- Title: Stage Blood
- Author: Michael Blakemore
- ISBN: 9780571311231
- Page: 114
- Format: ebook
In 1971, Michael Blake joined the National Theatre as Associate Director under Laurence Olivier The National, still based at the Old Vic, was at a moment of transition awaiting the move to its vast new home on the South Bank Relying on generous subsidy, it would need an extensive network of supporters in high places Olivier, a scrupulous and brilliant autocrat fromIn 1971, Michael Blake joined the National Theatre as Associate Director under Laurence Olivier The National, still based at the Old Vic, was at a moment of transition awaiting the move to its vast new home on the South Bank Relying on generous subsidy, it would need an extensive network of supporters in high places Olivier, a scrupulous and brilliant autocrat from a previous generation, was not the man to deal with these political ramifications His tenure began to unravel and, behind his back, Peter Hall was appointed to replace him in 1973 As in other aspects of British life, the ethos of public service, which Olivier espoused, was in retreat.Having staged eight productions for the National, Blake found himself increasingly uncomfortable under Hall s regime Stage Blood is the candid and at times painfully funny story of the events that led to his dramatic exit in 1976 He recalls the theatrical triumphs and flops, his volatile relationship with Olivier including directing him in Long Day s Journey into Night, the extravagant dinners in Hall s Barbican flat with Harold Pinter, Jonathan Miller and the other associates, the opening of the new building, and Blake s brave and misrepresented decision to speak out He would not return to the National for fifteen years.
Recent Comments "Stage Blood"
Entertaining and sometimes moving memoir of the author's time at the National Theatre.
'Stage Blood', by expatriate Australian theatre director Michael Blakemore, has generated some controversy for its attack on Peter Hall's tenure at the National Theatre, where he replaced (some might say deposed) its founder Laurence Olivier. There is definitely a settling of old scores going on - and by old I mean more than 30 years old, so one can't accuse Blakemore of rushing to his own defence. Having decided to put his own case, though, he does so with forensic elegance.Blakemore's descript [...]
This is a detailed history of the authors five years with the National Theatre in London in the early 70s. He's a wonderful writer and gives a warts and all profile of Laurence Olivier, but is also generous in his praise. Its painful to read of the authors struggles with Peter Hall who followed Olivier and who the author depicts as someone interested in power, money and empire building. The author was outmatched in political maneuvering and is well aware of it and of the mistakes he made in hand [...]
Just in case you were wondering what it looks like when a plutocrat with possible kleptocratic tendencies has sole charge of a great institution which he might, in fact, regard as his personal ATM, there could be no finer prototypic manual than the theatrical memoir, Stage Blood.This outstanding volume by that distinguished man of international theatre, Michael Blakemore, compares and contrasts the regimes of Sir (later, Lord) Laurence Olivier with its basis in public service, and Peter (later, [...]
Not quite as good as his first book of memoirs but still a must-read for theatre practitioners.
[PDF] Ø Unlimited ´ Stage Blood : by Michael Blakemore ✓ 114 Michael Blakemore
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