Balancing Acts

Behind the Scenes at London's National Theatre

Author: Nicholas Hytner

Publisher: Knopf

ISBN: 0451493419

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 320

View: 7513

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From the Tony Award and Laurence Olivier Award-winning former director of London's National Theatre--this is a fascinating, candid, eloquent memoir about his career directing theater, producing films and opera, and working closely with some of the world's most celebrated actors. The list of Nicholas Hytner's accomplishments is long and distinguished: as Artistic Director of London's National Theatre from 2003-2015, he directed and produced a great number of their most popular and memorable plays and musicals, many of which have come to Broadway: Carousel, Richard Bean's One Man, Two Guvnors, David Hare's Stuff Happens among them. He directed both the London and Broadway productions of Miss Saigon, each of which ran for ten years. He directed Alan Bennett's The Madness of George III on both stage and screen. In short: He is one of today's most successful and admired theatrical impresarios. In Balancing Acts, Hytner gives us a detailed behind-the-scenes look at his creative process. From reviving classic musicals and mastering Shakespeare to commissioning new plays, he shows theater making to be a necessarily collaborative exercise, and he writes insightfully about the actors and playwrights he's worked with: Derek Jacobi, Richard Griffiths, Helen Mirren, Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Harold Pinter, and Tom Stoppard among them. With a cultural range that spans from The Mikado to The Lady in the Van, Balancing Acts is not only a memoir but a gathering of illuminating notes on the art of directing and a thoughtful meditation on the purpose of theater.

Balancing Acts

Behind the Scenes at the National Theatre

Author: Nicholas Hytner

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1473545706

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 320

View: 9496

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The Sunday Times Bestseller This is the inside story of twelve years at the helm of Britain’s greatest theatre. It is a story of lunatic failures and spectacular successes such as The History Boys, War Horse and One Man, Two Guvnors; of opening the doors of the National Theatre to a broader audience than ever before, and changing the public’s perception of what theatre is for. It is about probing Shakespeare from every angle and reinventing the classics. About fostering new talent and directing some of the most celebrated actors of our times. Its cast includes the likes of Alan Bennett, Maggie Smith, Mike Leigh, Daniel Day-Lewis, Michael Gambon and Helen Mirren. Intimate, candid and insightful, Balancing Acts is a passionate exploration of the art and alchemy of making theatre.

Stage Blood

Five tempestuous years in the early life of the National Theatre

Author: Michael Blakemore

Publisher: Faber & Faber

ISBN: 0571311237

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 272

View: 3889

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In 1971, Michael Blakemore joined the National Theatre as Associate Director under Laurence Olivier. The National, still based at the Old Vic, was at a moment of transition awaiting the move to its vast new home on the South Bank. Relying on generous subsidy, it would need an extensive network of supporters in high places. Olivier, a scrupulous and brilliant autocrat from a previous generation, was not the man to deal with these political ramifications. His tenure began to unravel and, behind his back, Peter Hall was appointed to replace him in 1973. As in other aspects of British life, the ethos of public service, which Olivier espoused, was in retreat. Having staged eight productions for the National, Blakemore found himself increasingly uncomfortable under Hall's regime. Stage Blood is the candid and at times painfully funny story of the events that led to his dramatic exit in 1976. He recalls the theatrical triumphs and flops, his volatile relationship with Olivier including directing him in Long Day's Journey into Night, the extravagant dinners in Hall's Barbican flat with Harold Pinter, Jonathan Miller and the other associates, the opening of the new building, and Blakemore's brave and misrepresented decision to speak out. He would not return to the National for fifteen years.

Peter Hall's Diaries

The Story of a Dramatic Battle

Author: Sir Peter Hall,John Goodwin

Publisher: Oberon Books

ISBN: 1783192208

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 528

View: 7737

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A new edition of Sir Peter Hall's Diaries with an introduction from the man himself. A fascinating read for any fan of theatre history in Britain.

The Old Vic

The Story of a Great Theatre from Kean to Olivier to Spacey

Author: Terry Coleman

Publisher: Faber & Faber

ISBN: 0571311261

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 240

View: 4848

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The Old Vic, one of the world's great theatres, opened in 1818 with rowdy melodrama and continued with Edmund Kean in Richard III howled down by the audience. One impresario, among the first of thirteen to go bankrupt there, fled to Milan and ran La Scala. In 1848 a chorus girl tried to murder the leading lady. In 1870 the Vic became a music hall, then a temperance tavern and, from 1912, under Lilian Baylis, both an opera house and the home of Shakespeare. By the 1930s great actors were happy to go there for a pittance - John Gielgud, Charles Laughton, Peggy Ashcroft, and Laurence Olivier. The Vic considered itself a national theatre in all but name. After the second world war the Royal Ballet and the English National Opera both sprang from the Vic, and the National Theatre, at last established in 1963 under Olivier, made its first home there. In 1980 the Vic was saved from becoming a bingo hall by a generous Toronto businessman. Since 2004 Kevin Spacey, Hollywood actor and the winner of two Oscars, has led a new company there, and toured the world.

