All stories by Nick Smurthwaite on BroadwayStars

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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Friday, February 2, 2018

The deliciously indiscreet letters of top theatre mover and shaker Tyrone Guthrie by Nick Smurthwaite

As the private correspondence of Tyrone Guthrie is published for the first time, Nick Smurthwaite finds much humour in the 20th-century director’s

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Meet Clare Ferraby, the unsung hero behind the West End’s most beautiful theatres by Nick Smurthwaite

Recognised as an unsung hero in The Stage Awards, Clare Ferraby has decorated and restored the interiors of some of the UK’s

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Friday, January 19, 2018

Leonard Bernstein revisited: celebrating the work of a musical chameleon by Nick Smurthwaite

To mark Leonard Bernstein’s centenary, David Charles Abell will conduct performances of his works in London next weekend. He tells Nick Smurthwaite about

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

How the Stitch in Time campaign is transforming the RSC’s historic costume workshop by Nick Smurthwaite

The Royal Shakespeare Company’s grade II-listed workshop has for some time mirrored its Victorian heritage in conditions, but ‘enough was enough’ for

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Sacha Guitry, the ‘Gallic Noel Coward’, returns to London at last by Nick Smurthwaite

A star in France in the 1920s, the actor, director and writer Sacha Guitry never achieved widespread fame in the UK. The

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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

London Theatre Consortium: ‘Working together empowers us’ by Nick Smurthwaite

Growing out of an Arts Council England project, the London Theatre Consortium offers collaborative working from cutting carbon footprints to creating apprenticeships

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Monday, January 8, 2018

The Birthday Party: How Harold Pinter’s menacing early work confounded the critics by Nick Smurthwaite

Harold Pinter’s sophomore work confounded all but one of its first reviewers but continues to fascinate 60 years on. As the latest

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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Is threatened loss of historic studio sending scenic artists into the wilderness? by Nick Smurthwaite

As London’s last remaining scene-painting workshop, the at-risk Harkers studio is a vital resource for scenic artists, now predominantly ‘nomadic’ freelances. Designers

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Friday, November 17, 2017

The Archers star Tim Bentinck: ‘I want my memoirs to show my grandchildren I’ve done more than voice-acting a gnome’ by Nick Smurthwaite

Pirate King, Conjoined Gnome Left and, in real life, the Earl of Portland: Tim Bentinck has had many roles, but he’s known

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

How theatre stalwart Celia Johnson nearly turned down Brief Encounter by Nick Smurthwaite

Wartime love letters reveal the 20-year veteran of the stage had a deep-seated suspicion of cinema and almost did not take the

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Mike Poulton: ‘I don’t work to commission. I only write what I want to write’ by Nick Smurthwaite

Political intrigue from the past is meat and drink to the writer, who has followed up his adaptation of Wolf Hall with

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The Hundred and One Dalmatians: Birmingham Rep’s dazzling feat of canine puppetry by Nick Smurthwaite

Birmingham Rep is adapting Dodie Smith’s much-loved book for its seasonal show. Its director and designers tell Nick Smurthwaite how a cast

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Monday, November 13, 2017

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie inspiration Jamie Campbell: ‘I first knew about it when I heard someone had auditioned to play my mum’ by Nick Smurthwaite

The inspiration for Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, the pop musical that opens in London’s West End next week, is 22-year-old Jamie Campbell,

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Friday, November 3, 2017

Men in Motion: ‘Dance is superior to all other art forms’ by Nick Smurthwaite

As international ballet star Ivan Putrov’s showcase of how the role of the male dancer has changed over the last 100 years

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Still sharp, 40 years after its Network premiere by Nick Smurthwaite

As the National Theatre prepares to stage Paddy Chayefsky’s 1976 satire, playwright Lee Hall, who has adapted the original screenplay, tells Nick

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

How Mesh Theatre Company brought Journey’s End back to Flanders Fields by Nick Smurthwaite

As Mesh Theatre stages a revival of the celebrated, semi-autobiographical play Journey’s End, its director and designer tell Nick Smurthwaite what went

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

How the real Rock Follies came back from hitting rock bottom by Nick Smurthwaite

Annabel Leventon and two friends formed 1970s girl band Rock Bottom, but had their dreams of stardom crushed when an original idea

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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

What apprenticeships are available in theatre? by Nick Smurthwaite

As the performing arts sector generates more apprenticeships than ever before, Nick Smurthwaite looks at how this is transforming the creative industries Considering

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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Tracing the National Theatre’s past through 50 years of eye-catching posters by Nick Smurthwaite

The National celebrates half a century of publicity posters in its new exhibition. Nick Smurthwaite explores the changing face of what its

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Hair and now: tribal rock musical that’s still topical 50 years on by Nick Smurthwaite

When the Broadway rock musical first opened in London’s West End in 1968, with scenes of nudity, drug-taking and a strong anti-war

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Playwright NC Hunter: Bringing the forgotten man of British theatre in from the cold by Nick Smurthwaite

Once described as ‘the English Chekhov’, the playwright fell out of favour in the 1950s – despite being responsible for two of the

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Cartoonist and designer Gerald Scarfe: ‘My instinct is to go for the jugular, whatever I do’ by Nick Smurthwaite

Political cartoonist Gerald Scarfe has long had a sideline in scenic design for the theatre. As an exhibition of his stage work

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Monday, September 4, 2017

Jermyn Street artistic director Tom Littler: ‘It’s hard to work in small spaces – you can’t cheat’ by Nick Smurthwaite

After a career as a freelance director and producer, Jermyn Street Theatre’s new artistic director tells Nick Smurthwaite why he couldn’t be

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Friday, September 1, 2017

Zigger Zagger! Oi! Oi! Oi! How football’s first musical kicked off by Nick Smurthwaite

The National Youth Theatre’s revival of Peter Terson’s 1960s terraces-set musical marks its 50th anniversary. Nick Smurthwaite looks back at the birth

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Friday, August 25, 2017

Follies: Still living, laughing, loving by Nick Smurthwaite

As the National Theatre prepares to revive Follies for its first full staging in three decades, Nick Smurthwaite looks at the inspiration

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Friday, August 18, 2017

Farce and fatality in Loot – the birth of Joe Orton’s blackest comedy by Nick Smurthwaite

Fifty years after his brutal murder, the playwright’s darkly comic creation is returning to the stage in its original, uncensored form for

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Monday, August 7, 2017

Monica Dolan: ‘I like to challenge myself. I don’t want to keep playing the same part’ by Nick Smurthwaite

With a CV that ranges from Shakespeare and W1A to Rose West, Monica Dolan has never been afraid to take risks. She

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