Derek Jacobi as King Lear Pic: Johan Persson
2 January 2011 Scotland on Sunday
On starring in King Lear. A Donmar Warehouse preview.
THE role of King Lear is a vertiginous challenge that only the most accomplished actors dare climb. Vast in its emotional range, it requires an old man's gravitas and a young man's stamina. If you have tackled Hamlet at the start of your career, you will want to tick off Lear before you retire. The part has been played by John Gielgud, Laurence Olivier, Brian Cox, Christopher Plummer, Ian McKellen - a litany of greats now joined by Derek Jacobi in a thrilling production by London's Donmar theatre that tours to Glasgow this spring.
Peter Brook's 11 and 12 Pic: Pascal Victor/ArtComArt
17 March 2010 The Scotsman
The director talks about 11&12. A Tramway preview.
TO get to Peter Brook's office, you come in off a grimy Parisian street at the back of the Gare du Nord, head along a nondescript corridor, cut across the stage of the Bouffes du Nord – half faded glamour, half rough-and-ready empty space – before climbing a staircase that is open to the crisp December air, as if you were approaching a fairytale turret.
1 November 2009 Scotland on Sunday
Feature about JM Barrie and Peter Pan.
PETER Pan might be the boy who wouldn't grow up, but he has no trouble proliferating. As we approach the 150th anniversary of the birth of JM Barrie, our appetite for the Kirriemuir writer's most famous creation appears to be insatiable. The boy from Neverland is everywhere.
1 May 2009 The Guardian
Obituary of the poet and playwright
IT must have been about 1990 when I first interviewed the poet and playwright Tom McGrath, who has died from cancer of the liver aged 68. It was in his Edinburgh office at the Royal Lyceum, where he was the Scottish Arts Council's associate literary director. Some time around the point when I turned the cassette tape over, I asked my second question. McGrath did not do soundbites.
Michael Moreland as Stevie and Catherine Murray as Nikki in Hoors by Gregory Burke Pic: Richard Campbell
20 April 2009 The Guardian
The Black Watch playwright on Hoors. Traverse Theatre preview.
WE could be anywhere. On the other side of the car park is a Subway and a Pizza Hut. Over the roundabout, a 24-hour Tesco. Around the corner, a leisure centre. And everywhere, the endless flow of cars. Above all, stretching out into the distance, there are bland, modern houses: neat cubes with white garage doors, tidy patios and small windows.
1 March 2009 Scotland on Sunday
Interview about Waiting for Godot
SURPRISINGLY for actors born within two years of each other in the neighbouring counties of Lancashire and Yorkshire, the 2000 blockbuster X-Men was only Sir Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart's second professional collaboration. Prior to that, they had shared a brief scene or two in the premiere of Tom Stoppard's Every Good Boy Deserves Favour in 1977, but had otherwise pursued independent careers, albeit with a startlingly similar mix of high-brow and popular.
Richard Madden, Ian McDiarmid, Helen Mallon in the NTS's Be Near Me, January 2009 Pic: Manuel Harlan
4 January 2009 Scotland on Sunday
IAN McDiarmid is the most reluctant of Hollywood stars. A more flighty actor would have taken offence when, at the red-carpet premiere of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace in 1999, none of the photographers knew who he was. But the Carnoustie-born psychology graduate laughed at the oversight. He couldn't blame them given that he was not wearing the prosthetic make-up that had transformed him into the dark lord Emperor Palpatine in 1983's Return Of The Jedi , and, in any case, McDiarmid revelled in his anonymity.
6 November 2008 The Guardian
IN a room in Polmont young offenders' institution, two men have dropped a tab of acid and are starting to hallucinate."See that tree?" says one, staring at a pot plant in bewilderment. "See that goblin in the garden?" counters the other. Paranoia ensues.
Paul Morrow and Gerda Stevenson in Nova Scotia by John Byrne, Traverse Theatre Pic: Richard Campbell
April 2008 The Guardian
JOHN Byrne doesn't read the papers and hasn't had a television for six years, but he does listen to what he quaintly calls the wireless. This morning, he has heard the news about the inquest into Princess Diana's death. He's irritated by all the talk of "closure", believing the jury's verdict is just another cliffhanger in the great Diana soap opera.
January 2006 The Guardian
EVERY time Hans Christian Andersen had a wank, he would put a mark in his diary."Today I had a visit from such-and-such a person, they're so sweet," he would write. "When they left, I had a double-sensuous ++." (Ghost written article)
April 2004 The Independent on Sunday
BRIAN Cox is a ball. If I didn't know better, I'd say he's just rolled his way to my table. His donkey jacket is hunched around his shoulders, his head is tucked in, his stocky body is the same size in every direction. His stubby fingers are made of the same amorphous lump of clay as his face, which today has a light grey moustache and a thinning crop of slicked-back grey hair. He has curled himself up like a hedgehog.
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