A Midsummer Night's Dream (1968) - News Poster

News

Julie Taymor's Visual Extravaganza 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' Hits Theaters (Video)

Julie Taymor's Visual Extravaganza 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' Hits Theaters (Video)
Taymor's latest Shakespeare film, shot by her "Frida" cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto, combines her 2014 acclaimed Brooklyn live theater production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" with hand-held close-up filming. (See video highlights of my onstage Q & A with her below.) Shakespeare is Julie Taymor's touchstone. She comes back to him not only in countless stage productions but on film as well, from the exhilarating visual and violent "Titus" with Jessica Lange and Anthony Hopkins to Helen Mirren's incomparable take on Prospero in "The Tempest." Taymor also loves the Beatles ("Across the Universe"), Frida Kahlo ("Frida"), "The Lion King" (the $1 billion-grossing Tony-winning musical), opera (Mozart's "The Magic Flute," life partner Elliot Goldenthal's "Grendel") and her swooping version of the Broadway hit "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark"--for which she successfully sued to get...
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Daniel Radcliffe wins WhatsOnStage best actor award

Former Harry Potter star recognised for performance in The Cripple of Inishmaan while Rupert Grint also wins prize

Michael Grandage rules out second season of West End shows

Former Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe has won the WhatsOnStage best actor award for his performance in The Cripple of Inishmaan, part of the star-studded Michael Grandage Company season in the West End, which took three other awards including best director for Grandage himself.

Radcliffe's former co-star Rupert Grint won best newcomer for his performance in the revival of the Jez Butterworth play Mojo.

The other big winner was the musical The Book of Mormon, which among four awards won best new musical, beating both Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Light Princess, and best actor in a musical for Gavin Creel.

Helen Mirren was awarded best actress for her role as the Queen in The Audience, which also won best
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Barbara Hicks obituary

Stage and screen actor known for playing battle-axe aunts, village gossips and servants

When Mel Brooks visited the film set of Up at the Villa (2000), in which his wife, Anne Bancroft, was starring, he proclaimed Barbara Hicks, who has died aged 89, the funniest woman he had ever met. This stalwart character actor, always lodged some way down any cast list as if to prove the truth of Stanislavski's dictum that there are no small parts, only small actors, was a fund of stories, many of them unprintable. And Hicks, though slight of build, with a long face and asymmetrical features, was certainly not a small actor.

As another admirer, Alan Bennett, once told her wistfully: "When you go, Barbara, there'll be a terrible hole in Spotlight." And so there is, for since first appearing on television in 1962 playing Miss Print, a comedy sidekick to Richard Hearne's popular Mr Pastry,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Barbara Hicks obituary

Stage and screen actor known for playing battle-axe aunts, village gossips and servants

When Mel Brooks visited the film set of Up at the Villa (2000), in which his wife, Anne Bancroft, was starring, he proclaimed Barbara Hicks, who has died aged 89, the funniest woman he had ever met. This stalwart character actor, always lodged some way down any cast list as if to prove the truth of Stanislavski's dictum that there are no small parts, only small actors, was a fund of stories, many of them unprintable. And Hicks, though slight of build, with a long face and asymmetrical features, was certainly not a small actor.

As another admirer, Alan Bennett, once told her wistfully: "When you go, Barbara, there'll be a terrible hole in Spotlight." And so there is, for since first appearing on television in 1962 playing Miss Print, a comedy sidekick to Richard Hearne's popular Mr Pastry,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

David Farrell obituary

Photographer celebrated for his informal portraits of artists, actors and musicians

David Farrell, who has died aged 93, was known primarily for his photographic portraits of the most prominent artists, actors, authors and, particularly, musicians of his time. These ranged from classical performers such as Yehudi Menuhin, Ravi Shankar and Jacqueline du Pré to Louis Armstrong, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. He would take his portable darkroom with him to filming locations, where he photographed Albert Finney, Julie Christie, Laurence Olivier and Ralph Richardson, among others. His main body of work dates from the mid-1950s to the 1980s, by which time he was working primarily in cinema, but he continued with his photography well into the digital age.

