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NEWS: Clive Owen will return to the West End for the first time in 18 years in The Night Of The Iguana

In Sticky, Uncategorised by Press ReleasesLeave a Comment

Clive Owen will return to the West End for the first time in 18 years to play the Rev. T. Lawrence Shannon in The Night Of The Iguana in a new production directed by James Macdonald. The production will begin performances at the Noël Coward Theatre on 6 July 2019 (press night is 16 July) and runs until 28 September.

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NEWS: Brian Cox, Ian McDiarmid, Janet Suzman amongst 60-strong cast for Iliad reading

In London theatre, News, Plays, Press Releases by Press ReleasesLeave a Comment

A company of more than 60 artists will bring The Iliad to life in a durational reading on Friday 14 August 2015. The reading will begin at the British Museum and culminate on the Almeida Theatre stage. The marathon reading is the latest event in the theatre’s Almeida Greeks Festival, which has so far seen Robert Icke’s critically acclaimed production …

NEWS: The RSC Announce Full Casting For Henry V

In London theatre, News, Plays, Regional theatre by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

It won’t shock any of our readers to hear we’re very excited about The RSC presenting Henry V as part of their winter season. Their Henry IV was a highlight of 2014 and both productions, alongside the acclaimed Richard II from a few years back, head to London for an exciting run of the “Henries” cycle!

Gregory Doran, RSC Artistic Director, continues his exploration through Shakespeare’s History plays as he directs Henry V, opening in Stratford-upon-Avon, before being broadcast to cinemas and transferring to the Barbican in London.

Alex Hassell, who played Prince Hal in both productions of Henry IV and recently played Biff Loman in Doran’s production ofDeath of a Salesman, plays the title role of King Henry.

Doran’s History tetralogy culminates in January 2016 at the Barbican in London, with a major theatrical event marking the start of the 400th anniversary year of Shakespeare’s death, King & Country, a complete 4-play season cycle of Richard II, Henry IV Parts I and II and Henry V playing in repertoire. Following the Barbican season, Henry IV Parts I and II and Henry V tour to China and are then re-joined by Richard II in Spring 2016 for an exclusive season in the US, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM).

The RSC is delighted to announce J.P. Morgan as the Global Tour Premier Partner for all four productions. J.P. Morgan will be supporting the upcoming tour in the UK, US and China where the RSC will perform Shakespeare’s History Plays.

October 2015, also marks the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt whilst Henry V performs in Stratford-upon-Avon, bringing added resonance to the play which uses the battle as the famous centrepiece of Henry V’s reign.

With the start of rehearsals for Henry V, the RSC begins the first pilot in the initiative to produce new, theatrically viable, Chinese translations of all Shakespeare’s 36 plays, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the First Folio in 2023. The RSC will create the translations in collaboration with Chinese writers and translators, who will be embedded into the RSC’s rehearsal process. Professor Zhang Chong, from Shanghai’s Fudan University will be the translator for Henry V working alongside playwright and Deputy General Manager of Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre, Nick Yu.

The full cast for Henry V includes: Daniel Abbott (Gloucester/Monsieur le Fer); Martin Bassindale (Boy); Antony Byrne(Pistol); Sean Chapman (Exeter); Oliver Ford Davies (Chorus), Nicholas Gerard-Martin (Orleans/Bishop of Ely); Robert Gilbert (Dauphin); Alex Hassell (Henry V); Jim Hooper (Canterbury/Erpingham); Jennifer Kirby (Katherine); Jane Lapotaire(Queen Isobel); Sam Marks (Constable of France); Dale Mathurin (Bates/Bedford); Chris Middleton (Nym/Warwick/Governor of Harfleur); Evelyn Miller (Rambures/Lady-in-Waiting); Keith Osborn (Montjoy/Scroop); Sarah Parks (Mistress Quickly);Leigh Quinn (Alice); Joshua Richards (Bardolph/Fluellen); Simon Thorp (King of France); Obioma Ugoala (Grey/Gower);Andrew Westfield (Westmoreland/MacMorris) and Simon Yadoo (Cambridge/Williams/Jamy).

The Henry V Company will perform across all four plays of the King & Country cycle and are joined by David Tennant (Richard II); Julian Glover (John of Gaunt); Jasper Britton (Bolingbroke/Henry IV); Matthew Needham (Harry Percy/Hotspur/Mowbray) and Emma King (Lady-in-Waiting/Lady Mortimer/Doll Tearsheet).

The productions are designed by Stephen Brimson Lewis with lighting by Tim Mitchell. The music is composed by Paul Englishby with sound by Martin Slavin. The Movement director is Mike Ashcroft and the Fight director is Terry King.

