All stories by Nick Smurthwaite on BroadwayStars

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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Friday, November 18, 2016

British Library conjures up Victorian magic by Nick Smurthwaite

Magic has been around since the dawn of man, but it wasn’t until the latter half of the 19th century that it

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Jonathan Suffolk: ‘Once you’ve worked at the NT, you always have high standards’ by Nick Smurthwaite

Ten years ago, Jonathan Suffolk was an electrician’s mate on a building site in Monmouth. Today, he is technical director of the

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Friday, November 11, 2016

Loving the lunatic: the passion for Strindberg that’s in the blood by Nick Smurthwaite

Legend has it that Ibsen kept a portrait of Strindberg, his junior by 21 years, over his desk wherever he worked. “I

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Monday, November 7, 2016

Theatre’s digital future finds a £50m home at Riverside Studios by Nick Smurthwaite

When Riverside Studios reopens its west London base in two years’ time, following an extensive redevelopment costing up to £50 million, it

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Thursday, November 3, 2016

Clive Francis: ‘I don’t mind getting older – the parts get more interesting’ by Nick Smurthwaite

Young actors looking at Clive Francis today, still fit and funny and youthful at 70, must feel in awe of his extraordinarily

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Mel Kenyon, literary agent: ‘It’s like a marriage – I need to fall in love with a writer’s work’ by Nick Smurthwaite

It is 25 years since the death of Peggy Ramsay. She was the eccentric doyenne of theatrical literary agents for nearly half

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Friday, October 28, 2016

Penny Downie: ‘I’ve been faking a British accent for so long now it’s just stuck’ by Nick Smurthwaite

Penny Downie looks visibly shaken. “God, I’m not nearly interesting enough,” she exclaims when I show her the amount of space her

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Friday, October 21, 2016

Amadeus returns to the National Theatre, scene of its original triumph by Nick Smurthwaite

The patron saint of mediocrity is back. Antonio Salieri returns to the National Theatre to do battle with his arch nemesis Wolfgang

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Laurie Marsh, impresario and philanthropist: ‘Good art needs far more funding than it’s getting now’ by Nick Smurthwaite

Laurie Marsh is a one-off. Not only does he confound every known cliche about property tycoons, being highly cultured and tirelessly philanthropic,

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Monday, October 17, 2016

How Artem makes props and effects to give shows the wow factor by Nick Smurthwaite

Whether it’s a severed head, a talking toilet or an exploding house you’re after, prop-makers and special effects company Artem has seldom

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Friday, October 7, 2016

Arthur Lloyd: The forgotten star finding fame online by Nick Smurthwaite

Even as a child growing up in the 1960s, Matthew Lloyd was saddened to find that his ancestor, the celebrated Victorian music

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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Kwame Kwei-Armah: ‘Black representation in the UK is behind the States’ by Nick Smurthwaite

Possibly because he has been absent from our shores for five years, you feel the extraordinary journey of Kwame Kwei-Armah, from a

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Monday, October 3, 2016

Backstage: How do theatres welcome audiences? by Nick Smurthwaite

Front of house is the first point of contact between the customer and the theatre. Every theatre manager knows that it is

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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Celebrating 60 years of National Youth Theatre by Nick Smurthwaite

Since it was established 60 years ago, the National Youth Theatre has provided a launchpad for, among others, Daniel Day-Lewis, Helen Mirren,

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Paul Roseby: ‘Drama in schools needs to be like sport – everybody should do it’ by Nick Smurthwaite

The National Youth Theatre is often described as the best drama school we never had, but it has always fulfilled a very

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Monday, September 26, 2016

Simon Higlett: ‘You have to persuade people to build things they don’t want to’ by Nick Smurthwaite

Not all rookie set designers struggle to earn a living. After he’d graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art in 1982

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Friday, September 16, 2016

The Theatres Trust’s ongoing rescue mission by Nick Smurthwaite

It was the indifference of local authorities in the post-war period to the fate of their old theatres that led to the

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Friday, September 9, 2016

HighTide Festival’s Steven Atkinson: ‘We want to be theatre’s Sundance’ by Nick Smurthwaite

East Suffolk’s HighTide Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary this year with a programme of new plays, innovative comedy and special events that

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