Keeping On Keeping On

Author: Alan Bennett

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 0374716978

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 736

View: 722

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A collection of Bennett’s diaries and essays, covering 2005 to 2015 Alan Bennett’s third collection of prose, Keeping On Keeping On, follows in the footsteps of the phenomenally successful Writing Home and Untold Stories. Bringing together the hilarious, revealing, and lucidly intelligent writing of one of England’s best-known literary figures, Keeping On Keeping On contains Bennett’s diaries from 2005 to 2015—with everything from his much celebrated essays to his irreverent comic pieces and reviews—reflecting on a decade that saw four major theater premieres and the films of The History Boys and The Lady in the Van. A chronicle of one of the most important literary careers of the twentieth century, Keeping On Keeping On is a classic history of a life in letters.

Talking Theatre

Interviews with Theatre People

Author: Richard Eyre

Publisher: Nick Hern Books

ISBN: 9781848421387

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 331

View: 1524

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Song of Spider-Man

The Inside Story of the Most Controversial Musical in Broadway History

Author: Glen Berger

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1451684584

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 384

View: 1169

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“One of the best literary works of this year” (Miami Herald-Tribune): The true story of a theatrical dream—or nightmare—come true…the making of the Spider-Man musical. As you might imagine, writing a Broadway musical has its challenges. But it turns out there are challenges one can’t begin to imagine when collaborating with two rock legends and a superstar director to stage the biggest, most expensive production in theater history. Renowned director Julie Taymor picked playwright Glen Berger to cowrite the book for a $25 million Spider-Man musical. Together—along with U2’s Bono and Edge—they would shape a work that was technically daring and emotionally profound, with a story fueled by the hero’s quest for love…and the villains’ quest for revenge. Or at least, that’s what they’d hoped for. But when charismatic producer Tony Adams died suddenly, the show began to lose its footing. Soon the budget was ballooning, financing was evaporating, and producers were jumping ship or getting demoted. And then came the injuries. And then came word-of-mouth about the show itself. What followed was a pageant of foul-ups, falling-outs, ever-more harrowing mishaps, and a whole lot of malfunctioning spider legs. This “circus-rock-and-roll-drama,” with its $65 million price tag, had become more of a spectacle than its creators ever wished for. During the show’s unprecedented seven months of previews, the company’s struggles to reach opening night inspired breathless tabloid coverage and garnered international notoriety. Through it all, Berger observed the chaos with his signature mix of big ambition and self-deprecating humor.

Get Me the Urgent Biscuits

Author: Jane Slight,Sweetpea Slight

Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson

ISBN: 9781474605205

Category:

Page: 256

View: 8813

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At eighteen, after moving to London with dreams of becoming an actress, an impressionable girl who paints freckles on her face begins work experience in a West End theatre company. In between mail-outs and making cups of coffee she meets the formidable producer Thelma Holt. Within a fortnight Thelma has stolen her, cancelled her audition for RADA, sent her to evening classes to learn to type, organised a miniscule salary and renamed her. From that moment on she becomes Sweetpea. Her days are spent in an eccentric office where Alan Rickman or Vanessa Redgrave might casually pop in at any moment. Evenings are filled with the adrenaline of an opening-night performance or the chatter of a smart restaurant where casting options for the next production are discussed. Existing somewhere between glamour and penury, Sweetpea finds herself surrounded by dynamic personalities and struggling to trust her own creative instincts. Over the years her apprenticeship takes in unusual demands, misbehaving actors, divinely inspired directors and even a hot-air balloon ride with British theatre's finest. GET ME THE URGENT BISCUITS is a keenly observed memoir about the vanishing world of London's West End in the 1980s and 1990s, in which a young woman is swept into the orbit of a theatrical impresario. Shrewd, poignant and irresistibly funny, above all it is a coming-of-age story about the search for independence and an ode to the beguiling nature of theatre.

Do You Know Who I Am?

