mon 25/10/2021

obituary

'You won't be able to handle this lady': remembering Fenella Fielding

Fenella Fielding - “one of the finest female impersonators in the business,” joked Eric Morecambe – has died at the age of 90. Most actors of such a great vintage tend to be forgotten, but not Fielding. Last year she celebrated her big birthday with...

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Neil Simon: 'I don’t think you want it really dark'

Asked to nominate the most important playwright in America since the war, theatregoers would probably plump for Arthur Miller, Edward Albee or David Mamet. But in terms of sheer popularity there is another candidate. Neil Simon’s wiseacre comedies,...

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Brian Friel, the private playwright of Ballybeg

Brian Friel, who died in 2015 at the age of 86, was a shy man who shunned interviews, keeping his powder dry for the work and shrouding his personal life in mystique. Not that he never opened his mouth at all. When Dancing at Lughnasa (1990) was...

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Milos Forman: 'The less you know about yourself, the happier you are'

The second thing I noticed about Miloš Forman, who has died at the age of 86, was the spectacular imperfection of his English. All those decades in America could not muffle his foghorn of a Bohemian accent, nor assimilate the refugees from Czech...

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Sir Matthew Bourne remembers Scott Ambler 1960-2018 – 'A prince among men'

Nobody deserves the title of New Adventures “legend” more than Scott Ambler; nobody is remembered more affectionately – the generosity of spirit, the many kindnesses, the fierce loyalty, the tears of pride in company notes sessions, the endearing...

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John Mahoney: 'I wanted to be like everybody else'

In 11 seasons of Frasier, John Mahoney played Marty Crane, a cussed blue-collar ex-cop who couldn’t quite understand how his loins came to produce two prissily cultured psychiatrists. His ally in straight-talking was his physiotherapist Daphne,...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Musician Mark E Smith

Since releasing their first record, Bingo Masters Breakout, Mark E Smith (b 1957) has led The Fall through some of rock music’s most extreme and enthralling terrain, cutting a lyrical and musical swathe that few other artists can match. An outsider...

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Remembering Dmitri Hvorostovsky (1962-2017)

A certain online scandalmonger and coffin-chaser likes to preface news of deaths in the musical world with "sadness" or "tragedy", usually when neither he nor we have heard of the person in question. But the end of Dmitri Hvorostovsky's two-and-a-...

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Peter Hall: A Reminiscence

Theatre artist, political agitator, cultural advocate: Sir Peter Hall was all these and more in a career that defies easy encapsulation beyond stating the obvious: we won’t see his like again any time soon. He helped shape my experience and...

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Sue Steward 1946-2017: She came, she saw, she salsa'd

Sue Steward, who died suddenly last week from a brain haemorrhage, was one of theartsdesk’s most loved members, her free spirit and her double specialism in world music and photography making her an intrinsic asset to this pioneering critics’ site...

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When Sam Shepard was a Londoner

Sam Shepard came to live in London in 1971, nursing ambitions to be a rock musician. When he went home three years later, he was soon to be found on the drumstool of Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder tour. But in between, not long after he arrived in...

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Sergei Vikharev, master ballet-reconstructor, 1962-2017

Just as the 200th anniversary is about to be celebrated of the great genius of 19th-century classical ballets, Marius Petipa, the creator of The Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, La Bayadère, half of Swan Lake, and many other masterpieces, his oeuvre's...

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