All stories by Nick Smurthwaite on BroadwayStars

Thursday, August 16, 2018

RSC automation technician Simon Crowley: ‘I thrive on the pressure when big audiences turn up’ by Nick Smurthwaite

Automation specialist Simon Crowley is responsible for ensuring the scene changes at the Royal Shakespeare Company are seamless. He tells Nick Smurthwaite

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Could Emilia Bassano, the ‘woman ignored by history’, be Shakespeare’s Dark Lady? by Nick Smurthwaite

Historians have argued whether poet Emilia Bassano was the muse of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Nick Smurthwaite finds out more about the inspiration for

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Monday, August 13, 2018

Cilla the Musical designer Gary McCann: ‘Classist attitudes still exist in UK’ by Nick Smurthwaite

Gary McCann is one of UK’s most in-demand designers, working on shows from touring musicals to international operas. He tells Nick Smurthwaite

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Friday, August 10, 2018

Riddle’s Court: the venerable Edinburgh house that became a hotbed of talent by Nick Smurthwaite

Recently reopened after painstaking restoration, Riddle’s Court has had many guises in its 400-year history, from grand residence to 19th-century slum, before

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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Obituary: William Hobbs – pioneering fight director for stage and screen by Nick Smurthwaite

William ‘Bill’ Hobbs, who has died aged 79, practically invented the modern-day fight director’s role. A champion fencer and co-founder of the

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Obituary: Manchester Royal Exchange co-founder Braham Murray by Nick Smurthwaite

One of the hardest working and most influential British directors of the past 50 years, Braham Murray was the last surviving member

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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Su Pollard on Edinburgh Fringe debut: ‘I’m very happy to play myself, but I’ll give most things a go’ by Nick Smurthwaite

Having begun her career in Nottingham’s working men’s clubs, Su Pollard made her name in a series of 1980s sitcoms. Now she

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Friday, July 27, 2018

Manchester Royal Exchange founder Braham Murray dies aged 75 by Nick Smurthwaite

Braham Murray, the longest serving artistic director of the Royal Exchange Manchester, has died suddenly aged 75. Murray devoted most of his

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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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