Henry V will be broadcast ‘Live from Stratford-upon-Avon’ to cinemas in collaboration with Picturehouse Entertainment on 21 October 2015

To book tickets call 01789 403493 or online at www.rsc.org.uk

JULIAN GLOVER’S BEOWULF – Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

In London theatre, Reviews by Jonathan BazLeave a Comment

Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe, London

*****

Adapted by Julian Glover from the translations by Michael Alexander and Edwin Morgan and from the Bristol Old Vic production directed by John David and John Elvery

Julian Glover

Beowulf is an Old English (possibly the oldest English) poem. Known to have been written in the tenth century, but with probable older origins, it’s verses tell of a time of dragons, sea monsters, smoking swords and throughout it all wassail and riotous assembly in cavernous mead halls.
Julian Glover has been reciting the poem for nigh on thirty years, in a version that he has painstakingly laboured over. His editing of the verse has led to it being mainly recited in the contemporary idiom, with an occasional stanza of Old English and his helpful programme notes tell us of history having stressed that Beowulf “should not only be read to oneself, but spoken out loud”. Thus it was, for two shows only last weekend, that Glover was to give his final performances of the poem in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe. 
The venue was enchanting. Lit mainly by flickering candles (supplemented by a floodlit yellow wash) the Playhouse offers an elegant Elizabethan intimacy and that it was packed on a pleasant spring afternoon speaks much for Julian Glover’s reputation.
Glover’s delivery is the work of a master. Such is the actor’s genius that even when speaking in the ancient tongue, typically unintelligible to a modern audience, his rhythm enhanced by a perfect emphasis on the text’s alliterative strengths made even the most incomprehensible language seem crystal clear.
Using minimal props (a tankard, sword and throne, all used only occasionally) and dressed in simple, sober modern blacks, Glover’s recital, through perfectly honed inflection and nuance, was a step back in time. For what must be nigh on millennia, folk have been entertained by talented raconteurs telling stories and this is precisely the ambience that Glover achieved. A man as at home performing in a Broadway musical as he is mastering Shakespeare, this wonderful actor held the crowd in the palm of his hand.
This review covered the matinee performance. Later that evening Glover’s son Jamie, an accomplished actor himself, was to inherit his father’s mantle by concluding the recital and carrying on its oral tradition. 
Today’s writers, directors and dramaturgs would do well to attend the future recitals of Glover Junior. Simply staged and beautifully performed, the purest of theatre does not get better than this.

Backtrack – Film Review

In Opinion, Reviews by Jonathan BazLeave a Comment

**

Written by Mick Sands
Directed by Tom Sands

Julian Glover prepares to hit some unwittingyoung campers for six
Backtrack is an ambitiously self-proclaimed “psychological horror” whose far-fetched story rests upon 4 unfortunate young people who regress (either deliberately or without realising) into their “past-lives”. Unfortunately ley lines get tangled and it turns out that the past-lives in question coincide with the very much present life of a now-doddery Nazi parachutist who had been sent into Britain to cause mayhem during World War Two. His mission failed when his plane crashed on Sussex’s South Downs and now the old and gruesomely scarred German ekes out his days as a devil-worshipping recluse in a Sussex barn, quietly awaiting the opportunity to avenge the deaths of his wife and kids who didn’t survive the war. 
Julian Glover, veteran of the RSC and almost a national treasure, plays the old man and that this movie even scores two stars is due to Glover’s outstanding contribution, making the often execrable dialog sound threatening. Elsewhere Haydn West’s sumptuous Downs photography and Richard Morson’s score also impress.
But that’s it. Opening with a WW2 battle sequence that seems inspired by the Call Of Duty video game, with references elsewhere to horror classics The Shining and An American Werewolf In London, director Sands’ ambitions are high. His achievement however is a movie that resembles a cross between a shoddier version of Carry On Camping, crossed with a DIY instruction video as Glover gets medieval with a blowtorch on the unfortunate youngsters. 
Good horror along with well executed gory effects is all part of the magic of the movies. But Backtrack just isn’t good. Glover apart, the acting disappoints, with much of the film proving unintentionally comical (the scene in which a tractor drags an occupied tent across a field could be straight out of Top Gear). Further, too much of the graphic violence is gratuitously laboured, with shoddy visual effects to boot. In their recent film Big Bad Wolves, directors Keshales and Papushado showed how horrific a blowtorch can be, when photographed by a skilled and subtle director. Unfortunately Backtrack’s racks of sizzling human flesh amount to little more than cheap “torture porn” 
Nonetheless the movie does represent a new filmmaker practising his craft and when I spoke with Glover about the shoot, the actor, who to his credit has a recognised history of supporting emerging creative talent, spoke highly of the professionalism of Sands and his cast and crew. 
Accompanied by a good drink and maybe a takeaway, Backtrack could make for an evening’s entertainment. Just go easy on ordering anything flame-grilled.

UK RELEASE: Backtrack is now available in the UK on DVD and LoveFilm through Mandala Films and on Amazon Prime and Blinkbox through Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment under the alternate title ‘Nazi Vengeance.’

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Then and Now – Film Review

In Opinion, Reviews by Jonathan BazLeave a Comment

***Written by Matt Hookings and Bashford TwinsDirected by Bashford TwinsJulian GloverThen and Now is a short film from Kyle and Liam Bashford, (the Bashford Twins) that sees Julian Glover as an elderly Englishman struggling to cope with bereavement som…