Jonathan Croall

The National Theatre Story by Daniel Rosenthal – review

In 1976, as the National Theatre moved into its new home on London’s South Bank, its literary manager Kenneth Tynan observed: ‘It’s taken 123 years to get here: 60 of Victorian idealism, half a century of dithering, and a final 13 years in the planning and building.’ Today, still under Nick Hytner’s dynamic and broad-church


Timothy Bateson Richard Burton was playing Hamlet at the Old Vic, but he was very nervous and not at his best. John came round to his dressing-room afterwards, to find him stark naked. ‘I’m so sorry, Richard,’ he said. ‘Shall I come back later when you’re better — I mean when you’re dressed?’   To

Forthright to a fault

Her mother was Ellen Terry, the most admired actress of the day. Her brother was Edward Gordon Craig, the celebrated stage designer. Little wonder then that Edith Craig was overshadowed for most of her life by two such towering figures. Yet her theatrical achievements were substantial. She was a talented costume designer and maker, the

A serious man

For much of the second half of his life Arthur Miller was a man whose future lay behind him. The acclaimed American playwright, celebrated for classics such as The Crucible, All My Sons, A View from the Bridge and Death of a Salesman, struggled to get his later plays staged in his own country. When

All his world a stage

As in the theatre, so in his letters: John Gielgud was a man of many parts, and acutely aware of his audience for all of them. In this comprehensive volume of 800 letters spanning nearly 90 years, we see the great actor in a range of roles: loving son, wicked gossip, star actor, indecisive director,