstairs Recording Date: 14-Apr-2003
2 SCENES FROM THE BIG PICTURE David Benedict applauds Owen McCafferty’s portrait of Belfast life, now at the National. Dominic Cavendish hosts. “With a play that is this good, the National can hold its head up high.” Play: Scenes from the Big PictureTheatre: National Theatre, Cottesloe Recording Date: 14-Apr-2003
3 XXX Critics Brian Logan and Aleks Sierz give Fura dels Baus’s x-rated show, now at the Riverside Studios, a really good dressing down. Dominic Cavendish hosts. “There was not even the slightest glimmer of sexual imagination in the whole show.” Play: XXXTheatre: Riverside Studios Recording Date: 25-Apr-2003
Recordings from May 2003Total Number of Recordings from this month: 4
4 JERRY SPRINGER – THE OPERA David Benedict, John Nathan and Matt Wolf assess the radical anti-musical, now at the National. “Not only is it scabrously funny, it’s also oddly moving.”Play: Jerry Springer – the OperaTheatre: National Theatre, Lytellton Recording Date: 02-May-2003
5 HENRY V Jane Edwardes, Mark Shenton and Carole Woddis offer differing opinions on Nicholas Hytner’s topical take on Agincourt. Dominic Cavendish hosts. “It feels as though Shakespeare is one of the latest commissioned playwrights now at the National.”Play: Henry V Theatre: National Theatre, Olivier Recording Date: 16-May-2003
6 SEXUAL PERVERSITY IN CHICAGO Jane Edwardes, Mark Shenton and Carole Woddis sigh over Matthew Perry’s turn in Mamet’s sex-war comedy. Dominic Cavendish hosts. “The whole thing struck me as an exercise in star-gazing in search of a play.” Play: Sexual Perversity in ChicagoTheatre: Comedy Theatre Recording Date: 16-May-2003
7 THE LADY FROM THE SEA John Nathan and Aleks Sierz mull over this Trevor Nunn-directed Ibsen revival at the Almeida. Rachel Halliburton hosts. “The whole production almost crumbled under the weight of Natasha Richardson’s performance.” Play: The Lady from the SeaTheatre: Almeida Theatre Recording Date: 23-May-2003
Recordings from June 2003Total Number of Recordings from this month: 1
8 HIS GIRL FRIDAY David Benedict quizzes Rachel Halliburton, Mark Shenton and Matt Wolf about John Guare’s remake of The Front Page at the National. “Not quite front-page material but it would make a nice little feature somewhere on page three.” Play: His Girl FridayTheatre: National Theatre, Olivier Recording Date: 13-Jun-2003
Recordings from September 2003Total Number of Recordings from this month: 7
9 SHAKESPEARE: RSC 2003 Actors Emma Fielding and Daniel Evans look back on their roles in the RSC’s Cymbeline and Measure for Measure during the 2003 season at Stratford-upon-Avon. Dominic Cavendish hosts. “There are problems for a modern audience. Some students have said to me: Isn’t Isabella a bit thick?” Play: Measure for MeasureTheatre: Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon Recording Date: 09-Sep-2003
10 INTERVIEW: HENRY GOODMAN The actor talks to Dominic Cavendish about playing Richard III for the RSC in Sean Holmes’ controversial revival at Stratford-upon-Avon. “This is the first time that I’ve been able to say this, but I really didn’t intend it as a vaudeville thing at all.” Play: Richard IIITheatre: Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon Recording Date: 10-Sep-2003
11 DEMOCRACY Jane Edwardes and John Nathan applaud Michael Frayn’s complex account of high-level politics and espionage in 1960s West Germany. David Benedict hosts. “This play does for federal German politics what Copenhagen did for nuclear physics – absolutely fascinating.” Play: Democracy Theatre: Wyndhams Theatre Recording Date: 12-Sep-2003
12 I.D. Jane Edwardes, Aleks Sierz and John Nathan express reservations about Antony Sher’s first play at the Almeida. David Benedict hosts. “Antony Sher is known as the king of the sweaty actors. But this really was a much quieter Sher.” Play: I.D. Theatre: Almeida Theatre Recording Date: 12-Sep-2003
