The Footnotes to our episode on Tom Stoppard’s majestic play Leopoldstadt include observations on the origins of its title, the metaphoric resonances of the child’s game, Cat’s Cradle, and how Gustav Klimt’s art is an apt choice to help paint the play’s story.
The Footnotes to our episode on Samuel Beckett’s timeless play Happy Days include observations on the power of Beckett’s theatrical imagery, as well as the indeterminate nature of time in the play.
The Footnotes to our episode on Caryl Churchill’s prophetic play Escaped Alone include further thoughts on Churchill’s uncanny prescience, as well as some background on the experience of filming the play during lockdown.
The Footnotes to our episode on Shelagh Delaney’s classic A Taste of Honey include thoughts on the sins of the mother, and Delaney’s radical portrait of real people in 1950s Britain.
The Footnotes to our episode on Girl from the North Country include brief thoughts on Elizabeth’s ability to see and say the truth, more on the echoes of Chekhov in Conor’s play, and the melding of Bob Dylan’s songs with the play.
The Footnotes to our episode on Present Laughter include thoughts on the real Garry Essendine, and the morality of the amorous liaisons that they all prosecute.
The Footnotes to our episode on A Servant to Two Masters and One Man Two Guvnors include a cast list of Commedia dell’Arte characters, notes on the harlequin’s hunger and cross-dressing for power in a patriarchal world.
The Footnotes to our episode on Medea include further observations on the danger a woman like Medea represented to the men of ancient Athens, and the emotional experience Greek tragedy exacts.
The Footnotes to our episode on Nina Raine’s play Consent include observations on the ritualised performance of barristers in the courtroom, the resonances of Greek tragedy in the characters’ modern-day dramas, and the epistemology of intent or how they don’t know why they do what they do.
My Footnotes to our episode on Shook include more observations on our prejudices against people from different classes or circumstances, parenting as empathy, and the heartbreak of long-distance childbirth.
Our Footnotes to The Glass Menagerie include Tennessee Williams’ innovative ideas about lighting as an element of what he called his “plastic drama”; the endearing ambiguity of the character of Jim, the gentleman caller; the infinite distance of memory; and the explosive times the play was written and set in.
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf is such a rich play that we have a lots of Footnotes to supplement our episode on the play. These include more on the origins and meaning of the famous title; some play-by-play analysis of George and Martha’s battle; the symbolic contrast between history and biology which George and Nick represent; the absence of model parents, or children at all; the thrill of the play’s language; and the censors who took offense at this “filthy play”.
The Footnotes to our episode on The Welkin include more on symbols in the sky, the life of the wife of a poet, and the apt sound of the butter churn.
The Footnotes to our episode on Copenhagen include more on the atomic metaphors that resonate through the play, the real-life drama that played out at Farm Hall country house in 1945, and the darkness of Elsinore.
The Footnotes to our episode on The Duchess of Malfi include John Webster and the business of funerals, visions of the afterlife in the play, and our favourite metaphors in Webster’s metaphysical verse.
The Footnotes to our episode on Oleanna include a clue to the arcane title of the play, a reminder of one of the real-life sources of the play’s gender politics, and how the theatre may reflect our national sub-conscious.
Our brief Footnotes to our episode on The Father expand on the subjects of the changing set in the play, and the significance of Andre’s watch.
The Footnotes to our Rockets and Blue Lights episode explore the Turner paintings that partly inspired the play, the Zong massacre that inspired Turner, the ghosts that haunt the play, and the litany of victims that Thomas pays tribute to in his closing speech.
The Footnotes to our Death of a Salesman episode cover the title of the play, the real life salesman in Miller’s family, why Happy likes bowling, more on fathers and sons and the fluid form of the play, and Willy’s pastoral dream.
Our Footnotes to the episode on Beginning include observations on what the epigraphs signal about the play, measuring ourselves on the property ladder, the language of sex, and how standing in your underwear is the ultimate honesty.
Our Footnotes to the episode on Albion include observations on the echoes of Chekhov, Hidcote garden, being lady of the manor, having a purpose in life, the ‘beholders’ share’, and Claire Foy’s mother.
Footnotes to episode nine on Nigel Slater’s Toast: how breakfasting on eggs every day can turn you into a star footballer, and the charms of Bournemouth versus Blackpool.
More observations on The Deep Blue Sea following our conversation with Dan, including playing Hester with “no clothes on”, trading Shakespearean quotes on Love and Lust, the unimportance of “the physical side, objectively speaking”, and the whereabouts of a shilling coin.
More observations about the play and the Old Vic In Camera performance with Claire Foy and Matt Smith that was broadcast live from 26th June 2020.
The footnotes to accompany our episode on Betrayal include observations on Joan Bakewell’s version of their affair, why the island of Torcello is the perfect choice for their honeymoon visit, and the society of the 1970s the play is set in.
The Footnotes to our episode on The Tempest include information and observations on St Elmo’s Fire, the original shipwreck that may have been Shakespeare’s source, Art vs Nurture, Art vs Nature, and the poetry of the play.
More in our Footnotes to The Revlon Girl episode on the political aftermath of Aberfan, the Queen’s visit – or rather non-visit, and how the Revlon Girl’s sales patter hits a nerve.
More on Samuel Beckett’s love of chess, his friendship with James Joyce, and what he really thought of the Lord Chamberlain in our Endgame Footnotes. Listen to our podcast Addendum, where we talk more about Beckett’s life and the premiere of Waiting for Godot.
The Footnotes to our episode about Uncle Vanya include observations on Chekhov as comedy, his prescient concern for the environment, Sonya’s unrequited love, Chekhov and Stanislavski, his minor characters and finally his lasting influence.
These footnotes to A Doll’s House are a follow-up to our discussion in episode one, including information and observations on Ibsen as a bestseller, the first productions of the play, Ibsen and the censors, the tarantella dance, and the play’s influence on George Bernard Shaw.
The Play Podcast Blog
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.
The January roundup included both classic plays, such as The Duchess of Malfi, Uncle Vanya and Three Sisters, as well as recent musicals Dear Evan Hansen and Girl from the North Country …