All stories by Nick Smurthwaite on BroadwayStars

Friday, July 27, 2018

How Margo Lion, the real-life Sally Bowles, is being brought back to the stage by Nick Smurthwaite

In the 1920s and 1930s, provocative chanteuse Margo Lion wowed the Berlin cabaret scene before she fled to Paris. Nick Smurthwaite meets

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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Obituary: Hugh Whitemore – ‘Breaking the Code playwright’ by Nick Smurthwaite

Like many other playwrights and screenwriters, Hugh Whitemore, originally wanted to be an actor. He trained at RADA, where one of his

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Monday, July 16, 2018

How Shakespeare Schools Foundation is ‘turning children’s lives around’ by Nick Smurthwaite

This month, Shakespeare Schools Foundation was gifted a Praemium Imperiale grant to boost its work with marginalised groups. Nick Smurthwaite looks at

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Friday, July 13, 2018

Alan Ayckbourn’s first ‘happy couple’ return to Scarborough stage in Joking Apart by Nick Smurthwaite

Later this month Joking Apart, Ayckbourn’s 21st play, returns to the Stephen Joseph Theatre – 30 years after its premiere there. In

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Monday, July 9, 2018

Musical director Gareth Valentine: ‘The more energy you give out in the pit, the more you’ll get back’ by Nick Smurthwaite

After starting out as a boy soprano singing at eisteddfods in north Wales, Gareth Valentine went on to become a top musical

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Friday, July 6, 2018

‘Fuck the critics’ – remembering the pithy advice of fearsome agent Peggy Ramsay by Nick Smurthwaite

Legendary writers’ agent Peggy Ramsay was known for offering forthright guidance to those she represented. A collection of her correspondence is a

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Friday, June 29, 2018

Grandes dames of the theatre connect past and present by Nick Smurthwaite

Firm friends for decades, Eileen Atkins, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Joan Plowright relive career triumphs and disasters in Roger Michell’s documentary, a

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Friday, June 22, 2018

The unlikely pair who built the Minack Theatre return to its stage by Nick Smurthwaite

When the wealthy Rowena Cade wanted an outdoor theatre for her amateur production of The Tempest, Cornish gardener Billy Rawlings made it

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Monday, June 18, 2018

Katherine Kingsley: ‘Dusty went through very, very difficult times. I want to go there’ by Nick Smurthwaite

With a string of stellar performances already illuminating her CV, the actor tackles her most challenging role yet as Dusty Springfield. Nick

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Friday, June 15, 2018

Meet company manager Ruth Morgan – the beating heart of Birmingham Rep by Nick Smurthwaite

Birmingham Rep’s company manager is a vital link between the production department, creatives and performers, while also managing the venue’s community shows.

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East End hero Joan Littlewood brought back to life at the RSC by Nick Smurthwaite

The revolutionary director behind Theatre Workshop at Theatre Royal Stratford East, Joan Littlewood, will be played by seven different actors on the

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Friday, June 1, 2018

The pride of reinventing Miss Jean Brodie by Nick Smurthwaite

For David Harrower, adapting Muriel Spark’s 1961 novel has been a project that has taken more than a decade of his time. Nick

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Actor and producer Oliver King: ‘Wouldn’t it be great to see more risks taken in the West End’ by Nick Smurthwaite

The producer who brought a season of Russian plays to Theatre Royal Haymarket is back with Tartuffe. He tells Nick Smurthwaite about

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Friday, May 18, 2018

The Biograph Girl: Neglected musical shines light on early cinema’s dark underbelly by Nick Smurthwaite

Unperformed professionally since its first West End run, The Biograph Girl depicts stars of the silent movie era. Book writer Warner Brown

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Monday, May 14, 2018

Actor Amanda Root: ‘My passion is to show how the arts can help victims of trauma’ by Nick Smurthwaite

Alongside her stage and screen career, Amanda Root set up a charity to help those in need through creative arts. Now appearing

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Friday, May 11, 2018

The Old Vic Theatre at 200: a rich history peppered with periods of crisis by Nick Smurthwaite