13 THE HOTEL IN AMSTERDAM As John Osborne’s 1968 drama gets a rare outing, David Benedict, Mark Shenton and Carole Woddis gather to deliver their verdicts to Rachel Halliburton.  “What a strange play. I was intrigued, repulsed at certain moments, and, to my surprise, incredibly moved.” Play: The Hotel in AmsterdamTheatre: Donmar Warehouse Recording Date: 19-Sep-2003
14 DEBATE: POLITICAL THEATRE Lisa Goldman, artistic director of the Red Room, joins Aleks Sierz and Carole Woddis to talk politics. Dominic Cavendish hosts. “There is a democratic deficit in society at the moment. I think that we can all agree about that.” Play: AnimalTheatre: Soho Theatre Recording Date: 26-Sep-2003
15 SHAKESPEARE: SINGLE-SEX CASTING There’s a lot of it about but is it any good? David Benedict, Aleks Sierz and Carole Woddis lay the trend bare. Patrick Marmion hosts. “What do these all-male productions actually say to the women who are watching?” Play: Shakespeare’s R&J Theatre: Arts Theatre Recording Date: 27-Sep-2003
Recordings from October 2003Total Number of Recordings from this month: 14
16 BLOOD Patrick Marmion and David Benedict clash over the merits or otherwise of the controversial play, Blood, by Lars Noren at the Royal Court. “’There seemed to be no dramatic necessity’ versus ‘I was engaged by this retelling of the Oedipus myth’.” Play: BloodTheatre: Royal Court Downstairs Recording Date: 03-Oct-2003
17 THE MATHS TUTOR Jane Edwardes and Patrick Marmion sigh and shake their heads over Clare McIntyre’s new one at Hampstead. David Benedict hosts. “Skewed is a generous way of putting it. There was too much going on, and it just didn’t add up.”Play: The Maths TutorTheatre: Hampstead Theatre Recording Date: 03-Oct-2003
18 BETRAYAL Peter Hall revisits Pinter’s play of adultery and deception, causing extreme division between David Benedict, Patrick Marmion and Mark Shenton. “’A towering masterpiece’, ‘A cold, mechanical experience’, or ‘A beautifully animated production’?”Play: BetrayalTheatre: Duchess Theatre Recording Date: 10-Oct-2003
19 ANYTHING GOES Trevor Nunn’s revival of the Cole Porter classic is greeted with qualified joy by Dominic Cavendish, David Benedict and Mark Shenton. “It’s a lot of fun. The whole thing feels much more comfortable now that it’s in the West End.”Play: Anything GoesTheatre: Drury Lane Theatre Royal Recording Date: 10-Oct-2003
20 DEBATE: IS THE WEST END IN A STATE OF CRISIS? Charles Spencer joins Mark Shenton and David Benedict to assess theatreland’s current health. Dominic Cavendish hosts. “The thing about these cheapo shows is that I think they tend to corrupt taste.”Recording Date: 11-Oct-2003
21 TALES FROM THE VIENNA WOODS By Odon von Horvath, revived by Richard Jones at the National, strongly divides Dominic Cavendish, Mark Shenton and Carole Woddis. “Far from the dull and empty spectacle you saw, I saw a thrilling production.”Play: Tales from the Vienna WoodsTheatre: National Theatre, Olivier Recording Date: 17-Oct-2003
22 ELECTRA Erica Whyman, artistic director of the Gate, Notting Hill, tells Rachel Halliburton why ancient Greek tragedies chime with our contemporary times. “A lot of practitioners are looking back at these old stories in order to allow us to debate the current situation.”Play: Electra Theatre: The Gate, Notting Hill Recording Date: 17-Oct-2003
23 RIGHT TO REPLY Sonia Friedman, producer for the Ambassador Theatre Group, responds to criticisms in a discussion on the current state of the West End. Dominic Cavendish hosts. “I think the West End is in a very difficult place at the moment.”Recording Date: 17-Oct-2003
