balancing acts behind the scenes at the national theatre

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Balancing Acts

Author : Nicholas Hytner
ISBN : 9780451493415
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 64. 35 MB
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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

Author : Nicholas Hytner
ISBN : 9781473545700
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 25. 60 MB
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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

Author : Michael Blakemore
ISBN : 9780571311231
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 76. 45 MB
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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

Author : Sir Peter Hall
ISBN : 9781783192205
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 72. 70 MB
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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

Author : Terry Coleman
ISBN : 9780571311262
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 31. 85 MB
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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.

The National Theatre Story

Author : Daniel Rosenthal
ISBN : 9781849439435
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 84. 53 MB
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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.

Get Me The Urgent Biscuits

Author : Jane Slight
ISBN : 1474605206
Genre :
File Size : 59. 47 MB
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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

Author : Tim Pigott-Smith
ISBN : 9781472934222
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 63. 58 MB
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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.

Curtain Call

Author : Matt Humphrey
ISBN : 0993505007
Genre :
File Size : 58. 84 MB
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This House

Author : James Graham
ISBN : 9781472507020
Genre : Drama
File Size : 70. 94 MB
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This country doesn't need a constitution, never has, never will. We have History as our guide. In tough times, the British do what we have always done. We muddle through. This House is a timely and relevant political comedy, exploring Westminster and the 1974 hung parliament. In the run-up to the General Election pressure mounts as squabbling whips attempt to attract key regional votes. As it becomes clear the results will be closely balanced, the play tracks the formation, perils and consequences of a coalition government, including the compromises, conflicts and power games all in the interest of gaining control of Parliament. With well-paced, witty and waspish dialogue, This House playfully explores the childish digs and chauvinistic attitudes that riddle political life. Award-winning playwright James Graham combines comedy with comment in this portrayal of the strain between the thinking individual, the pressure to toe the part line and the end goal of winning government.

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