The iconic institution has helped launch the careers of some of the UK’s most distinguished actors, with numerous successful shows to its

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Friday, April 27, 2018

Jonathan Guy Lewis: ‘Soldiers and actors are similar – both dress up and put on a show’ by Nick Smurthwaite

Discharged from the army at 22, Jonathan Guy Lewis embarked on a stage career. The actor and writer tells Nick Smurthwaite how

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The revived Proclaimers musical that’s gonna be touring 500 miles – and 500 more by Nick Smurthwaite

Ten years after its first staging, the award-winning Sunshine on Leith is revived for a tour that takes in Scotland to Coventry,

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Monday, April 23, 2018

Strictly Ballroom costume supervisor Terry Herfield: ‘It’s a balancing act between actors’ comfort and a designer’s vision’ by Nick Smurthwaite

After training as a designer, Terry Herfield found her calling as a costume supervisor. She tells Nick Smurthwaite how she manages to

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Friday, April 20, 2018

Back in the game: Chess returns to the West End by Nick Smurthwaite

With a long history of rewrites and revisions, Chess is being revived at the London Coliseum this month. Nick Smurthwaite looks at

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Monday, April 16, 2018

Musical director Nicholas Skilbeck: ‘I felt more involved in shaping the Tina Turner musical than any other show I’ve done’ by Nick Smurthwaite

One of the West End’s most in-demand musical directors, Nicholas Skilbeck’s recent work includes Follies and the new show based on the life

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Stagecoach at 30: How a small Surrey stage school became a worldwide business by Nick Smurthwaite

Stagecoach, which this year celebrates its 30th birthday, has provided a platform for actors, singers and dancers. Nick Smurthwaite looks at its

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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Roger Allam: ‘King Lear? I might do it in a corner somewhere where nobody notices’ by Nick Smurthwaite

A familiar face on film and TV, Roger Allam is returning to the West End in The Moderate Soprano. He tells Nick

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Friday, March 30, 2018

Celebrating Alan Jay Lerner’s lyrical gift to musical theatre by Nick Smurthwaite

The lyricist of some of the best-loved musicals of all time would have celebrated his 100th birthday this year. Music academic Dominic

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Friday, March 16, 2018

Mary Pix rediscovered: the playwright who ‘held her own’ against patriarchy by Nick Smurthwaite

Inspired by Aphra Behn, Mary Pix was among the most popular playwrights on the 17th-century theatre circuit, but fell out of fashion.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Could an apprenticeship start you off on a theatre career? by Nick Smurthwaite

Interest in stage apprenticeships has never been greater, with more than 30 applicants for every vacancy. As National Apprentice Week ends, Nick

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Friday, March 9, 2018

Harley Granville Barker: Lost Edwardian play sheds light on a forward-thinking writer by Nick Smurthwaite

As Agnes Colander receives its premiere after 116 years, Nick Smurthwaite investigates why Harley Granville Barker’s potentially incendiary work never made it

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Friday, February 23, 2018

Rise and fall of Edmund Kean: the performer who put passion into the classics by Nick Smurthwaite

‘One of the first celebrities of Georgian England’, Edmund Kean transformed classical performing. Now, actor and Shakespearean scholar Ian Hughes is resurrecting

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Bryony Lavery: ‘Age is a prime tool for any writer. You draw on the pain creatively’ by Nick Smurthwaite

At 70, the playwright Bryony Lavery continues to add to her repertoire of more than 50 plays. With Frozen, her biggest and

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Friday, February 9, 2018

Playwright Henry James Byron: Lost Victorian favourite makes a comeback by Nick Smurthwaite

Henry James Byron is not the first Victorian playwright to come to mind, but he was a big hit in the mid-19th

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Monday, February 5, 2018

Actor Phil Daniels: ‘You’re judged on how you speak in this class-obsessed country’ by Nick Smurthwaite

Best known for ‘geezer’ roles on screen, Phil Daniels is a veteran stage actor, recently seen in the West End and Chichester.

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