Utopia and Other Places

Utopia and Other Places

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  • Hardback
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Never did Richard Eyre feel history sit quite so heavily on his shoulders as on Laurence Olivier's eightieth birthday when, with Peter Hall, the three of them lined up for the photo: Directors of the National Theatre past, present and future. Under Eyre's directorship the National Theatre has continued to thrive, proof that there's a place for subsidised theatre in the nineties and that theatre continues to matter. Yet this is a revealing book about the man - his view on acting and politics, certainly, but with striking portraits of friends and colleagues: Ian Charleson, Laurence Olivier, Ian McKellen, Peter Brook, Tony Harrison, Judi Dench and Ion Caramitru (a Romanian Hamlet who transparently denounced Ceausescu along with Claudius to buck up his beleaguered audiences). It is also a recreation of a Dorset childhood. If the ghost of one grandfather who had been on Scott's first Antarctic expedition wasn't daunting enough, here too was the living grandfather who assaulted motorists with his horsewhip, and parents who implemented a tyranny of fun, his father's motto being "Enough is too little, too much is enough". Eyre is hilarious, if scathing, about his own brief acting career, identifying in passing such pernicious orthodoxies as "student acting" and "dog acting". He minces no words about hokum of any kind, evades sentimentality but bestows appreciation where it is due with precision. Richard Eyre has been Director of the Royal National Theatre since 1988. He has directed numerous premieres including plays by David Hare, Alan Bennett, Christopher Hampton, Trevor Griffiths, Ken Campbell and Howard Brenton, and many classics, notably "Guys and Dolls", "Richard III", and "Hamlet" (twice). He has produced and directed films for television, including "Tumbledown", "The Insurance Man", and "The Ploughman's Lunch".show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 162 x 242mm | 491g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0747513805
  • 9780747513803

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12 ratings
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