21st Century Rep (Theatre Archive Project event)
When: Fri 25 Oct 2013, 18.30-20.00
Where: Conference Centre, British Library
Price: £7.50 / £5 concessions
Guardian theatre critic Lyn Gardner hosts a debate on repertory and ensemble theatre past and present.
The days when actors rehearsed a play one week and performed it the next are long gone, as are the resident companies who worked together on show after show. Or are they?
In recent months the Royal Court has experimented with reviving the weekly rep system, and a number of other theatres across the country have reinvigorated the idea of the ensemble. What do actors, audiences, playwrights and theatre companies gain by these new takes on old ways of working? Panellists will offer personal perspectives on the pros and cons of the repertory system, and discuss new and emerging approaches to repertory and ensemble theatre in the UK.
With Laurence Boswell (director of the Spanish Golden Age Season, Ustinov Studio Bath), Laura Elphinstone (Royal Court Weekly Rep company), Richard Franklin (actor) and Jonjo O'Neill (actor).
Laurence Boswell is one of the of the UK’s leading theatre directors. Appointed the Artistic Director of the Ustinov Studio, Theatre Royal Bath in 2011, he has directed a number of plays there including Fifty Words by Michael Weller, The Double by Dostoevsky (which he also adapted), Iphigenia by Goethe, The Phoenix of Madrid by Calderon de la Barca (which he also translated), and In the Next Room or the vibrator play by Sarah Ruhl (winner of Theatre Awards UK 2012 Best New Play) which transfers into the St James Theatre, London in November 2013. In 2004 as Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, he curated and directed the Golden Age Season which later transferred to the West End and to Madrid. Among his earlier credits is Ben Elton’s Popcorn, Madonna in her London stage debut, Eddie Izzard in a revival of A Day in the Death of Joe Egg and the roll-call of young Hollywood stars in This is Our Youth. Laurence was Artistic Director of the Gate Theatre, London (1993–96).
Laura Elphinstone has recently been a member of the Weekly Rep company at the Royal Court, where she appeared in Untitled Matriarch Play (or Seven Sisters), Mint, and The President Has Come to See You. Her other work for the stage includes roles at the National Theatre, RSC and in the West End. Television and film work includes Tess of the D’Urbervilles and The History Boys.
Richard Franklin is an actor, director and writer. He appeared in repertory theatre productions for Bristol Old Vic and Birmingham Rep. His extensive career includes West End stage roles (Same Time Next Year, As You Like It, The Woman In Black) and numerous television appearances (Crossroads, Emmerdale and Dr Who amongst others). He has been Artistic Director of Renaissance Theatre and Triple-E Stockholm and has written for the stage and television.
Lyn Gardner (Chair) writes about theatre for The Guardian. She also writes novels for children including the successful Olivia series set in the world of West End theatre.
Johjo O'Neill Originally from Belfast, Jonjo O’Neill studied at The Guildford School Of Acting. Jonjo is an Associate Artist at the RSC where roles have included Richard III, Orlando in As You Like It and Mercutio in Romeo & Juliet. He was recently seen on stage playing the lead at The National in Lucy Prebble’s new play The Effect directed by Rupert Goold. As a member of the Weekly Rep company at the Royal Court he appeared in Talk Show and The President Has Come To See You. Jonjo has just completed filming on the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special.
Presented by the British Library and De Montfort University’s Theatre Archive Project
This event will have live subtitling for deaf, deafened and hard of hearing visitors, provided by STAGETEXT