The following articles from the 2015 issue are now available:
Alexander Stoddart is a Scottish sculptor who, since 2008, has been Her Majesty’s Sculptor in Ordinary in Scotland. Born in Edinburgh in 1959, he trained in fine art at the Glasgow School of Art (1976–1980) and studied the History of Art at the University of Glasgow. He sculpts in the Neoclassical style and draws inspiration from ancient Greek art, as well as from the work of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century sculptors such as H. E. Freund and Bertel Thorvaldsen. Many of his statues commemorate great historical figures (his statues of David Hume and Adam Smith stand in the Royal Mile in Edinburgh), but he also frequently depicts subjects from classical culture and mythology. His statues of Italia and Mercury stand in Glasgow’s Merchant City quarter, while his 70ft marble frieze representing subjects from the Homeric epics is displayed in the entrance hall in the Queen’s Gallery in Buckingham Palace. Another bronze frieze made for the Sackler Library in Oxford depicts the poets Homer and Archilochus within a complex allegorical representation of traditional and modernist values, and many of his smaller three-dimensional works also represent classical figures, ranging from Hypnos and Thanatos to Silenus and Eros. He is now Honorary Professor at the University of the West of Scotland, and his studio is located on the University’s Paisley campus.
This interview with Jessica Hughes took place at Alexander (‘Sandy’) Stoddart’s home in Paisley on 16th June 2015.
Robert Icke is an award-winning writer and theatre director, who became Associate Director at the Almeida Theatre in London in 2013. From 2010-2013 he was the Associate Director at Headlong. His adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984 premiered with Headlong in 2013 before transferring to the West End’s Playhouse Theatre; the production won ‘Best Director’ at the 2014 UK Theatre Awards and ‘Best Director’ at the Liverpool Arts Awards in 2013, as well as being nominated for ‘Best New Play’ at the 2014 Olivier Awards. Robert also directed the European premiere of Anne Washburn’s Mr Burns at the Almeida in 2014.
In 2015 the Almeida staged its ‘Greeks’ season, jointly led by Robert and the theatre’s Artistic Director Rupert Goold; the theatre’s programme was devoted to a series of productions of ancient Greek texts. These included a marathon 16-hour reading of the whole of the Iliad, part of which took place at the British Museum, and a staging of Robert’s own adaptation of the Oresteia. After being met with widespread critical acclaim, his Oresteia later transferred to Trafalgar Studios in the West End.
This interview with Emma Bridges was recorded on 5th October 2015 at the Almeida Theatre.
Eugenia Manolidou is a classical composer and conductor, whose work closely engages with ancient Greece. Born in Athens in 1975 she began piano lessons at the age of five. She continued her studies of the instrument at the J. S. Bach Conservatory under Ala Chalapsi in the early 1990s. She then focused on composition and orchestration working with Daron Hagen at the Juilliard School in New York (1996-99). During this period she also studied orchestral conducting with Vincent la Selva, director of the New York Grand Opera, while simultaneously continuing her piano studies with the American soloist Julie Jordan. She also studied under Robert Janssens at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels. Throughout her career, Eugenia has engaged with ancient Greece, in particular its rich mythology, literature and history.
This interview with Anastasia Bakogianni was recorded at Eugenia Manolidou's home in Athens in May 2012.
Marcus Romer is a director, actor and playwright. He has directed a wide variety of award winning productions in a range of theatre venues, nationally and internationally. He adapted the screenplay for The Knife That Killed Me from the novel by Anthony McGowan and co-directed the film with Kit Monkman. The film has just been released by Universal Pictures. For the past 19 years Marcus has been Artistic Director of the Pilot Theatre company which is based in York. In 2014/15 he directed the Pilot Theatre version of Sophocles’ Antigone. The text was adapted as a contemporary street drama by the playwright Roy Williams. The production premiered at the Derby Theatre and then toured throughout the regions and to London.
In this interview, recorded on Wednesday 11 March 2015 at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East, Chrissy Combes spoke to Marcus about the production.
Liz White is an actor who has appeared in a wide variety of roles on stage and in film and television. One of her most recent film roles was in Pride (2014) directed by Marcus Warchus. Among her other film roles, Liz has played Pamela in Vera Drake (2004) directed by Mike Leigh, and she starred as the eponymous woman in the 2012 film version of The Woman in Black, based on the novel by Susan Hill. For BBC Television, Liz played WPC/WDC Annie Cartwright in Life on Mars (2006/7), Caroline in the adaptation of The Crimson Petal and the White (2011), and Lizzie Mottershead in the series Our Zoo (2014). Other television roles have been Eileen in Teachers (2003), Jess Mercer in The Fixer (2008), and Lucille in The Paradise (2013). Liz’s stage credits have included three acclaimed performances at the National Theatre. She played Heavenly Critchfield in Laurie Sansom’s production of Spring Storm by Tennessee Williams, which transferred from the Royal and Derngate, Northampton, to the Cottesloe (2010), Anne Frankford in A Woman Killed With Kindness by Thomas Heywood, directed by Katie Mitchell in the Lyttelton (2010), and double roles in Marianne Elliot’s revival of Port by Simon Stephens in the Lyttelton (2013). In Autumn 2014, Liz played the role of Chrysothemis in Ian Rickson’s production of Sophocles’ Electra at the Old Vic Theatre. The production used the version of the play written by Frank McGuinness and starred Kristin Scott Thomas as Electra.
In this interview, recorded by Chrissy Combes at the Old Vic Theatre on Thursday 11 December 2014, Liz talked about the experience of playing Chrysothemis, Electra’s sister.
Portrait photograph by Michelle George.
Caroline Horton is a writer, performer and theatre-maker based in Birmingham, UK. After studying English Literature at Cambridge University she trained in theatre with Philippe Gaulier in Paris. An associate artist at The Bush Theatre and the Oxford Playhouse, Caroline has devised and written several shows which have toured widely both in the UK and abroad. Her first one-woman show, You’re Not Like the Other Girls Chrissy, earned her The Stage Award for Best Solo Performer at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2010 and later a nomination for an Olivier Award (2013). More recent shows include Mess (2013) – a comic exploration of the subject of anorexia – and Islands (2014-15), which focused the world of tax havens. Caroline’s solo show Penelope RETOLD, a fresh take on the Homeric Penelope, was commissioned by Derby Theatre and premiered there in 2014; it toured venues across England in 2015.
This interview with Emma Bridges was recorded in Derby on 4 March 2015, while Caroline was in rehearsal for her tour with Penelope RETOLD. Photograph by Robert Day.