24 THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE James Inverne, Rhoda Koenig and Matt Wolf assess the London makeover of the Tony-winning Broadway show. Dominic Cavendish hosts. “Frankly, I think that it’s really just a barrage of rhyming inanity.”Play: Thoroughly Modern MillieTheatre: Shaftesbury Theatre Recording Date: 24-Oct-2003
25 INTERVIEW: DAVID JUBB The artistic director designate of Battersea Arts Centre (BAC) talks to Rachel Halliburton about his plans for the South London experimental powerhouse. “It’s about making BAC a national and international centre for the development of new theatre.”Recording Date: 25-Oct-2003
26 INTERVIEW: PAULETTE RANDALL The artistic director of black theatre company Talawa talks to Dominic Cavendish about Urban Afro Saxons (Stratford East). “I really wanted a platform where we could have all of these different voices being heard.”Play: Urban Afro SaxonsTheatre: Theatre Royal Stratford East Recording Date: 29-Oct-2003
27 INTERVIEW: NICOLAS KENT The artistic director of the Tricycle Theatre talks to Rachel Hallibuton about Justifying War, a staging of the Hutton Inquiry transcripts. “It seems extraordinary that the only way we can take a view on the inquiry is to read the newspapers.”Play: Justifying WarTheatre: Tricycle Theatre Recording Date: 30-Oct-2003
28 ON CRITICISM In the first of an occasional series, Michael Billington, lead critic of the Guardian, discusses his distinguished 30-year career with Dominic Cavendish. “I don’t feel at all ashamed of being a critic and I don’t regard it as a second-rate profession.”Recording Date: 31-Oct-2003
29 THE MERCY SEAT Neil LaBute’s new play, which is set in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, gets assessed by Michael Billington, Jane Edwardes and John Nathan. David Benedict hosts. “Above all, he has presented us with a series of increasingly ridiculous and bogus moral dilemmas.”Play: The Mercy SeatTheatre: Almeida Theatre Recording Date: 31-Oct-2003
Recordings from November 2003Total Number of Recordings from this month: 14
30 FIRST NIGHT: JUSTIFYING WAR Alan Rusbridger, the editor of the Guardian, shares his views with Rachel Halliburton. Plus: David Michaels on playing Alastair Campbell. “It was terrific to see actors playing up things that perhaps you miss when you read it in print.”Play: Justifying WarTheatre: Tricycle Theatre Recording Date: 04-Nov-2003
31 JUSTIFYING WAR The verdict on the Tricycle’s recreation of the Hutton Inquiry. Host Rachel Halliburton quizzes Dominic Cavendish, Jane Edwardes and Carole Woddis. “It is hard work but it serves a very important democratic function.”Play: Justifying WarTheatre: Tricycle Theatre Recording Date: 07-Nov-2003
32 THE STRAITS Gregory Burke’s follow-up to Gagarin Way sharply divides Jane Edwardes, Aleks Sierz and Carole Woddis. David Benedict hosts. “’It drifts more than throbs’ versus ‘As a picture of Britishness it was chilling and very, very real’.”Play: The StraitsTheatre: Hampstead Theatre Recording Date: 07-Nov-2003
33 TONIGHT’S THE NIGHT David Benedict and Mark Shenton sigh and shake their heads over the new Rod Stewart musical. Dominic Cavendish hosts. “This is the most shaming, worst West End musical I’ve ever seen in my life.”Play: Tonight’s The NightTheatre: Victoria Palace Theatre Recording Date: 14-Nov-2003
34 LOYAL WOMEN Gary Mitchell’s new Royal Court play about Belfast’s diehard women loyalists gets assessed by David Benedict, Jane Edwardes and Aleks Sierz. Patrick Marmion hosts. “Gary Mitchell’s problem is that he’s really great at plots, but he tends to sacrifice depth of character.”Play: Loyal WomenTheatre: Royal Court Downstairs Recording Date: 14-Nov-2003
35 INTERVIEW: JAMES KNOWLSON (1/2) Samuel Beckett’s biographer and friend talks to Dominic Cavendish about writing the biography, Damned to Fame. “It was a curious experience talking to the man who’d never really talked about his life before.”Recording Date: 18-Nov-2003
