British Theatre of the 1990s: Interviews with Directors, by Mireia Aragay, Hildegard Klein, Enric Monforte, Pilar Zozaya

By Mireia Aragay, Hildegard Klein, Enric Monforte, Pilar Zozaya (eds.)

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Max has a very specific methodology, which he calls ‘actioning’. He gets a play, divides each line up and writes above it with the actors what is called ‘an action’. If your line is, ‘I’m sorry’, he would have an action above that which might be ‘enlists’ or ‘softens’ or ‘delights’, and so on. That is a very specific methodology. Stephen is much more spontaneous; he improvises more. Maybe I would be somewhere between the two in terms of trying to evolve a methodology that was specific to the group of people in the room and to the play.

How do you find the time and the energy to do all this? I get up early in the morning and I go to bed late at night. And I work with extremely talented people. Many people work hard in the theatre, it’s nothing unusual. As far as I’m concerned, speaking from where I’m standing and looking at my early experience when I started making theatre – which was at the very beginning of the 1980s – theatre is always a collective collaboration.

Gilman’s The Glory of Living, directed by Kathryn Hunter, opened on 14 January; Bean’s Toast, directed by Richard Wilson, was premiered on 11 February; Williams’s Lift Off, directed by Indhu Rubasingham, opened on 18 February; and Mitchell’s Trust, directed by Mick Gordon, premiered on 11 March. All four plays were staged at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs at the Ambassadors. Williams’s Fallout, directed by Rickson, opened on 12 June 2003; Mitchell’s Loyal Women, directed by Josie Rourke, was premiered on 5 November 2003.

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