Taking Henri Cartier-Bresson's "humanitarian" photography as his model, Farrell specialised in taking portraits in informal situations – he preferred to photograph artists at home or in the studio, rather than in
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

David Farrell obituary

Photographer celebrated for his informal portraits of artists, actors and musicians

David Farrell, who has died aged 93, was known primarily for his photographic portraits of the most prominent artists, actors, authors and, particularly, musicians of his time. These ranged from classical performers such as Yehudi Menuhin, Ravi Shankar and Jacqueline du Pré to Louis Armstrong, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. He would take his portable darkroom with him to filming locations, where he photographed Albert Finney, Julie Christie, Laurence Olivier and Ralph Richardson, among others. His main body of work dates from the mid-1950s to the 1980s, by which time he was working primarily in cinema, but he continued with his photography well into the digital age.

Taking Henri Cartier-Bresson's "humanitarian" photography as his model, Farrell specialised in taking portraits in informal situations – he preferred to photograph artists at home or in the studio, rather than in
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

What to see: Lyn Gardner's theatre tips

A Fake Moon rises over Bristol at the Ibt festival, Philip Pullman's I Was a Rat! scurries into Birmingham, and James McAvoy tackles the Scottish play in London

North

The big opening this week is Roger McGough's new version of Molière's The Misanthrope at Liverpool Playhouse, which should be fun. Theatre meets music gigs in 154 Collective's Dancing With the Orange Dog, which is at Stockton Arts Centre on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Hairspray is out on tour again and is at the Lowry in Salford. In Manchester, meanwhile, Queer Contact celebrates the best in Lgbt art and culture this weekend. The moving first-world-war drama, The Accrington Pals, continues at the Exchange. David Copperfield begins at the Oldham Coliseum tonight. This looks intriguing: at Haphazard at Z-arts on Saturday is Word of Warning's day of live art for all ages. The Edinburgh hit, Unmythable – all the Greek myths in 70 minutes
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

2013 theatre preview: Helen Mirren gets another crack at the Queen and Peter Pan meets Alice in Wonderland

It looks set to be an intriguing year on stage that will also see Philip Pullman take on Cinderella and the RSC tackle Voltaire

The Audience

After starring in Peter Morgan's The Queen, Helen Mirren gets a second go at Hm, this time on stage, in the same writer's account of the monarch's weekly audience with prime ministers from Churchill to Cameron. Presumably it'll be a battle of the handbags when it comes to those allegedly frosty encounters with Thatcher. Stephen Daldry directs. Gielgud, London W1 (theaudienceplay.com), 15 February to 15 June.

Feast

This epic exploration of Nigerian Yoruba culture is a multi-authored show focusing on three sisters separated by a mischievous trickster and obliged to travel the world. Top actors such as Noma Dumezweni and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith join forces with drummers and Cuban dancers. Young Vic, London SE1 (youngvic.org), 25 January to 23 February.

Peter and Alice

In 2009, John Logan
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Michael Grandage brings five star-studded plays to West End

Grandage will direct Jude Law, Judi Dench, David Walliams, Daniel Radcliffe and many more at the Noel Coward theatre

Michael Grandage, who for a decade led the pocket-size theatre the Donmar Warehouse to a string of stage triumphs, from Michael Sheen as David Frost to Rachel Weisz as Blanche DuBois, is to return to the London theatre – this time with his own star-filled company for a 15-month season of plays in the West End. Tickets will cost as little as £10.

