Meet three couples in their three kitchens on the Christmas Eves of three successive years. The "lower class" but very much up and coming Hopcrofts are in their bright new, gadget filled kitchen anxiously giving a little party for their bank manager and his wife and an architect neighbor. Next there are the architect and his wife in their neglected, untidy flat. Then the bank manager and his wife are in their large, slightly modernized, old Victorian style kitchen. Running like a dark thread through the wild comedy of behind the scenes disasters at Christmas parties is the story of the advance of the Hopcrofts to material prosperity and independence and the decline of the others. In the final stages the little man is well and truly on top, with the others, literally and unnervingly, dancing to his tune.
'What is remarkable about Alan Ayckbourn's comedy is that it contrives to be simultaneously hilarious and harrowing. Literally, it is agonisingly funny' Daily Telegraph In Three Plays Ayckbourn's perfectly pitched dialogue slices into the soul of suburbia. The settings are simple - a kitchen, a bedroom, a party - but the relationships between the husbands and wives are more complicated. Fraught relationships are exposed with humour, bathos and a sharp understanding of human nature.
The National Theatre Story is filled with artistic, financial and political battles, onstage triumphs – and the occasional disaster. This definitive account takes readers from the National Theatre’s 19th-century origins, through false dawns in the early 1900s, and on to its hard-fought inauguration in 1963. At the Old Vic, Laurence Olivier was for ten years the inspirational Director of the NT Company, before Peter Hall took over and, in 1976, led the move into the National’s concrete home on the South Bank. Altogether, the NT has staged more than 800 productions, premiering some of the 20th and 21st centuries’ most popular and controversial plays, including Amadeus, The Romans in Britain, Closer, The History Boys, War Horse and One Man, Two Guvnors. Certain to be essential reading for theatre lovers and students, The National Theatre Story is packed with photographs and draws on Daniel Rosenthal’s unprecedented access to the National Theatre’s own archives, unpublished correspondence and more than 100 new interviews with directors, playwrights and actors, including Olivier’s successors as Director (Peter Hall, Richard Eyre, Trevor Nunn and Nicholas Hytner), and other great figures from the last 50 years of British and American drama, among them Edward Albee, Alan Bennett, Judi Dench, Michael Gambon, David Hare, Tony Kushner, Ian McKellen, Diana Rigg, Maggie Smith, Peter Shaffer, Stephen Sondheim and Tom Stoppard.
Since 1973, TEXAS MONTHLY has chronicled life in contemporary Texas, reporting on vital issues such as politics, the environment, industry, and education. As a leisure guide, TEXAS MONTHLY continues to be the indispensable authority on the Texas scene, covering music, the arts, travel, restaurants, museums, and cultural events with its insightful recommendations.
‘A magnificently readable tour of theatrical history conducted by our best-informed living critic.’ Michael Billington From 458 BC and the first performance of Aeschylus’ Oresteia on an Athenian hillside, to 2009 AD and Jez Butterworth’s astonishing Jerusalem at London’s Royal Court Theatre, here is an expert guide to the seminal, pivotal, and transcendent moments in theatre history. ‘Benedict is one of the freshest and most vivid writers on theatre.’ Janet Suzman ‘Benedict has been the leading theatre critic of his generation and has written for The Times for twenty years, setting the standard by which the great performances and productions are judged. People onstage, backstage and in the audience have come to trust his every observation and judgement delivered with style, humour and passion.’ James Harding, Editor, The Times ‘Benedict Nightingale’s characteristically witty, insightful and enthusiastic reports make you wish you’d been sitting next to him during his greatest moments in the theatre.’ Ian McKellen ‘I’ve known Benedict Nightingale for more than fifty years over which time he has become one of the Theatre’s most distinguished and influential commentators. He writes with style, perspective and wit, and with a deep knowledge of his subject. In turn he is greatly admired by the theatre profession and, as importantly, by his readers and the audiences who trust the fairness of his opinions.’ Sir Peter Hall
This book provides a multitude of practical ideas for teachers and student teachers of drama and for those who are interested in using drama to teach other subjects. It takes the form of a detailed discussion of twenty-five drama techniques, each accompanied by practical examples of lessons and illustrated by an extract from a play.