Tag Archives: theatre

‘Mozart and Salieri’ from Alexander Pushkin to Peter Shaffer

When Alexander Pushkin, the father of Russian literature and still its greatest figure, mooted a tragedy called ‘Mozart and Salieri’ an article had recently appeared in the German music press. The rumour was that Antonio Salieri, a minor composer dead … Continue reading

Posted in Film, Literature in Translation, Music, Pushkin, Theatre | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Shakespeare and Wagner or Turning the Bard Inward

What is it links Shakespeare and Wagner? Almost a hundred years ago Edgar Istel  examined how Wagner borrowed from Measure for Measure to create his early opera Das Liebesverbot (The Ban on Love)and set out how Wagner read Shakespeare and … Continue reading

Posted in english literature, German Literature, Music, Philosophy and Philosophers, Theatre, Things German | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Vaclav Havel died four years ago: Leaving was his last play

Former Czech President and dissident leader Vaclav Havel died on December 18, 2011. To the end he wanted to return to his first calling, as a playwright. His success on stage was part of the Cold War as we knew it, … Continue reading

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Cold War Shakespeare

In the 1960s the Polish literary critic Jan Kott revolutionized approaches to Shakespeare. British directors Peter Hall and Peter Brook were so transfixed it might be said Kott made their careers. As a cycle of the first three of the … Continue reading

Posted in Britain Today, Cold War, In The Communist Mirror - my book 25 years old this year, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Patriotism and all that Jazz

The trouble with writing for theatre, I once had explained to me, is that, the performance over, the public forgets the play’s existence until its rediscovery, or indefinitely. A television screening raises greater hope of not being forgotten, but most … Continue reading

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50 Years since Vaclav Havel’s The Garden Party

Vaclav Havel‘s first full-length play The Garden Party was on at two Prague theatres in December 2013 to commemorate the arrival fifty years ago of a homegrown theatre of the absurd on the Czech stage. I caught the one by … Continue reading

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The Ghost of Sexuality in Owen Wingrave

The story of Benjamin Britten’s chamber opera Owen Wingrave is of a military cadet who suddenly rejects the life of a soldier. He has to face the extreme disapproval of his traditionally military family and the taunts of his girlfriend … Continue reading

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