36 INTERVIEW: JAMES KNOWLSON (2/2) Samuel Beckett’s biographer talks in detail to Dominic Cavendish about his latest book, Images of Beckett, published by Cambridge University Press. “Several things had emerged which made me realise how much art had influenced his stage imagery.”Recording Date: 18-Nov-2003
37 MUSICALS: BRIDEWELL THEATRE The Bridewell Theatre faces imminent closure. Artistic director Carol Metcalfe and executive director Tim Sawers appeal for support. “It won’t function as a theatre beyond March 2004 unless we can find some money to move forward.”Recording Date: 19-Nov-2003
38 HAPPY DAYS Felicity Kendal braves Beckett, as revived by Peter Hall. Dominic Cavendish, Patrick Marmion and Charles Spencer tend to disagree. Rachel Halliburton hosts. “What I used to see as a facile pessimism now strikes me as capturing what life is actually like.”Play: Happy DaysTheatre: Arts Theatre Recording Date: 21-Nov-2003
39 THE PILLOWMAN Martin McDonagh’s latest, at the National, meets with little delight in Jane Edwardes and Charles Spencer. Dominic Cavendish hosts. “I think because you’re a humane person you’re seeing humanity in McDonagh that doesn’t exist.”Play: The PillowmanTheatre: National Theatre, Cottesloe Recording Date: 21-Nov-2003
40 ON CRITICISM Charles Spencer, lead critic of the Daily Telegraph, talks to Dominic Cavendish about his career and writing for the UK’s biggest-selling broadsheet. “Sheer theatrical Viagra? It’s rather sad if that’s going to be my lasting claim to immortality.”Recording Date: 21-Nov-2003
41 INTERVIEW: HARRIET WALTER The star talks to Dominic Cavendish about the West End revival of Moira Buffini’s Dinner and her book on acting, Other People’s Shoes. “I’ve never lost that sense of why you do theatre – not just to entertain those rich enough to buy tickets.”Play: DinnerTheatre: Wyndhams Theatre Recording Date: 26-Nov-2003
42 INTERVIEW: STEVEN BERKOFF The maverick playwright talks to Rachel Halliburton about his controversial Messiah, the critics he reviles and what he’d do if he ran the National Theatre. “You go to the theatre and you see the same boring, dreary directors – the general standard is really bad.”Play: Messiah – Scenes From a CrucifixionTheatre: Old Vic Recording Date: 26-Nov-2003
43 AFTER MISS JULIE David Benedict, Rachel Halliburton and Mark Shenton enthuse about Patrick Marber’s very classy adaptation of Strindberg at the Donmar Warehouse. Dominic Cavendish hosts. “You watch actors who’ve been impressive in other things absolutely seizing their moment here.”Play: After Miss JulieTheatre: Donmar Warehouse Recording Date: 28-Nov-2003
Recordings from December 2003Total Number of Recordings from this month: 15
44 THEATRE MUSEUM Geoffrey Marsh, head of the Theatre Museum, Covent Garden, talks to Dominic Cavendish about the museum’s collections and the latest redevelopment plans. “We’ve got a great location, great collections and great staff but we could achieve far more.”Recording Date: 01-Dec-2003
45 MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA Eugene O’Neill’s epic is revived at the National. Dominic Cavendish asks David Benedict, Rhoda Koenig and Mark Shenton the simple question: why the fuss? “It’s overwrought and overwritten, but it’s staged with such conviction that it makes for a powerful evening.”Play: Mourning Becomes ElectraTheatre: National Theatre, Lyttelton Recording Date: 05-Dec-2003
46 SKELLIG David Almond’s award-winning children’s book hits the Young Vic stage. Heather Neill, Patrick Marmion and Mark Shenton cheer. David Benedict, however, boos. “I was keeping one eye on the children – for good reasons – and they looked riveted throughout the evening.”Play: SkelligTheatre: Young Vic Recording Date: 05-Dec-2003
