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Playwright David Hare and Peaky Blinders Creator Steven Knight Pay Tribute to Helen

“She Lit Up the Screen”

by David Hare and Steven Knight | Radio Times | April 27, 2021

David Hare Section:

One Saturday night in 1995 I sat down to watch a Screen Two film on BBC2. Streetlife, written and directed by Karl Francis, was about a single mother in a caravan in Wales, struggling to provide for her young child.

Although the material was bleak – Jo kills her child because she despairs of her future – it was played with the most extraordinary humour and vitality by a young actor I’d never seen before. She wore a tiny mini skirt, sparked with brave life, and gave one of the most moving performances I’d ever seen on TV.

Continue reading Playwright David Hare and Peaky Blinders Creator Steven Knight Pay Tribute to Helen

Categories Platonov Print Media Reviews

Platonov at the Almeida – Review

Helen McCrory Navigates a Full Spectrum of Emotion

“She’s an astonishing woman,” the terminally idle and self-loathing schoolmaster Platonov (Aidan Gillen) says of young widow Anna Petrovna (Helen McCrory), one of the many women buzzing about Platonov like moths drawn to a lethal and devouring flame. Coming nearly three hours into Jonathan Kent’s Almeida Theater premiere of David Hare’s fresh take on Chekhov’s once-abandoned and unruly play, Platonov’s assessment is equally applicable to the staging’s leading lady, McCrory, who navigates such a full spectrum of emotion that “astonishing” doesn’t seem to do her justice. (The actress’s previous legit credits include the London preem of “How I Learned to Drive.”)

Continue reading Platonov at the Almeida – Review

Categories Platonov Print Media Reviews

Platonov at The Almeida: Review

Platonov

by Michael Billington | September 12, 2001 | The Guardian

What do you do with Chekhov’s unwieldy first play, written when he was just 21? In 1984 Michael Frayn brilliantly turned it into a much tidier Gogolian farce called Wild Honey. David Hare’s new version sticks closer to the original, acknowledges its inconsistencies, and yet still demonstrates why Chekhov is one of theatre’s great dramatists.

Chekhov does two extraordinary things in this early work. The first is to take a literary prototype, Don Juan, and recast him in Russian terms, so that he becomes a 27-year-old provincial schoolmaster, Platonov, who is “slightly married” but immensely attractive to other women, including a widowed landowner, her young stepdaughter and an earnest chemistry student. The Chekhovian irony is that Platonov is an essentially passive figure – the pursued rather than the pursuer, the superfluous man as sex object and, as he himself confesses, one of the living dead. Chekhov’s point is that only in a world of quack doctors, land-grabbing merchants and rapacious horse thieves would Platonov acquire such fatal attraction.