News

Cummings Pt.4: Career Peak with Tony Award Win, Acclaimed Mary Tyrone

Constance Cummings: Stage and film actress ca. early 1940s. Constance Cummings on stage: From Sacha Guitry to Clifford Odets (See previous post: “Constance Cummings: Flawless 'Blithe Spirit,' Supporter of Political Refugees.”) In the post-World War II years, Constance Cummings' stage reputation continued to grow on the English stage, in plays as diverse as: Stephen Powys (pseudonym for P.G. Wodehouse) and Guy Bolton's English-language adaptation of Sacha Guitry's Don't Listen, Ladies! (1948), with Cummings as one of shop clerk Denholm Elliott's mistresses (the other one was Betty Marsden). “Miss Cummings and Miss Marsden act as fetchingly as they look,” commented The Spectator. Rodney Ackland's Before the Party (1949), delivering “a superb performance of controlled hysteria” according to theater director and Michael Redgrave biographer Alan Strachan, writing for The Independent at the time of Cummings' death. Clifford Odets' Winter Journey / The Country Girl (1952), as
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Sophie Okonedo: what the National Theatre means to me

The actress recalls the magical experience of waiting in the wings – and listening to Denis Quilley's vocal warm-up

In one of her earliest acting roles, Sophie Okonedo played Cressida in Troilus and Cressida (1991) before going on to receive Academy Award and Bafta nominations for her subsequent film and TV work.

My first big break was at the National when Trevor Nunn cast me in Troilus and Cressida. I remember cycling over Waterloo Bridge on my way to rehearsals, seeing the National Theatre in front of me and just thinking: "Well, that's it, I've made it."

I had a fantastic experience there. I was part of a company of actors and I really grieved when I left because I felt very much a part of the whole building. There's something quite magical about lots of different shows going on at the same time… It was a real privilege to be
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Patrick Garland obituary

Director and writer celebrated for his work at Chichester Festival theatre and the BBC

The career of Patrick Garland, who has died aged 78, was as varied as it was productive. An actor, producer, director, writer and anthologist, he was a leading light of the BBC TV arts department for 12 years, twice artistic director of the Chichester Festival theatre and a close friend and associate of Alan Bennett, Rex Harrison, Eileen Atkins and Simon Callow.

Although he harboured ambitions in feature films, and directed a 1971 television adaptation of Paul Gallico's The Snow Goose (starring Richard Harris and an Emmy award-winning Jenny Agutter), as well as a creditable 1973 movie of Ibsen's A Doll's House (with Claire Bloom and Anthony Hopkins), his life developed in the theatre. Much of his work was informed by his love of literature, and the poetry of Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling, Philip Larkin and John Clare. In
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Bernard Horsfall obituary

Imposing stage and screen actor whose work ranged from Shakespeare to The Bill

The character actor Bernard Horsfall, who has died aged 82, appeared in television, films and on the stage for more than half a century. Tall, imposing and authoritative, he appeared in many of the major television series from Z Cars and Dr Finlay's Casebook to Casualty and The Bill, and in Doctor Who took no fewer than four roles.

In 1968 he played Lemuel Gulliver in The Mind Robber, where he was encountered by Patrick Troughton, the second Doctor, in the Land of Fiction. The following year he returned as a Time Lord in The War Games. In 1973, with Jon Pertwee now donning the time-traveller's cape, he played the Thai chieftain, Taron, in the six-part Planet of the Daleks. And finally, he was another Time Lord, Chancellor Goth, in the 1976 story The Deadly Assassin, famously battling with Tom Baker
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Bernard Horsfall obituary

Imposing stage and screen actor whose work ranged from Shakespeare to The Bill

The character actor Bernard Horsfall, who has died aged 82, appeared in television, films and on the stage for more than half a century. Tall, imposing and authoritative, he appeared in many of the major television series from Z Cars and Dr Finlay's Casebook to Casualty and The Bill, and in Doctor Who took no fewer than four roles.

In 1968 he played Lemuel Gulliver in The Mind Robber, where he was encountered by Patrick Troughton, the second Doctor, in the Land of Fiction. The following year he returned as a Time Lord in The War Games. In 1973, with Jon Pertwee now donning the time-traveller's cape, he played the Thai chieftain, Taron, in the six-part Planet of the Daleks. And finally, he was another Time Lord, Chancellor Goth, in the 1976 story The Deadly Assassin, famously battling with Tom Baker
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Joe Melia obituary

Outstanding actor of stage and screen who made his name as Bri in A Day in the Death of Joe Egg

The British theatre changed for ever when Joe Melia, as the sardonic teacher Bri, pushed a severely disabled 10-year-old girl in a wheelchair on to the stage of the Glasgow Citizens in May 1967 and proceeded to make satirical jokes about the medical profession while his marriage was disintegrating. The play was Peter Nichols's A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, which transformed the way disability was discussed on the stage. It made the names overnight of its author, the director Michael Blakemore, and Melia. Albert Finney took over the role of Bri on Broadway.

Flat-footed, slightly hunched, always leaning towards a point of view, Melia, who has died aged 77, was a distinctive and compassionate actor who brought a strain of the music hall to the stage, a sense of being an outsider.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Joe Melia obituary

Outstanding actor of stage and screen who made his name as Bri in A Day in the Death of Joe Egg

The British theatre changed for ever when Joe Melia, as the sardonic teacher Bri, pushed a severely disabled 10-year-old girl in a wheelchair on to the stage of the Glasgow Citizens in May 1967 and proceeded to make satirical jokes about the medical profession while his marriage was disintegrating. The play was Peter Nichols's A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, which transformed the way disability was discussed on the stage. It made the names overnight of its author, the director Michael Blakemore, and Melia. Albert Finney took over the role of Bri on Broadway.

Flat-footed, slightly hunched, always leaning towards a point of view, Melia, who has died aged 77, was a distinctive and compassionate actor who brought a strain of the music hall to the stage, a sense of being an outsider.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Susannah York obituary

Star of Tom Jones and They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, she defied typecasting

Susannah York, who has died aged 72, was a vibrant, energetic personality with a devouring passion for work, strong political opinions and great loyalty to old friends. Her international reputation as an actor depended heavily on the hit films she made in the 1960s, including Tom Jones (1963) and They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969, for which she received an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress. But, even when her movie career waned, she worked ceaselessly in theatre, often appearing in pioneering fringe productions. It was typical of her that, although diagnosed with cancer late in 2010, she refused chemotherapy and fulfilled a contractual obligation to do a tour of Ronald Harwood's Quartet.

In her early years York was often cast as an archetypal English rose. But, although born in Chelsea, south-west London (as Susannah Yolande Fletcher), she was raised
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

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