phyllidae

independent.co.uk
From Medea to Posh: We spoke to the thaetre directors whose all-female productions have caused a stir
“You can trace the all-male norm right back to ancient Greece and then into Shakespeare’s time,” the theatre director George Mann tells me. “When women were forbidden to be on the stage. The power of subverting that norm is still resonating – shocking, but all the more reason to do it.” Mann’s Medea is the latest bold production taking the British theatre scene by storm by utilising an all-female cast at Bristol Old Vic. But despite the growing trend, those wishing to play around with gender roles have not been congratulated for innovation by all.

Director Phyllida Lloyd spoke of some audience members being “quite condescending” and “outraged at the audacity” of the “unashamed feminist mission” of her all-female Julius Caesar, the first of her landscape-altering Shakespeare trilogy at Donmar King’s Cross, which also includes Henry IV and The Tempest. And further experiments with gender-fluid Shakespearean castings have provoked less than favourable reactions from reputable playwrights and critics, with Ronald Harwood quoted as calling castings such as Glenda Jackson as King Lear an “insult to the playwright”; and Dominic Cavendish suggesting Tamsin Greig’s stint as Malvolio in Twelfth Night at the National Theatre was “contributing to the death of the male lead”.

So what is the drive behind this new wave of all-female and gender-fluid casting? And what are directors such as Mann aiming to achieve by flying in the face of convention?

Mann sees the choice of a female-driven Medea as very much a product of the current political climate, “when powerful politicians are marginalising female voices, powerful women are undermined by elements of the press and feminism is forced to revisit old battles”. Interweaving Euripides’ Greek tragedy with a contemporary tale of female injustice written by Nigerian-born Chino Odimba, the play aims to put two women’s fight for justice and voice – though thousands of years apart – into stark parallel.

7

But … in my own experience of male and female directors, people have a much, much harder time taking a direct command from a woman. It’s somehow very difficult for people.

- Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep directed by women filmography

She-Devil dir. Susan Seidelman -1989
The Music of Regret dir. Laurie Simmons - 2006
Mamma Mia! dir Phyllida Lloyd - 2008
Julie & Julia dir. Nora Ephron - 2009
It’s Complicated dir. Nancy Meyers - 2009
The Iron Lady dir. Phyllida Lloyd - 2011
Suffragette dir. Sarah Gavron - 2015

winner is having a comeback!!!
i just saw and so here, have some winner hp!au stuff

 Seungyoon 

  • gryffindor prefect who wishes he was the head boy but is fine with his job because it’s still important,,,,,,,if only the first years weren’t the only ones who listened to him,,,, 
  • plays on the quidditch team, is a beater 
  • is really good at muggle music because he taught himself to play guitar the manual way (didn’t drink a potion or put a spell on the instrument to play itself 
  • even though seunghoon teased him about for a whole semester)
  • does ok in all his other classes but has a knack for divination even though he hides it from his classmates who make fun of the subject
  • you’re pretty sure he isn’t lying when he reads one of the tea leaves and tells someone they’re going to fail their OWLs because the person who he said it to literally sleeps in every class you have with them 
  • so you go over and ask seungyoon to read yours and he’s like “sure,,,,is there something you’re interest in knowing specifically?”
  • and you put your hands up on the desk and shrug like “how about my love life?" 
  • seungyoon kind of flusters for a second but agrees and as he’s looking at the leaf he frowns and is like "there’s not much, which means something is going to happen really really soon-" 
  • and just as he’s about to finish seunghoon walks by and is like "i heard you were watching seungyoon games over the weekend, was it fun?” To you 
  • and you’re like hOON SHUT UP but he’s just chuckling like a madman before skipping away and seungyoon is like “you came to watch me play?” and you’re like m,,,maybe,,,,yes 
  • and he suddenly gets a bit pink in the face and he’s well,,,,if you have time after this i can teach you some tricks on the broom????? and you’re like OMG id love that 
  • and long story short he didn’t see anything in the tea leaves because,,,,,after he teaches you some stuff you guys decide you’ll have a proper date at diagon alley,,,,,next week hehe 

