Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Fancy a bedtime story?!

  • Firstly, if you like Henry James, you may be interested to know that Silk Sound Books are selling an audiobook of Washington Square....read by Jennifer Ehle! (Thanks to the person who let us know). Click the link to listen to a nice little clip. From that page you can also purchase the 6hr 55min audiobook for £7.95. Here is their synopsis of the story:
[...] Washington Square: The battle between a father and a daughter is usually portrayed in literature as a struggle between a headstrong but feisty girl and a tradition-bound lead weight of a father. Henry James of course had to do it somewhat differently. He tells a story of an intelligent man riding the turn of the tide in mid-nineteenth century New York, and watching what he sees as his numbingly dull and conventional daughter making the mistake of her life in her choice of husband. The fight between these two delicious characters makes this one of James’ funniest and most enjoyable of novels, with the suspense carried right up until the last page as to how the contest will end. [...]

A reminder that Ms Ehle also completed audiobooks for Witch Child and The Tempest in 2001. (Follow the links to go to their respective pages on Amazon).

  • Secondly, there is some more information regarding the Pride and Glory postponement to 2009.

The Huffington Post attribute the delay to recently-released The Golden Compass and quote Colin Farrell as saying:

[...] They pushed it just now to 2009. ... There's this rumor going around that it's because it's a...bad film. I feel the need to kind of speak up, not from my own end but genuinely for Gavin O'Connor because he wrote and directed it. It's just a really really strong piece, but I think New Line lost the b******s on "The Golden Compass," ... and they literally don't have enough money to market things.

"Pride" is a tricky one to market anyways. It's pretty dark... Gavin did a great job and you know, Jon Voight is brilliant in it, and Ed [Norton] is great in it and [it has] a really strong cast of supporting characters... It's a really strong piece." [...]

Hollywood Elsewhere give a slightly less favourable input into the debate.

  • Next, Utopian Richard Easton's Downstage Center interview is now online. Regarding the read-before-you-see debate that arose around The Coast of Utopia, he says:
[...] It was criminal what they did over Utopia - it was absolute nonsense. People were constantly saying 'I don't know if I'll be...' and I was saying 'For Heavens' sake'; ... it just enrages me, and the unfortunate publicity about it... Tom [Stoppard] started life as a journalist - he is totally a communicator, and a passer-on [...]

Discussion relating to his collaboration with Rosemary Harris and Ellis Rabb is 19 minutes in. Easton describes the former's acting at the time as 'wonderful'.

On the subject of offering advice to younger artists:

[...] I've become quite famous for this... In the cast of Utopia, there were quite a few ex students of mine...and they were talking to Plimpton...and saying that when Richard left, he left this 'Advice to Young Actors' packet...and she said what is this thing? So I dug it out and gave it to her and she had copies made... It was things like 'always be polite to the wardrobe', because that's where all the talk is...'remember that the...backstage belongs to the stagehands - not to you'...they keep the job - you're just here for this...and 'be on time, be early'...'make sure you can be heard' and...'get the laughs' [...]

On acting in The Coast of Utopia:

[...] A lot of the kids in Utopia had never done rep...and a lot of them...the joy they experienced when we added the second play - particularly if they were playing different parts. They thought 'Oh, I get it - I don't have to do it all in the first play. I can do just the character. And in the second play, I can do just that character' [...]

On the famous marathons:

[...] It was wonderful when we did those marathons - with all three in one day. They were sensational. The first play, 11 in the morning, packed of course, with people who were so proud to be there...they had got their powerbars in their socks and all that and they were just so keen! I had the first scene basically, and they laughed at everything I said - it was wonderful! In the second play they got a little tired as they wished they hadn't had that second glass of wine at lunch, but by the end...they went mad...they stood and cheered...it was so exciting for us. [...]

On scenes and dialogue:

[...] It was only really difficult for Brian O'Byrne...he talked the whole time, he was wonderful, but he was the only person really who suffered. ... Ethan [Hawke] had the wonderful thing of getting into a fat suit and having his teeth blacked out and playing the 'old' him, which he so relished, and that gave him an enormous zip of energy for the end. But Billy [Crudup] wasn't even in it! ... It was amazing - a wonderful experience. [...]

Elsewhere in the news:

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