The five-play season will feature Jude Law as Henry V, Judi Dench opposite Ben Whishaw in a new play, David Walliams as Bottom opposite Sheridan Smith's Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Simon Russell Beale as a cross-dressing army captain in Peter Nichols's Privates on Parade. The lineup is completed by Martin McDonagh's The Cripple of Inishmaan, starring Daniel Radcliffe. All will be directed by Grandage.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Nicol Williamson obituary

Actor whose unpredictability never undermined his electrifying talent

Nicol Williamson, whose death of oesophageal cancer at the age of 73 has been announced, was arguably the most electrifying actor of his generation, but one whose career flickered and faded like a faulty light fitting. Tall and wiry, with a rasping scowl of a voice, a battered baby face and a mop of unruly curls, he was the best modern Hamlet since John Gielgud, and certainly the angriest, though he scuppered his own performance at the Round House, north London, in 1969, by apologising to the audience and walking off the stage. The experience was recycled in a 1991 Broadway comedy called I Hate Hamlet, in which he proved his point and fell out badly with his co-star.

Williamson's greatest performance was as the dissolute and disintegrating lawyer Bill Maitland in John Osborne's Inadmissible Evidence at the Royal Court theatre in 1964. It was
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Nicol Williamson obituary

Actor whose unpredictability never undermined his electrifying talent

Nicol Williamson, whose death of oesophageal cancer at the age of 73 has been announced, was arguably the most electrifying actor of his generation, but one whose career flickered and faded like a faulty light fitting. Tall and wiry, with a rasping scowl of a voice, a battered baby face and a mop of unruly curls, he was the best modern Hamlet since John Gielgud, and certainly the angriest, though he scuppered his own performance at the Round House, north London, in 1969, by apologising to the audience and walking off the stage. The experience was recycled in a 1991 Broadway comedy called I Hate Hamlet, in which he proved his point and fell out badly with his co-star.

Williamson's greatest performance was as the dissolute and disintegrating lawyer Bill Maitland in John Osborne's Inadmissible Evidence at the Royal Court theatre in 1964. It was
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Nicol Williamson, 1938 - 2012

  • MUBI
"Nicol Williamson, the British actor best known for his role as the wizard Merlin in the 1981 film Excalibur, has died of esophageal cancer," reports the AP. "Williamson had dozens of film credits to his name but won more plaudits for his stage acting. Playwright John Osborne once described him as 'the greatest actor since Marlon Brando.' He was nominated for a Tony Award in 1966 for his role in Osborne's Inadmissible Evidence and again in 1974 for Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya. He also was nominated three times for acting honors at the British Academy Film Awards, Britain's equivalent of the Oscars."

"He made his professional stage debut at the Dundee Repertory Theatre in 1960, before appearing in Tony Richardson's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Royal Court Theatre," notes the BBC. "He later teamed up with Richardson again, to star his Hamlet production at the Roundhouse. It was so successful,
See full article at MUBI »

Sheila Burrell obituary

A striking stage presence for more than 60 years and a familiar face on TV

Sheila Burrell, who has died aged 89 after a long illness, was a cousin of Laurence Olivier, and a similarly distinctive and fiery actor with a broad, open face, high cheekbones and expressive eyes. She stood at only 5ft 5ins but could fill the widest stage and hold the largest audience. Her voice was a mezzo marvel, kittenish or growling and, in later life, acquired the viscosity and vintage of an old ruby port, matured after years of experience.

In a career spanning more than 60 years, she made her name as a wild, red-headed Barbara Allen (subject of the famous ballad) in Peter Brook's 1949 production of Dark of the Moon (Ambassadors theatre), an American pot-boiler about the seduction of a lusty girl by a witch boy and the hysterical reaction of her local community.

The role remained one of her favourites,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Sheila Burrell obituary

A striking stage presence for more than 60 years and a familiar face on TV

Sheila Burrell, who has died aged 89 after a long illness, was a cousin of Laurence Olivier, and a similarly distinctive and fiery actor with a broad, open face, high cheekbones and expressive eyes. She stood at only 5ft 5ins but could fill the widest stage and hold the largest audience. Her voice was a mezzo marvel, kittenish or growling and, in later life, acquired the viscosity and vintage of an old ruby port, matured after years of experience.