Jinwoo

  • hufflepuff whose part of herbology club and likes plants,,,,,,,,and being nice to people,,,,,,,,,,
  • and is fiercely loyal to his friends because people like to downplay hufflepuff’s as serious, studios wizards but,,,,,,if one of his friends gets hurt jinwoo is the first person to perform healing spells and to put himself on the line to protect those close to him
  • but he’s all like,,,,,,,,,,the most handsome wizard ever,,,,,,,,,like he’s famous among the entire school and other schools overseas because like Have you Seen his Perfect Face
  • when his photo got printed in the newspaper for a discovery by the club he was in on a new kind of magical plant, the newspaper literally was sold out. that has never happened????? but everyone wanted his moving image for themselves?????? jinwoo’s impact
  • you’re his underclassman but you really like herbology just like him and you’ve got a first press copy of “one thousand magical herbs and fungi” and phyllida spore is literally your Idol
  • and no one has ever really shown interest as passionately as you do, especially with how outspoken you are during club meetings and how you even insist that you guys shouldn’t be scared to go into the dark forest to find more samples of plants
  • and sometimes your overexcited voice and overflowing knowledge gets on other students nerves, but jinwoo,,,,,,,,really sees you only have good intentions to learn and so if he hears anyone start whispering something mean he mutters a spell under his breath that makes it impossible for them to speak above a certain volume for a bit
  • and he thinks you don’t notice, he thinks he’s doing a great job at being subtle but you do know
  • and you,,,,,,,,are really thankful but you’re way too shy to ever approach him and thank him,,,,,,,,,until one day it’s just you two left in the club room
  • and jinwoo is humming softly, using his wand to put away all the chairs and books and you’re watching the way he’s so gentle when handling a wand and performing magic and it makes you just like him more
  • and you’re like “,,,,upperclassman if i can say something,,,,,” and jinwoo is like “go ahead!” and you’re like swallowing your fear and you’re like tHANK YOU !!!!!!! FOR PROTECting,,,,,mE,,,,,,,,,i know i can get annoying and talk too much but you always try to hide peoples negative thoughts from me,,,,,,,,,and i-it’s very sweet and im very happy for you,,,,,,,,i really like having you,,,,,,,,,,on my side!!!!!!!
  • and jinwoo is so shocked that he almost drops his wand and the chair floating mid air almost breaks but he manages to regain his wand and you rush to catch the chair before it comes crashing down
  • and jinwoo is blushing, bringing up his sleeve to shield his face and he’s like “so,,,,,,you’ve known all along what ive been up to?” and you’re like “Yes,,,,,,,,,,,it’s very nice,,,,,,of you” and he’s like “then if it’s ok, ill keep doing it?” and you’re like !!!!!! please do and then you see him smile as he lowers his sleeve and he’s like “ill always be on your side, does this mean i can count you to be on mine?”

Mino

  • ravenclaw who looks like he shouldn’t be in ravenclaw,,,,,,,because everyone is prime and proper and mino doesn’t even bother tying his tie correctly or wearing his robe to class
  • and his broom? it breaks every month. the poor thing is falling apart its been bandaged so many times that seungyoon thinks mino is a flying hazard when he gets on it
  • surprisingly though,,,,,,he takes studying serious. especially transfiguration.
  • is actually a metamorphmagus, meaning he was born with the skill to alter his appearance to look like a completely different person. his hair and eye color change along with his emotions,,,,,,,he’s kinda learned how to control but it’s still something that happens
  • “im not mad seunghoon. i promise.” “mino, your hair turned red and your eyes are swirling into a dark black abyss, i can tell that you’re mad.”
  • doesn’t talk about it much, but he wants to be an auror,,,,,,,,,because like it’s such a cool job and no matter how messy he might present himself to be or laidback,,,,,he can be really serious and determined
  • is in a punk band called ‘gremlins and goblins” along with seunghoon. neither of them play instruments they really just scream into mics and fool around LOL
  • you’ve always been super jealous of mino’s abilities as a metamorphmagus because you have to be born as one to be able to transform like that
  • and for a while you tried to teach yourself spells that would at least let you change hair color or your nose or something but it’s super hard
  • and mino’s just,,,,,,,,so good at it because it’s natural and when everyone in class is like “turn into the professor before they get here!!!” and mino does it in like the blink of an eye and everyone is like wOW
  • and you’re just like,,,,,,,,,,,,,why can’t i make my magic strong enough to do that
  • and mino’s sweet so he’s always nice to you and you kinda act cold out of your own jealousy and accord
  • until one day he’s got to sit next to you in class and transfiguration of all,,,,and you’re like grumbling to yourself and the teacher is like “alright, we’re gonna turn a dinner plate into a mushroom!” and you’re like omg this is such an easy spell,,,,,
  • and you do it in a flash and mino,,,,,,,you see is struggling even though he has the highest scores for this class???? and you’re like “um,,,,,are you ok? are you sick?” and mino chuckles and he’s like “nope, ive just always been bad at this one.” and you’re like ,,,,,,,,,,let me help
  • and you help him repeat the spell and you’re like leaning over to help re position his wand
  • and like,,,,,,,wow you’re the one helping mino,,,,,,the top student and he’s smiling at you and thanking you and ok,,,,,,what,,,,,,he’s so cute,,,,,,um,,,,,,,,who,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,allowed?? him??
  • and after class mino catch up with you and ok seriously he looks so cute with his shirt untucked and his tie loose around his neck and his ravenclaw scarf thrown over his shoulder and he’s like “OWLS are coming up and you’re super smart, we should study together?”
  • and you’re like “oh,,,,like a study group?” and mino laughs embarrassingly and he’s like “is it bad that im kinda hoping it’s a study DATE instead?”
  • you: drops your wand lfkjdgsmgg