A Memoir

Author: Tim Pigott-Smith

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1472934229

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 352

View: 8693

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From his appearance as Ronald Merrick in the television adaptation of The Jewel in the Crown to his recent role in the hit play King Charles III, Tim Pigott-Smith has been recognised as one of Britain's most loved contemporary actors. On stage his work encompassed the Bristol Old Vic, Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre, West End and Broadway. He acted with Jeremy Irons, Charles Dance, Anthony Hopkins, Michael Caine, Peggy Ashcroft and Judi Dench and collaborated with a host of famous directors, from his late friend Howard Davies, to John Huston and Peter Hall. In his memoir, Do You Know Who I Am?, Pigott-Smith describes the actor's craft with witty anecdotes and fascinating insight. He recalls his childhood and early beginnings in the paint shop at the RSC Stratford, the life of a jobbing actor in 1960s and 70s London, strange meetings with glamorous Hollywood producers, filming a football match with Pelé in Hungary, the epic Indian saga of The Jewel in the Crown and more recent projects such as Mike Bartlett's King Charles III, first performed at the Almeida Theatre and later transferred to Wyndham's Theatre in the West End, Broadway and to film. What is the story of Judi Dench and the black glove? What was it like to visit Michael Caine's LA mansion? How does one produce the character of the complex and unforgettable Corporal Merrick? Humorously written, warm, engaging and accompanied by black and white photographs, Do You Know Who I Am? is an entertaining memoir from one of our great acting talents. Tim Pigott-Smith died in April 2017, shortly before this book was published, having passed final proofs for press.

Red Velvet

2nd edition

Author: Lolita Chakrabarti

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1472582454

Category: Drama

Page: 128

View: 4616

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It's like being at a crossroads - a point of absolute, unequivocal change. It makes the blood rush. Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, 1833. Edmund Kean, the greatest actor of his generation, has collapsed on stage whilst playing Othello. A young black American actor has been asked to take over the role. But as the public riot in the streets over the abolition of slavery, how will the cast, critics and audience react to the revolution taking place in the theatre? Lolita Chakrabarti's play creates imagined experiences based on the little-known, but true, story of Ira Aldridge, an African-American actor who, in the nineteenth century, built an incredible reputation on the stages of London and Europe. Red Velvet received its world premiere at the Tricycle Theatre, London, on 11 October 2012, starring Adrian Lester as Ira Aldridge. It was revived at the Tricycle Theatre on 23 January 2014, before transferring to St Ann's Warehouse, New York, on 25 March 2014. This second edition includes the revisions made to the script for the 2014 revival of the play. It also features contextual articles by Lolita Chakrabarti about the real Ira Aldridge, and a piece by Professor Ayanna Thompson about the significance of Aldridge's erasure from standard theatre history and the importance of the play in this regard.

The Habit of Art

A Play

Author: Alan Bennett

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 9781429978330

Category: Drama

Page: 112

View: 7523

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Benjamin Britten, sailing uncomfortably close to the wind with his new opera, Death in Venice, seeks advice from his former collaborator and friend, W. H. Auden. During this imagined meeting, their first in twenty-five years, they are observed and interrupted by, among others, their future biographer and a young man from the local bus station. Alan Bennett's new play is as much about the theater as it is about poetry or music. It looks at the unsettling desires of two difficult men, and at the ethics of biography. It reflects on growing old, on creativity and inspiration, and on persisting when all passion's spent: ultimately, on the habit of art.

Shouting in the Evenings

50 Years on the Stage

Author: James Hayes

Publisher: Troubador Publishing Ltd

ISBN: 178589594X

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 200

View: 3137

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In 1963, a young man from Limerick takes his £25 savings and journeys to London to become an actor. To pay his way through drama school he works as a security guard, serves drinks to Miss World contestants at the Lyceum Theatre. And, while still a student, is picked to play a small role in Andorra in the inaugural season of the National Theatre.

Stage Managing Chaos

A Diary of the Old Vic Production of Fernando Arrabal’s The Architect and the Emperor of Assyria

Author: Jackie Harvey,Tim Kelleher

Publisher: McFarland

ISBN: 1476626448

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 204

View: 7947

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In the early 1970s London’s National Theatre, led by Sir Laurence Olivier, launched an infamous avant garde production of The Architect and the Emperor of Assyria. Concerned that his classical approach would clash with the “enfant terrible” director, Victor Garcia, Olivier enlisted stage manager Jackie Harvey to keep a diary of the often ludicrous, occasionally creative, always challenging rehearsals. Anthony Hopkins and Jim Dale costarred in the surreal two-man piece. Led by the eccentric Garcia, the play quickly descended into a chaotic farce. Missed deadlines, technical hitches, unauthorized nudity and backstage feuds culminated in an unforgettable production, leaving the company debating: Was he a misunderstood genius or a brilliant con-artist? Accompanied by recollections from Hopkins, Dale and others, along with photographs and documents that bring the key players to life, this unique diary provides a snapshot of a crucial period in the history of the National Theatre.