In a career spanning more than 60 years, she made her name as a wild, red-headed Barbara Allen (subject of the famous ballad) in Peter Brook's 1949 production of Dark of the Moon (Ambassadors theatre), an American pot-boiler about the seduction of a lusty girl by a witch boy and the hysterical reaction of her local community.

The role remained one of her favourites,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Anna Massey obituary

Award-winning actor with a fastidious intelligence and a hint of inner steel

Anna Massey, who has died of cancer aged 73, made her name on the stage as a teenager in French-window froth. She then graduated, with effortless and extraordinary ease, to the classics and to the work of Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter and David Hare. In later years, she became best known for her award-winning work in television and film. What constantly impressed was her fastidious intelligence and capacity for stillness: always the mark of a first-rate actor.

Born in Thakeham, West Sussex, she was bred into show business although, in personal terms, that proved something of a mixed blessing. Her father was Raymond Massey, a Canadian actor who achieved success in Hollywood; her mother was Adrianne Allen who had appeared in the original production of Noël Coward's Private Lives. Anna's godfather was the film director John Ford.

Since
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Anna Massey obituary

Award-winning actor with a fastidious intelligence and a hint of inner steel

Anna Massey, who has died of cancer aged 73, made her name on the stage as a teenager in French-window froth. She then graduated, with effortless and extraordinary ease, to the classics and to the work of Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter and David Hare. In later years, she became best known for her award-winning work in television and film. What constantly impressed was her fastidious intelligence and capacity for stillness: always the mark of a first-rate actor.

Born in Thakeham, West Sussex, she was bred into show business although, in personal terms, that proved something of a mixed blessing. Her father was Raymond Massey, a Canadian actor who achieved success in Hollywood; her mother was Adrianne Allen who had appeared in the original production of Noël Coward's Private Lives. Anna's godfather was the film director John Ford.

Since
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Sir Ben Kingsley: 'I was blessed by being a very popular child

Here's a pub-quiz question: which one-time TV actor in Coronation Street and Crown Court released a record on which he sang selections from The King and I with Julie Andrews, before being told by two of the Beatles that he should really take up a musical career? You want a clue? His middle name is Pandit and he once played Doctor Watson to Michael Caine's Sherlock Holmes... Give up? Have another go: which Oscar-winning Yorkshireman appeared in Peter Hall's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, played The Hood in the movie version of Thunderbirds, and appeared as himself in an episode of The Sopranos?
See full article at The Independent »

Dame Judi Dench fears that money for arts used to pay for 2012 Olympics

Dame Judi Dench has spoken of her fears that money for the arts is being taken away to pay for the 2012 Olympics. Dench, 75, said she was shocked at the 'huge cuts' and said the state of the arts was 'precarious'. The Nine star will be appearing on stage in Kingston, London, next year in the Shakespeare play of A Midsummer Night's Dream. She said that she was 'doing my bit to keep [the theatre] open' and added that she was 'concerned that they've taken a lot of the subsidy to the arts away for the Olympics'. The Culture Secretary, Tessa Jowell, said in 2007 that the Arts Council England would lose over £100million of
See full article at Monsters and Critics »

Mirren Dedicates Award To Late "Mentor" Ian Richardson

  • WENN
A tearful Dame Helen Mirren dedicated her Best Leading Actress BAFTA to her "mentor" actor Ian Richardson, who died on Friday. The pair starred together in 1968 movie A Midsummer Night's Dream - the actress' second ever film role - and Mirren insists Richardson played a huge part in her success story. After lifting the BAFTA for her role as Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen, Mirren fought back tears to tell the audience at London's Royal Opera House, "Many years ago when I started off as an actress I had the immense good fortune to work with an actor who was so generous in sharing his craft. He became a mentor to me, he helped me believe in myself. Ian Richardson, I'm not too sure I would be here today if it wasn't for you."

See also

Showtimes | External Sites