47 MESSIAH Judgement day for Steven Berkoff’s account of Christ’s crucifixion; Rachel Halliburton and Mark Shenton disagree. Patrick Marmion mops their fevered brows. “It just made me want to gouge my eyes out. I really thought it was excruciatingly self-indulgent.”Play: Messiah – Scenes From a CrucifixionTheatre: Old Vic Recording Date: 05-Dec-2003
48 INTERVIEW: MICHAEL GRANDAGE The director talks to David Benedict about his first year at the helm of the Donmar Warehouse and discusses his plans for the future. “I’m really very keen that we get our work out to be seen by as many people as possible.”Play: After Miss JulieTheatre: Donmar Warehouse Recording Date: 10-Dec-2003
49 INTERVIEW: TOM MORRIS The innovative director has turned the Battersea Arts Centre (BAC) into a theatrical powerhouse. As he steps down as artistic director, he looks back on eight dynamic years with Dominic Cavendish. “At the same time as being the most exciting job in theatre, it’s also very exhausting.”Recording Date: 12-Dec-2003
50 INTERVIEW: DAVID KRAMER The co-creator and director of the hit musical about 1950s Apartheid, Kat and the Kings, talks about the show to Rachel Halliburton. “Now the musical is so much more gritty than it was when it first came over.”Play: Kat and the KingsTheatre: Tricycle Theatre Recording Date: 12-Dec-2003
51 DINNER Moira Buffini’s satirical slice of monied life gets well chewed over by John Nathan and Aleks Sierz. Patrick Marmion hosts. “The idea that it should be a state-of-the-nation play is totally beside the point.”Play: DinnerTheatre: Wyndhams Theatre Recording Date: 12-Dec-2003
52 REGIONAL THEATRE: BIRMINGHAM Jonathan Church, artistic director of the revitalised Birmingham Rep, outlines the theatre’s strategy for success to Dominic Cavendish. “For the first time we’re going ‘What can we do that is more?’ and that’s visible up and down the country.”Recording Date: 14-Dec-2003
53 REGIONAL THEATRE: LEEDS Ian Brown, artistic director of the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds, assesses the highs and lows of 2003 with Dominic Cavendish. “Some things have gone fantastically well, and some things have been positively precipitous.”Recording Date: 18-Dec-2003
54 REGIONAL THEATRE: SHEFFIELD While theatres outside London look back on 2003 and towards 2004, Michael Grandage talks to David Benedict about his artistic directorship of the Sheffield Crucible.“London has started to look out to the regions for inspiration and occasionally for leadership.”Recording Date: 19-Dec-2003
55 FIVE GOLD RINGS Joanna Laurens’s new verse drama at the Almeida Theatre lacks lustre for Kate Bassett, James Inverne and Charles Spencer. David Benedict hosts. “I think that you’re all taking this play far too seriously; I think that she’s just really piss-poor.”Play: Five Gold RingsTheatre: Almeida Theatre Recording Date: 19-Dec-2003
56 REGIONAL THEATRE: BRISTOL David Farr and Simon Reade, new joint artistic directors of the Bristol Old Vic, look back on an acclaimed first year with Dominic Cavendish. “We can redefine the whole idea of theatres outside London – as national state theatres.”Recording Date: 19-Dec-2003
57 REVIEW OF THE YEAR 2003 (1/2) David Benedict, Kate Bassett, James Inverne, Patrick Marmion and Charles Spencer relive the biggest thrills of the theatregoing year. “If anyone’s going to win awards, it certainly should be Nicholas Hytner over at the National.”Recording Date: 20-Dec-2003
58 NEW YORK SPECIAL Actor, playwright and screenwriter Stephen Adly Guirgis talks to the British Theatre Guide’s Philip Fisher in a Hell’s Kitchen diner. “I acted in plays all through my twenties. If I go too long without acting I tend to get really unhappy.” Recording Date: 29-Dec-2003