Secrets

The CIA's War at Home

Author: Angus MacKenzie

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520219557

Category: Political Science

Page: 260

View: 7586

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The product of fifteen years of interviews and investigation and a lawsuit against the CIA, an expose+a7 reveals the agency's systematic efforts to suppress and censor information since the 1960s in the name of national security. UP.

Shakespeare in the Theatre: Nicholas Hytner

Author: Abigail Rokison-Woodall

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1472581636

Category: Drama

Page: 264

View: 6200

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Part of the series Shakespeare in the Theatre, this book examines the work of renowned theatre director Nicholas Hytner (Artistic Director of the National Theatre from 2003-2015). Featuring case studies of Hytner's Shakespeare productions and interviews with actors, designers, directors and other practitioners with whom Hytner has worked, it explores Hytner's own productions of Shakespeare's plays within their respective socio-cultural contexts and the context of Hytner's other directing work, and examines his working practices and the impact of his Artistic directorship on the centrality of Shakespeare within the repertoire of the National Theatre.

Mother Clap's Molly House

Author: Mark Ravenhill

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1472538005

Category: Drama

Page: 96

View: 8992

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'Like bawdy Shakespeare meets wild Wycherley filtered through the formalised camp of John Osborne's A Patriot for Me...how wonderful to see the rabid raw talent of Ravenhhill given the full works' Michael Coveney, Daily Mail It's London 1726, and Mrs Tull's got problems. The whores are giving her a hard time, a man in a dress is looking for a job, her husband has a roving eye and the apprentice boy keeps disappearing for 'a wander'. Meanwhile in 2001 a group of wealthy gay men are preparing for a raunchy party.Mother Clap's Molly House, a black comedy with songs is a celebration of the diversity of human sexualtiy, an exploration of our need to form families and a fascinatig insight into a hidden chapter in London's history.'Ravenhill's writing is tough, eloquent, sardonic, with some of the barbed formality of the Resotration style, which gets brutally peeled off in the present-day scenes. This is not a play you "enjoy". This is not a gay play either...The message of this play is not "Come out", but "Come in".' John Peter, Sunday Times.'Mark Ravenhill clearly likes to have it both ways. In this wonderfuly exuberant new musical play, he celebrates Sodom like there's no Gomorrah... Delicate souls may be offended but there is no doubting the sincerity of Ravenhill's assault on the tranformation of sex into a dirty business.' Michael Billington, Guardian'A theatrical manifesto for sexual tolerance that teeters wildly between the politics of Bertolt Brecht and the in-your-face deviancy of a gay nightclub... Ravenhill combines graphic sex with a generosity of spirit' Charles Spencer, Daily TelegraphMother Clap's Molly House premiered at the Royal National Theatre, London in October 2001.

Stuff Happens

A Play

Author: David Hare

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 057122606X

Category: Drama

Page: 120

View: 1187

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"Stuff happens premiered at the National Theatre, London, in September 2004"--P. [4] of cover.

The National Theatre Story

Author: Daniel Rosenthal

Publisher: Oberon Books

ISBN: 1849439435

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 900

View: 7662

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The National Theatre Story is filled with artistic, financial and political battles, onstage triumphs – and the occasional disaster. This definitive account takes readers from the National Theatre’s 19th-century origins, through false dawns in the early 1900s, and on to its hard-fought inauguration in 1963. At the Old Vic, Laurence Olivier was for ten years the inspirational Director of the NT Company, before Peter Hall took over and, in 1976, led the move into the National’s concrete home on the South Bank. Altogether, the NT has staged more than 800 productions, premiering some of the 20th and 21st centuries’ most popular and controversial plays, including Amadeus, The Romans in Britain, Closer, The History Boys, War Horse and One Man, Two Guvnors. Certain to be essential reading for theatre lovers and students, The National Theatre Story is packed with photographs and draws on Daniel Rosenthal’s unprecedented access to the National Theatre’s own archives, unpublished correspondence and more than 100 new interviews with directors, playwrights and actors, including Olivier’s successors as Director (Peter Hall, Richard Eyre, Trevor Nunn and Nicholas Hytner), and other great figures from the last 50 years of British and American drama, among them Edward Albee, Alan Bennett, Judi Dench, Michael Gambon, David Hare, Tony Kushner, Ian McKellen, Diana Rigg, Maggie Smith, Peter Shaffer, Stephen Sondheim and Tom Stoppard.

Curtain Call

A Year Backstage in London Theatre

Author: Matt Humphrey,John Schwab

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780993505003

Category:

Page: 408

View: 9430

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