Acting

Ira Aldridge as Othello, painted in 1826 by James Northcote

The first black actor to play Othello was also one of the greatest

2 September 2017 9:00 am

Robert Gore-Langton celebrates Ira Aldridge, the first black actor to play Othello

How James Ivory made Howards End

22 July 2017 9:00 am

As one of his greatest films returns to the cinema, James Ivory talks to William Cook about his 50-year career

A Kentish girl: Gemma Arterton as Catrin in ‘Their Finest’

‘People would speak to me as if I was an idiot’: Gemma Arterton on the horrors of Hollywood

22 April 2017 9:00 am

As she moves into producing, Gemma Arterton tells Tanya Gold why she hated Hollywood and nearly gave up acting

Three hours of vomit, fellatio and menstruation: Isabelle Huppert on Phaedra(s)

4 June 2016 9:00 am

A blushing James Woodall is riveted by Isabelle Huppert’s performance in Phaedra(s)

‘Wanna come to Prince’s house?’

30 April 2016 9:00 am

The untold story

Our Country’s Good prizes the concerns of the actors over the audience

5 September 2015 9:00 am

Australia, 1788. A transport ship arrives in Port Jackson (later Sydney harbour) carrying hundreds of convicts and a detachment of…

Quite the hankie-drencher: Tanya Moodie as Constance in ‘King John’

There's a reason why the past four centuries have ignored Shakespeare's King John

13 June 2015 9:00 am

King John arrives at the Globe bent double under the weight of garlands from the London critics. Their jaunt up…

Charlotte and Susan Cushman as Romeo and Juliet c. 1849. Now comparatively obscure,Charlotte was widely considered the most powerful actress on the 19th-century stage

Shakespeare’s stagecraft — and his greatest players

16 May 2015 9:00 am

How many books are there about Shakespeare? A study published in the 1970s claimed a figure of 11,000, and today…

Titanic: Orson Welles as Falstaff in ‘Chimes at Midnight’ (1966)

Don’t believe Orson Welles, says his biographer Simon Callow — especially when he calls himself a failure

9 May 2015 9:00 am

Orson Welles would have been 100 this month. When he died in 1985, aged 70, the wonder was that he…

Self-portrait as Falstaff. Sher finds drawing a form of therapy and infinitely preferable to acting

Antony Sher: a surprisingly reluctant actor

2 May 2015 9:00 am

Understandably given its bulk, Antony Sher’s Falstaff in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s recent production of Shakespeare’s two Henry IV plays…

A misery memoir from Alan Cumming that's surprisingly thoughtful

15 November 2014 9:00 am

Misery loves company. Anyone who doubts this old adage should pop into their local bookshop, because besides celebrity chefs and…

Corin Redgrave, playing the contrarian William Roper, husband of Thomas More’s favourite child, Margaret, in A Man for All Seasons

From Trot to Thatcher: the life of Kika Markham

4 October 2014 9:00 am

In a varied career, the actress Kika Markham has regularly played real-life charcters, including, on television, Mrs Thatcher — piquant…

The Play That Goes Wrong. Photo: Alastair Muir

If you have teenage boys who loathe the very idea of theatre, send them to The Play That Goes Wrong

20 September 2014 9:00 am

It’s taken a while but here it is. The Play That Goes Wrong is like Noises Off, but simpler. Michael…

Want a fun job? You just have to pick the right parents

26 July 2014 9:00 am

The old paths to the top for working-class children – sport, music, acting, writing – are now closed by nepotism

The summer of love

12 April 2014 9:00 am

I spent it skipping about in tights, imagining women wanted me

The talent and tragedy of Richard Pryor

22 March 2014 9:00 am

The troubles of Richard Pryor’s life are well known — from his childhood in a brothel to his self-immolation via…

Simon Callow’s notebook: What it’s like to lose at an awards ceremony

8 March 2014 9:00 am

It was one of those weeks. On Monday, I was in four countries: I woke up at crack of dawn…

Ian Buruma’s notebook: Teenagers discover Montaigne the blogger

22 February 2014 9:00 am

Bard College in upstate New York, where I teach in the spring semester, is an interesting institution, once better known…

Finally, a celebrity memoir worth reading

4 January 2014 9:00 am

Unlike many celebrity memoirs, Anjelica Huston’s is worth reading. In her Prologue she writes that as a child she modeled…

Bookends: A shaggy beast of a book

7 January 2012 10:00 am

Autobiography is a tricky genre to get right, which may be why so many well-known people keep having another go…

In search of a character

23 April 2011 12:00 am

A chronicle of three young actors desperate to forge careers in the acting profession sounds like a dangerously familiar proposition.

‘I want to be a vagabond’

5 February 2011 12:00 am

Lloyd Evans talks to Sophie Thompson, whose lack of vanity defines her approach to acting