Stage Blood: Five tempestuous years in the early life of the National Theatre

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9780571241378: Stage Blood: Five tempestuous years in the early life of the National Theatre
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In 1971, Michael Blakemore 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, Blakemore 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 Blakemore's brave and misrepresented decision to speak out. He would not return to the National for fifteen years.

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About the Author:

Michael Blakemore arrived in the UK from Australia in 1950. He spent fifteen years as an actor before directing at the Glasgow Citizens' Theatre. He became Associate Director of the National Theatre under Olivier, and directed him in, among others, Long Day's Journey into Night. He has directed new work by dramatists as diverse as Arthur Miller, Peter Nichols, Michael Frayn, David Hare, Peter Schaffer, Don DeLillo, Woody Allen and David Mamet. At the 2000 Tony Awards he won an unprecedented double as Best Director of both a play, Copenhagen, and a musical, Kiss Me Kate. He has written and directed two films, and is the author of the novel, Next Season. His memoir, Arguments with England finishes where Stage Blood begins.

Review:

Warm, wise, and even sternly moralistic ... Theatre is evanescent, yet it can provide us with experiences so intense that we gratefully retain them for the rest of our lives. Memory compulsively preserves ancient grudges; more importantly, as Blakemore demonstrates, it is the impregnable archive of our affections. Peter Conrad, The Observer A vivid, personal account of a fascinating period in British theatre. Financial Times Masterly ... Michael Blakemore is a writer of exceptional gifts. Heretical though it may be, I cannot help wishing that he would shut the stage-door behind him for a while and concentrate instead on the next book. Selina Hastings, The Spectator Stage Blood is the best theater book I've read since, well, Blakemore's equally enthralling 2004 memoir, Arguments with England. Both deserve a place of prominence on your shelf. Michael Riedel, New York Post With its pulpy title and lurid, crime thriller-style jacket, it promises salacious details and largely delivers ... tremendous fun. Metro

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9780571241385: Stage Blood (Faber Drama)

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Book Description FABER FABER, United Kingdom, 2013. Hardback. Condition: New. Main. Language: English . Brand New Book. In 1971, Michael Blakemore 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, Blakemore 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 Blakemore s brave and misrepresented decision to speak out. He would not return to the National for fifteen years. Seller Inventory # AA99780571241378

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Book Description FABER FABER, United Kingdom, 2013. Hardback. Condition: New. Main. Language: English . Brand New Book. In 1971, Michael Blakemore 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, Blakemore 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 Blakemore s brave and misrepresented decision to speak out. He would not return to the National for fifteen years. Seller Inventory # AA99780571241378

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Book Description Faber & Faber, 2013. Condition: New. In 1971, the author joined the National Theatre as Associate Director under Laurence Olivier. In this book, he recalls the theatrical triumphs and flops, the extravagant dinners in Hall's Barbican flat with Harold Pinter, Jonathan Miller and other associates, the opening of the new building, and his brave and misrepresented decision to speak out. Num Pages: 368 pages, illustrations (black and white). BIC Classification: AN. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 241 x 155 x 31. Weight in Grams: 612. . 2013. Main. Hardcover. . . . . Seller Inventory # V9780571241378

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Book Description Faber & Faber. Condition: New. In 1971, the author joined the National Theatre as Associate Director under Laurence Olivier. In this book, he recalls the theatrical triumphs and flops, the extravagant dinners in Hall's Barbican flat with Harold Pinter, Jonathan Miller and other associates, the opening of the new building, and his brave and misrepresented decision to speak out. Num Pages: 368 pages, illustrations (black and white). BIC Classification: AN. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 241 x 155 x 31. Weight in Grams: 612. . 2013. Main. Hardcover. . . . . Seller Inventory # V9780571241378

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