All stories by Nick Smurthwaite on BroadwayStars

Monday, May 15, 2017

Designer Hildegard Bechtler: ‘We were either going to kill each other or have a really good time’ by Nick Smurthwaite

Not only is Hildegard Bechtler one of our busiest and most sought-after stage designers, but she also has an uncanny knack of

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Timberlake Wertenbaker: ‘My plays aren’t getting any less ambitious’ by Nick Smurthwaite

Though she is best known for the frequently revived modern classic Our Country’s Good, Timberlake Wertenbaker has written some 30 plays, the latest

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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Catherine McCormack interview: ‘When a job ends, you feel like you’re falling off a cliff’ by Nick Smurthwaite

Back in the mid-1990s, it looked as if Catherine McCormack was on her way to becoming a Hollywood femme fatale. Having burst

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Martin Burton: ‘Circus is not just a job, it’s a way of life’ by Nick Smurthwaite

Like moths to the flame, people are surging towards a big neon sign saying Zippos Circus in the wide open space of

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Monday, April 10, 2017

London’s legendary Bush Theatre: What’s new? by Nick Smurthwaite

For one of the capital’s most progressive theatre hubs to set up shop in an abandoned Victorian library always threatened to be

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Thursday, April 6, 2017

The other Oliviers: Be Inspired Champions by Nick Smurthwaite

Behind all the back-slapping, celeb-spotting and faux humility, showbiz award ceremonies are meant to be about celebrating the hard graft and dedication

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Friday, March 31, 2017

Running actors’ digs: ‘I tell them from the outset I don’t run a knocking shop’ by Nick Smurthwaite

Visions of Peggy Mount or Yootha Joyce tend to pop into your head at the mention of the term “theatrical digs”. Of

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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Karl Sydow: ‘Dirty Dancing’s success funds producing new work’ by Nick Smurthwaite

Before meeting the producer Karl Sydow for lunch at the Hospital Club in Covent Garden, I am briefed by his PR Arabella:

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Monday, March 27, 2017

Star Wars is the downside of using a cinema as a theatre by Nick Smurthwaite

All roads lead to the Broadway Cinema in Letchworth, Hertfordshire. The magnificent art deco building opened to the public with Follow the

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Michael Aitkens’ sitcom is still waiting for God by Nick Smurthwaite

The baby boomer generation is one of regional theatre’s biggest demographics so it made perfect sense for writer Michael Aitkens to adapt

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Tal Yarden: ‘In video design, we are using cinematic tools in theatre’ by Nick Smurthwaite

Just when you thought every permutation of staging Shakespeare had been tried, along comes another freshly minted Hamlet to confound our expectations.

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Michelle Collins: ‘Cindy Beale got me where I am today’ by Nick Smurthwaite

Michelle Collins was turned down by half a dozen drama schools when she started out. “I’ve always felt untrained,” she admits as

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Monday, March 13, 2017

Gareth Owen: ‘I didn’t get into theatre to do sound effects. I love music’ by Nick Smurthwaite

Find out what you’re good at and then become the best you can. This simple piece of careers advice could certainly be

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Friday, March 10, 2017

Kenneth Tynan’s daughter: ‘My complicated, alcoholic father was deeply insecure’ by Nick Smurthwaite

Any theatre buff or practitioner who was around in the 1950s and 1960s was in thrall to the critic Kenneth Tynan, whose

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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Glen Walford: ‘I got Willy Russell to play Shirley Valentine after a bottle of wine’ by Nick Smurthwaite

Soon after she took over the running of the Liverpool Everyman in the 1980s, Glen Walford invited local hairdresser-turned-playwright Willy Russell to

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Monday, March 6, 2017

Fly Davis: ‘My stage design training was crazy. I was hospitalised twice’ by Nick Smurthwaite

In a feature that appeared in The Stage in January under the headline ‘young designers to watch in 2017’, Matt Trueman cited,

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Friday, March 3, 2017

James Hayes: ‘Playing Julius Caesar was my ‘fuck you all’ moment’ by Nick Smurthwaite

What young actor hasn’t dreamed of seeing their name in lights in the West End, or having a lead role in a

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How Stoppard’s debut, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, dazzled Theatreland by Nick Smurthwaite

Playwrights dwell on posterity. Will their work live on after they are dead? Will anyone have heard of them in 100 years’

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Friday, February 17, 2017

What next for Samuel French? by Nick Smurthwaite

London’s theatre lovers, amateur and professional, are soon to lose the iconic French’s Theatre Bookshop, off London’s Tottenham Court Road, which is

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How Alexandra Palace Theatre once enthralled London theatregoers by Nick Smurthwaite

It seemed like a good idea at the time. A people’s palace of entertainments needed a properly designated theatre where opera, ballet,

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Monday, February 13, 2017

How ATG revived New York’s abandoned Hudson Theatre by Nick Smurthwaite

Broadway welcomes a new kid on the block this week – the Hudson Theatre. Well, not new exactly, since the building has

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Monday, February 6, 2017

Charting The Girls’ journey from Yorkshire to the West End by Nick Smurthwaite

In a very real sense, designer Robert Jones has been living with The Calendar Girls for 10 years. He was drafted in

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Friday, February 3, 2017

How The Slab Boys painted a colourful portrait of Scottish life by Nick Smurthwaite

In the right hands, even working in the lowliest of jobs can yield favourable results. The legendary Scottish playwright and artist John

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Josette Bushell-Mingo: ‘I’d love to come back and lead a company or run a building’ by Nick Smurthwaite

It has been quite a homecoming for Josette Bushell-Mingo. Not only has she returned (temporarily) to the UK from Stockholm, where she

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Friday, January 13, 2017

Jus’ like that – Tommy Cooper’s magic on show at the V&A by Nick Smurthwaite

It was partly to do with his physical appearance – a grinning giant topped by a bright red Egyptian fez – and

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Simon Callow: ‘I’m financially feckless, so my career is a constant juggling act’ by Nick Smurthwaite

It’s not just that Simon Callow likes to keep busy. When you look at what he has achieved as an actor, director,

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Monday, December 19, 2016

Backstage: How Peter Pan is going wrong on TV this Christmas by Nick Smurthwaite

For a theatre company whose speciality is things going wrong, Mischief Theatre has an uncanny knack of stacking up success after success.

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Monday, December 5, 2016

Lez Brotherston: ‘We are retelling The Red Shoes in our own way’ by Nick Smurthwaite

The 22-year collaboration between choreographer Matthew Bourne and designer Lez Brotherston has produced a string of internationally acclaimed shows – the all-male

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Friday, December 2, 2016

The Archive: Reviving the spirit of Liverpool’s Star by Nick Smurthwaite

One hundred and fifty years ago, in April 1866, Charles Dickens visited the majestic St George’s Hall in Liverpool to give one

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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Santa meets Vegas: 40 years of the Thursford Christmas Spectacular by Nick Smurthwaite

Norfolk is not a county you normally associate with seasonal glamour and excess, yet it plays host to two of the UK’s

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Monday, November 21, 2016

How budding technicians diversify the workforce at the Royal Opera House by Nick Smurthwaite

One way of breaking through the traditional class, ethnic and gender-specific parameters of backstage disciplines is by apprenticeships, and few organisations have

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