All stories by Nick Smurthwaite on BroadwayStars

Monday, July 24, 2017

How Frinton Summer Theatre is bringing a frisson to a sleepy seaside resort by Nick Smurthwaite

England’s oldest rep, Frinton Summer Theatre, has entertained local residents and holidaymakers for 80 years, proving a useful training ground for well-known

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Marianne Elliott: ‘Insecurity is part of the fabric of what we do. Everyone is insecure’ by Nick Smurthwaite

As the epic Angels in America continues its run at the National, its director – who has helmed some of theatre’s biggest

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Photographer Tristram Kenton: ‘I never take a camera on holiday’ by Nick Smurthwaite

Nearly 30 years ago, The Stage’s former editor took a chance on an inexperienced, 24-year-old photographer. Nick Smurthwaite finds out about his

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Friday, July 14, 2017

Producer Joseph Smith: ‘On Broadway, I found my English accent wasn’t an advantage’ by Nick Smurthwaite

Having started out at the National’s education department, Joseph Smith went on to pursue a career as a producer in New York.

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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Rebecca Kane Burton: ‘We need to make these historic West End theatres more inviting’ by Nick Smurthwaite

After beginning her career at English Heritage, the entertainment executive went on to manage events venues Alexandra Palace and the O2 during

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Monday, June 26, 2017

Designer Peter McKintosh: ‘Cameron Mackintosh gave me £1,000 and changed my life’ by Nick Smurthwaite

The Olivier-winning set and costume designer is no stranger to West End transfers, with recent hits including The 39 Steps and My

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Friday, June 23, 2017

How Theatre Record’s survival is a beacon of hope while arts critics are axed by Nick Smurthwaite

The fortnightly compendium of newspaper theatre reviews was launched in 1981 and has recently joined the digital age. Nick Smurthwaite discovers how

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Designer Grace Smart: ‘I once broke into a theatre at 7am to repaint the stage’ by Nick Smurthwaite

It is only 18 months since she won the prestigious Linbury Prize, but Grace Smart is already showing signs of becoming one

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Friday, June 16, 2017

Brick Lane Music Hall: The east London venue that’s kept variety alive by Nick Smurthwaite

As Brick Lane Music Hall founder Vincent Hayes celebrates its 25th anniversary,  Nick Smurthwaite looks back at how it has championed revue-style

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Friday, June 9, 2017

Why Lancaster is a thriving home for outdoor theatre by Nick Smurthwaite

It is 30 years since the Dukes, Lancaster, produced its first annual promenade show, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in nearby Williamson Park,

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Saturday, June 3, 2017

How to be a theatrical agent by Nick Smurthwaite

Lola Williams Organisation: New Wonder Management Training: BA (hons) in theatre arts; MBA CV: Worked as radio presenter and journalist in Nigeria;

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How to be a theatre video technician by Nick Smurthwaite

George Jarvis Organisation: Royal Shakespeare Company Training: BA in sonic arts, Middlesex University CV: Production video engineer for the RSC: The Tempest, Wendy

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How to be a head of finance for theatre by Nick Smurthwaite

Keith Jones Organisation: Octagon Theatre Bolton Training: Courtaulds plc CV: Various roles at Courtaulds across the North West, including cost and financial

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Friday, June 2, 2017

How unions helped keep variety alive by Nick Smurthwaite

The popular image we have of music hall, mostly gleaned from TV’s The Good Old Days, is of overdressed songbirds clutching parasols

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Bob King: ‘Designing posters is about ideas, not computer skills’ by Nick Smurthwaite

In the age of the Big Beast musicals – Cats, Les Mis, Phantom, Miss Saigon – who could ever forget those iconic

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Monday, May 29, 2017

Sound engineer Leigh Davies: ‘I had to match Brian Blessed’s voice to a man in a gorilla suit’ by Nick Smurthwaite

One of the busiest sound engineers around, Matilda stalwart Leigh Davies is moving into design. He tells Nick Smurthwaite how this led to

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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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