032 – Footnotes Volume 3
Published 26th August
This episode is a recorded collection of the recent Footnotes that we’ve published here on the website. During the course of my researches and conversations with my guests there is all sorts of material that fails to reach the final podcasts, either because we simply didn’t have time to talk about it during the recording, or it was too trivial or too much of a digression to fit into the flow of our conversation. I felt after our very first episode that it would be a shame to leave these facts and observations on the cutting room floor, so I started publishing these Footnotes on the website to accompany each episode.
This 3rd volume of Footnotes covers episodes 24-31. It’s a smorgasbord of titbits of information and observations on specific elements of the plays. Examples in this episode include:
- How lessons from Greek Tragedy could have been learned in Nina Raine’s play about sexual aggression, Consent.
- Why the men of Athens were especially fearful of Medea.
- Why the Harlequins are always hungry in A Servant to Two Masters and One Man Two Guvnors.
- The meaning of the anagram of Garry Essendine’s name in Present Laughter
- The religious power of Bob Dylan’s music in Conor McPherson’s Girl from the North Country
- What is the connection between Henrik Ibsen’s play Ghosts and Sheila Delaney’s 1958 sensation A Taste of Honey.
- Filming Caryl Churchill’s prophetic play Escaped Alone during lockdown
- Samuel Beckett as an installation artist
And much more… A compendium of dramatic intelligence befitting the best kind of Footnote.
Tyrell William’s award-winning, debut play Red Pitch is set on an inner-city football pitch in South London. It is a coming-of-age story, with teenage boys fighting to believe in their dreams, and to find a way up, and perhaps out, of their changing community. The play premiered at the Bush Theatre in London in February 2002, winning several awards, and is currently enjoying a sell-out revival at the Bush.
Tyrell Williams, and the show’s director, Daniel Bailey, join me to explore this joyful and poignant new play.
Photo by Helen Murray.
Martin McDonagh’s 2004 play The Pillowman is an unsettling mix of gruesome fairy tales, child abuse, and murder, overlaid with McDonagh’s signature black humour. McDonagh’s blend of extreme violence and ironic comedy divides opinion, although the popularity of the current revival of the play in London’s West End is testimony to its enduring fascination.
I am joined in this episode by Professor Eamonn Jordan, to help us come to terms with the impact and intent of McDonagh’s work.
Accidental Death of an Anarchist by Dario Fo and Franca Rame is both an hilarious farce and a biting satire. Written in 1970 as an “act of intervention” in response to the unexplained death of a prisoner in police custody in Milan, it became a huge global hit.
An acclaimed new adaptation that updates the setting and scandal to modern-day Britain is currently playing at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, and I’m delighted to be joined by its writer, Tom Basden, and the director, Daniel Raggett, to talk about their adaptation and the enduring relevance of Fo’s original.