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Sam Conversations

In the Playhouse

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Thursday 25 May, Thursday 6 July & Thursday 10 August 2017

Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

£15 | £12 FoSG & Students
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Some of this country’s most renowned actors, producers and scholars discuss their respective careers performing, producing and researching Shakespeare.

Adrian Lester in Conversation with Professor Ayanna Thompson

Thursday 25 May, 7.00pm

Award winning actor and director, Adrian started his career with a string of successful West End productions including Company and Sweeney Todd, before playing the lead role in Mike Nichol’s movie Primary Colors. Other movie roles include Day After Tomorrow and Case 39. Adrian is also well known for his TV work including the BBC1 series Hustle. Title roles Adrian has played include Henry V and Othello at the National Theatre, Red Velvet in London and New York and Hamlet in Peter Brook’s The Tragedy Of Hamlet in London, Paris, Japan and New York.

Ayanna Thompson is Professor of English at George Washington University, and specializes in Renaissance drama and issues of race in/as performance. She is the author of many publications, including Teaching Shakespeare with Purpose: A Student-Centred Approach (2016) and Passing Strange: Shakespeare, Race, and Contemporary America (2011).


Shakespeare and Social Justice - In Conversation with Kiernan Ryan

Thursday 6 July, 7.00pm

Right from the start, Shakespeare had no qualms about staging scenes in which the intolerable human cost of social injustice is brought vividly alive, astutely camouflaged as woes of long ago and other lands. But the more he applied his mind to the problem of social justice, the more profound his grasp of its cause, and the source of its solution, became.

Through close readings of a wide range of plays, including Titus Andronicus, The Merchant of Venice, Measure for Measure, Macbeth and King Lear, Kiernan Ryan shows how Shakespeare employs the power of the imagination to foster the dream of a truly just society.              


In Conversation with Thelma Holt

Thursday 10 August, 6.00pm

Thelma Holt held an audience spellbound when she spoke in the Playhouse last year about her work with the late Japanese director Yukio Ninagawa. We have invited her back to reflect further on her remarkable career with Shakespeare in this country and abroad; the British productions she has taken all around the world and the leading international theatre companies she has brought to Great Britain.