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.
Arthur Miller’s breakthrough play All My Sons is both a searing family tragedy and an exploration of the moral challenges that Miller believed were inherent in the American Dream. Douglas Rintoul has recently directed a wonderful production of this devastating play at the Queen’s Theatre in Hornchurch.
Caryl Churchill’s play Top Girls was a powerful critique of Thatcherite Britain when it was written in 1982. It’s rightly renowned for its theatrical invention and innovative structure, and remains relevant for its enduring questions about the opportunities, and opportunity costs, for women across the ages. Professor Elaine Aston joins me to survey this modern classic.
It is 1959 and Russ and Bev have sold their 3-bedroom bungalow in the all-white neighbourhood of Clybourne Park in Chicago to a “coloured family”. The sale sparks heated debate between neighbours in Bruce Norris’s Pulitzer Prize winning play Clybourne Park. Oliver Kaderbhai, director of the current revival at the Park Theatre in London, joins me to discuss this provocative and corruscatingly funny play.