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Lynette Linton

Lynette Linton

Lynette Linton

Lynette Linton is the Artistic Director of the Bush theatre in London, where she has been leading a ground-breaking program of new work that champions all types of diverse voices. We’ve been lucky enough to cover two of their acclaimed recent productions on the podcast, Tyrell Williams’s Red Pitch and Margaret Perry’s Paradise Now!

Lynette was previously Resident Assistant Director at the Donmar, where in 2018 she directed the UK premiere of Sweat, for which she won the Best Director award at the Black British Theatre Awards. Before that she was Associate Director at the Gate theatre. Her long list of directing credits includes Blues for an Alabama Sky at the National Theatre, for which she won Evening Standard and Critics Circle Awards for Best Director, as well as Richard II at the Globe theatre, which was distinguished for being the first ever company of women of colour on a major UK stage. She has directed or assisted on shows at the Bush, the Donmar, the Gate, the Theatre Royal Stratford East, the Royal Court and the West End.

Photo by Bronwen Sharp

Podcast Episode(s)

Recommended Play(s)

Lynette recommended two plays that are returning to the stage at the Bush theatre in early 2024:
Shifters by Benedict Lombe, and,
The Cord by Bijan Sheiban.

 

 

 

 

 

071 – Clyde’s, by Lynn Nottage

071 – Clyde’s, by Lynn Nottage

The cast of Clyde’s
Donmar Warehouse
November 2023
Photo by Helen Murray

 

071 – Clyde’s, by Lynn Nottage

Lynn Nottage’s play Clyde’s is set in a truck-stop diner on the outskirts of Reading, Pennsylvania. This is no ordinary diner though, because the short-order cooks that make the sandwiches that the diner is famous for are all ex-cons. But the eponymous proprietor, Clyde, has not offered these ex-cons a second chance out of the softness of her heart. Despite her stern style, the characters who wash up here in Clyde’s discover some unexpected hope for their futures in their communal sufferings and support.

Lynn Nottage is very well known in America, having won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama twice: in 2009 for her play Ruined, and in 2017 for Sweat. Clyde’s was first produced on Broadway in November 2021, and according to American Theatre magazine it was the most-produced play in non-profit theatres in America in 2022–2023.

As we record this episode a new production of Clyde’s is on stage at the Donmar Warehouse theatre in London, directed by Lynette Linton, who also directed Sweat at the same theatre back in 2018. The stories and characters of both this play and Sweat are based on extensive research Nottage carried out with local people, and the plays certainly have the stamp of lived reality.

I’m delighted to be joined by the director Lynette Linton who, having directed both of these great plays, is the perfect guest to talk us through Clyde’s.

Lynette Linton

Lynette Linton is the Artistic Director of the Bush theatre in London, where she has been leading a ground-breaking program of new work that champions all types of diverse voices. We’ve been lucky enough to cover two of their acclaimed recent productions on the podcast, Tyrell Williams’s Red Pitch and Margaret Perry’s Paradise Now!

Lynette was previously Resident Assistant Director at the Donmar, where in 2018 she directed the UK premiere of Sweat, for which she won the Best Director award at the Black British Theatre Awards. Before that she was Associate Director at the Gate theatre. Her long list of directing credits includes Blues for an Alabama Sky at the National Theatre, for which she won Evening Standard and Critics Circle Awards for Best Director, as well as Richard II at the Globe theatre, which was distinguished for being the first ever company of women of colour on a major UK stage. She has directed or assisted on shows at the Bush, the Donmar, the Gate, the Theatre Royal Stratford East, the Royal Court and the West End.

Recommended Play

Lynette recommended two plays that are returning to the stage at the Bush theatre in early 2024:
Shifters by Benedict Lombe, and,
The Cord by Bijan Sheiban.

Photo by Bronwen Sharp

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076 – Othello, by William Shakespeare

076 – Othello, by William Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s devastating exploration of race, reputation and jealousy, The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice was a popular success when it was first performed during Shakespeare’s lifetime, but in the centuries since it has provoked a wide range of responses as successive generations have grappled with the racial identity of the eponymous character. As we record this episode a new production of Othello at Shakespeare’s Globe theatre in London views the play’s treatment of race through a contemporary lens, setting the play within the London Metropolitan police force, a topical environment for racial inspection.

I am privileged to welcome as my guest someone especially qualified to help us navigate the tricky waters of Shakespeare’s play, Farah Karim-Cooper, Director of Education at Shakespeare’s Globe, Professor of Shakespeare Studies at Kings College London, and the author of The Great White Bard – Shakespeare, Race and the Future.

Ken Nwosu as Othello and Ralph Davies as Iago
Sam Wanamaker Playhouse
Photo by Johan Persson

075 – The Homecoming, by Harold Pinter

075 – The Homecoming, by Harold Pinter

Harold Pinter’s disturbing exploration of toxic masculinity and sexual maneuvering, The Homecoming premiered in 1965. The play’s portrait of misogyny, and even more disturbing, the apparent female complicity, was shocking at the time it was written. Nearly 60 years on the sexual politics is if anything even more difficult to watch. So what was Pinter’s purpose in presenting such a provocative piece, and how do we process it in the post Me-Too age?

I am joined by Matthew Dunster, the director of a scintillating new production of the play at the Young Vic in London, who can help us answer those questions about Pinter’s challenging classic.

Lisa Diveney as Ruth at the Young Vic – photo by Dean Chalkley.

074 – Ghosts, by Henrik Ibsen

074 – Ghosts, by Henrik Ibsen

Henrik Ibsen’s dark family drama Ghosts provoked outrage when it was published in 1881, its treatment of sexual disease, incest and euthanasia too much for the critics. More than 140 years later its portrait of repressed truths and social hypocrisy remains as powerful as ever.

Professor Kirsten Shepherd-Barr of St Catherine’s College, Oxford, helps us review Ibsen’s unflinching drama.

Hattie Morahan as Helene Alving at the Sam Wanamaker Theatre, London, December 2023. Photo by Marc Brenner.