012 – Footnotes 1
This episode is a selection of the Footnotes that we’ve compiled during the research and conversations that we’ve had so far on the podcast. It is a recorded smorgasbord of fragments, with titbits of information in the best tradition of footnotes, as well as additional observations of my own on each play. So if you’re interested in:
- How many copies of A Doll’s House were sold when it was first published
- Who Tennessee Williams chose as his favourite writer(s)
- What Samuel Beckett thought of the Lord Chamberlain
- Why lipstick is important to the mothers of Aberfan
- Where Shakespeare’s real life inspiration for The Tempest came from
- The significance of the island of Torcello to Robert and Emma in Pinter’s Betrayal
- How an Icelandic volcano lay behind Duncan Macmillan’s meditations about climate change in Lungs
- Why Peggy Ashcroft felt naked as Hester Collyer in The Deep Blue Sea
- How going to work on an egg might turn you into a footballer rather than a famous cook
- What the “beholders’ share” is, or
- Where the “pesto triangle” is
among many other trivial and profound footnotes, join me for our ragbag review of the plays that we’ve talked about over the past eleven episodes.
PS You are of course also welcome to read the full set of Footnotes for each episode here on the website.
Suggest a play
We’re always open to suggestions about plays to talk about, so if you’d like us to discuss a favourite of yours, please email us at email@example.com. Let us know why you think we should cover it, and if you know anyone who’d be excited and qualified to talk about it with us (even yourself if modesty permits!).
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Girl from the North Country is an extraordinary collaboration between the playwright Conor McPherson and the musician and song writer Bob Dylan. The result is a magical work where McPherson’s portrait of families struggling to survive in Depression America is transfigured into an uplifting theatrical experience by the ravishing period arrangements of Dylan’s songs.
The play opened at the Old Vic Theatre in London in 2017 to a rapturous response and reviews, and was followed by runs in the West End and New York.
This is a very special episode, first because I am privileged to talk with none other than the play’s author Conor McPherson, and secondly because we have also been given kind permission to include several extracts from the original cast recording of the music from the first London production.
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Before the theatres went dark this month I was lucky enough to see Caryl Churchill’s A Number at the Bridge, and spend more than seven hours in thrall to Robert Lepage’s Seven Streams of the River Ota at the National. Plus, some thoughts on what we miss when there is no theatre.
Another great mix of shows this month, from Tom Stoppard’s new play, to Ibsen, Beckett and newer plays in smaller London venues.
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