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.
Anton Chekhov’s play The Seagull was a disaster on its opening night in St Petersburg in 1896. The unsettling blend of comedy and pathos that confused the first critics and audience were subsequently recognised as seminal in the evolution of modern drama.
I’m delighted to welcome back playwright and professor, Dan Rebellato, to talk about Chekhov and his timeless play.
Patrick Marber’s play Closer depicts a merry-go-round of metropolitan relationships powered by sex and betrayal. Its clever and candid dissection of the destructive power of sexual desire hit a contemporary nerve when it premiered in 1997.
Clare Lizzimore, director of a new production at the Lyric Hammersmith, joins me to explore how the play’s unflinching sexual politics has aged twenty-five years later.
Jez Butterworth’s play Jersualem is one of the landmark plays of the 21st century, acclaimed for both its lyrical and elusive text exploring English identity, and for its electrifying theatrical production. The once-in-a lifetime performance is happily being repeated with the current West End revival, and it seems fitting that our 50th episode be devoted to this remarkable play. I’m joined by David Ian Rabey, Emeritus Professor at Aberystwyth University and author of The Theatre and Films of Jez Butterworth.