Recent Posts

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Savage Messiah: Ken Russell / The Devils online on Shudder
« Last post by Iain Fisher on March 06, 2021, 10:11:04 PM »
Online subscription service Shudder now have The Devils available.  Details here
Beckett, Bond, Pinter discussion / Pinter Betrayal in Dubai
« Last post by Iain Fisher on March 06, 2021, 10:07:32 PM »
Harold Pinter’s play ‘Betrayal’ is performed live in Dubai at The Junction from 1-3 April 2021.

"A story about relationships, self-discovery, trust, and circumstances leading to breaking of it. Revolving around the lives of Emma, Jerry, and Robert who are all betraying one another. The play starts in the present and then goes in reverse chronological order! A hard-hitting dramatic masterpiece"

More details are here
On 13 Mar 2021 the Provincetown Theater together with the Capital Classics Theatre Company of Hartford, CT to produce a Zoom conversation with performance excerpts from Athol Fugard's one-act play, Victory. This is free of charge.
Savage Messiah: Ken Russell / Twiggy in The Devils
« Last post by Iain Fisher on February 24, 2021, 07:46:06 PM »
Twiggy is famous for her role in The Boyfriend, but she was also an extra in The Devils.  First photo below is of Twiggy around the time, then The Devils (apologies for the poor image, a better one will come soon)

It is from the scene where the fake blood of Christ is brought in.
Savage Messiah: Ken Russell / Holywood It's Cinema & Other Memories - Ken Russell
« Last post by Iain Fisher on February 24, 2021, 07:29:12 PM »
I thought I had read all the books by and about Ken, but found on Amazon "Holywood It's Cinema & Other Memories - Ken Russell"

Looking at the contents it has the typical Russell quirkiness- The Projectionist, Matinees, Censorship, Banned, Cinema Decline.

But looking at the back cover

a different Ken Russell.  And it is not Hollywood but Holywood in Northern Ireland.

But it was interesting anyway.  The other Ken's memories of the local cinema.  It covers the local cinema in detail, including the colour of the walls, the position of the doors.  And lots of other minutiae- the winners of the talent competition of 20 March 1964, the price of tickets (cheapest tickets in 1936 were 3d and in 1970 2 shillings and 6d).
The Samuel Beckett Working Group will be meeting at the IFTR International Federation for Theatre Research Annual

The theme for IFTR 2021 is Theatre Ecologies and papers are welcome for the working group that respond to this. The working group will also continue to provide an open forum for work dealing with any aspect of Beckett's theatre. Participants are welcome to respond the following questions, but are not limited to them:

  • In what ways is the natural world evoked in Beckett’s work and what modes of eco-dramaturgy are evident within practical approaches to Beckett’s theatre?
  • How can Beckettian performance practices unveil or unpack issues around the environment, climate change and sustainability?
  • What are the ecologies -- in all senses of the word – of local and international Beckett performance practices?
  • What are the politics of intercultural exchange and sustainability when it comes to Beckett’s work around the world?
  • How does the contemporary staging of Beckett’s drama tackle the issue of ecological catastrophe?

Details are here
Steven Berkoff discussion / Tell Tale Heart
« Last post by Iain Fisher on February 15, 2021, 07:33:06 PM »
Steven's Tell Tale Heart is now on iTunes
Sarah Kane discussion / 4.48 Montrash (4.48 Psychosis in Banga)
« Last post by Iain Fisher on February 03, 2021, 10:33:26 PM »
A good article on 4.48 Psychosis in Bangladesh.

"In Bangladesh, too, the play was performed twice due to its popularity and uniqueness: the first was in the Dhaka University theatre department by students, and the second time was by Jamil sir through Spardha."

"If you have the opportunity to read or watch the play, you will see that it has completely shifted away from the traditional elements of European plays, almost like a rebellion of Sarah Kane. It has broken all rules and rejected or refused the pre-conceived ideas we have of a general plot and characters from a play".

The interview is in The Daily Star, 3 Feb 2021:
Savage Messiah: Ken Russell / Ken's radio play Scriabin
« Last post by Iain Fisher on February 02, 2021, 06:49:53 PM »
I will soon post more on Ken's radio play about composer Scriabin with Oliver Reed.  As well as an overview of the play, I hope to include a few minutes recording from the play.
Savage Messiah: Ken Russell / Murray Melvin archive
« Last post by Iain Fisher on February 02, 2021, 06:42:45 PM »
Murray Melvin's archive of Theatre Royal Stratford East, a small but good theatre, is being donated to the British Library.

As well as working with Ken on a lot of films, Melvin worked in theatre, making his mark in Shelagh Delaney's A Taste of Honey.

I was fortunate enough to meet him, a friendly, open and intelligent person.  Someone asked him how old he was- he said 29 and he said he would continue to say that until he decided to move to 30.  He said he and other regular actors call themselves the "Ken Russell Repertory Company".

His work with Ken includes Diary of a Nobody, Isadora Duncan, The Devils, The Boyfriend, Lisztomania, Clouds of Glory and Prisoners of Honor. :

The article on the archive is by Michael Billington in The Guardian, 1 Feb 2021.  The link is here:

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