Listen again: 8th April 2014

Andrew Rowney (left) as Kenneth Halliwell and Richard Dawes (right) as Joe Orton in "Orton" at Above the Stag Photo: Derek Drescher

Andrew Rowney (left) as Kenneth Halliwell and Richard Dawes (right) as Joe Orton in “Orton” at Above the Stag
Photo: Derek Drescher

Rosie met actors Rob Callender and Dario Coates who currently star in Julian Mitchell’s play ‘Another Country’. The drama portrays the lives of public schoolboys in the 1930s. They discuss the effect the rigid school system has on its pupils, particularly on the character of Guy Bennett who is based on Guy Burgess. Burgess was flamboyant, open about his sexuality and became one of the Cambridge Spies. Rob also reveals what it is like being educated in an all male school today. Mitchell wrote the play in 1981 when he saw a connection between being badly treated as a homosexual and becoming a spy who betrays his country. ‘Another Country’ runs at the Trafalgar Studios until 21st June 2014.

Ben Walters presents his new quarterly cabaret ‘Come With Me If You Want To Live’. He is joined by performance artist David Hoyle who is part of the first show. David shares his memories of seeing ‘Another Country’ in the 1980s before telling us about his work with Nathan Evans and what we can expect at Chelsea Theatre. This includes a pop-up exhibition with his art work. Eve Ferret, Dickie Beau and Figs in Wigs are also the on the playbill on the first night. Besides programming and hosting the cabaret evening in Chelsea, Ben also initiated BURN, a showcase for moving images by cabaret artists at the Hackney Attic. Having been active in the performance scene for many years, Ben and David also address the pressure of social media and self-promotion, which leads to ‘commodifying’ performance as they describe it. This, too, means trying not to get frustrated by the business side of their creative work. ‘Come With Me If You Want To Live’ opens its curtains on 11th April at Chelsea Theatre.

Director Tim McArthur talks about his production of ‘Orton’, a new musical based on the lives of the writers Joe Orton and Kenneth Halliwell. Tim speaks about his personal connection to Joe Orton as he remembers growing up in the North of England, having read his diaries and being fascinated by the playwright. He admits that it was one of the hardest shows he has directed as he needed to find the balance between creating an enjoyable and entertaining musical and incorporating the darker sides of the story such as Kenneth Halliwell’s mental illness and their tragic death. ‘Orton’ runs at the Above the Stag Theatre from 2nd April to 4th May.

For rights reasons the music is not on the podcast, but that’s what you could hear on the show:

1) Noel Coward: ‘Something to Do with Spring’ from the album “I Went to a Marvellous Party”

2) Rufus Wainwright: ‘April Fool’ from the album “Vibrate: Best of”

3) The Times: ‘Song for Joe Orton’ from the album “I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape”

 

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