Seunghoon

  • slytherin troublemaker and captain/seeker of the houses quidditch team
  • likes to play pranks on everyone. even the house ghost, the bloody baron
  • is only passing his classes because he has to to be able to stay captain,,,,,,,,,,pretty sure he has some method of cheating but like,,,,,,who knows,,,,,,,tbh seunghoon is probably the most cunning in that whole house and that’s what the house is known for so can you imagine,,,,,,
  • tried to smuggle in a dog onto the platform when taking the train to school, but it was confiscated and seunghoon was forced to make due with only his frog,,,,,,,
  • like mino, he’s part of ‘gremlins and goblins’, and his lyrics are all incoherent noises and sometimes lowkey disses at some of the teachers at school and mino is like bro,,,,,,,,,,,we can’t and seunghoon is like bro,,,,,,,,,no one listens to this “music” but us let me talk shit about the charms professor-”
  • seunghoon is actually an animagus. and most people are shocked because to become one you need a lot of patience, the process is super long
  • but he did it, and his form is the same as his patronus,,,,,,a cheetah 
  • and he shows it off like all the god damn time like WE GET IT you’re an animagus seunghoon sit down before you knock something over with your long limbs or your cheetah tail
  • and ,,,,,,,, there’s a certain person seunghoon likes to show off the most to,,,,,,,that person is you
  • and most of the time you just roll your eyes and play off his corny pick up lines and that time he drank a potion to be able to imitate your favorite actor at the time
  • and like,,,,,,you’ve been friends with him for a while so you really just think it’s all teasing so you don’t take it seriously
  • not until one day he’s trying to show you a cool trick on his broom, but end ups falling back first onto the hard floor of the hallway and you hear something crack and you’re like seunghoon,,,,,,,SEUNGHOON
  • and you drop down and move his head into your lap and you’re like turning his head this way and that and you’re like “can you lift your hand???? leg???? listen if you can’t ill levitate you and get you to the-”
  • and seunghoon suddenly starts chuckling and you’re like ???????
  • and he’s like “i knew it,,,,,,,,you do actually care about me. so are you free after the match this afternoon, i know we’re gonna win and as a victory gift how about you let me take you on a da-”
  • and you’re like oh my god did you fall down on PURPOSE and you take out your wand like “im going to seriously poof off your eyebrows for that”
  • and seunghoon is like nOOO spare my handsome face, which you totally like, pleaaaaaaaase
  • and you really wanna do it because he messed with you but at the same time you just sigh and you’re like getting up
  • and seunghoon is like “wait - where are you goi-”
  • and you’re walking down the hall and with your wand you pick up his broom without looking and use it to thunk him on the head and you’re like
  • “pick me up after the game. you better win.”  

bonus their patronus’: seungyoon = brown bear, jinwoo = deer, mino = coyote, seunghoon =cheetah 

A letter from former Artistic Director, Dominic Dromgoole

A letter to the next Artistic Director.

Dear Fearless, and Fortunate soul,

Twenty years ago, Mark Rylance and Lennie James led a company in a modern dress production of Two Gentlemen of Verona, the first production in the new Globe.  Much scholarship went into the show, and twice as much free-wheeling invention. Happily, exhilaratingly, no-one knew entirely what they were doing, and they and the audience joined to discover a new language for making theatre. An adventure was launched, which led to twenty continuous years of chance-taking, boldness and surprise. Six people in pyjamas doing Cymbeline; scrupulous Original Practice work; throwing a roof on the building for Titus Andronicus; building rose gardens in the yard for Merry Wives; and yes, phantasmagorias of light and sound for last year’s Dream; and brute urbanising for Imogen. Shakespeare done with freedom and a curiosity to match the audience’s. 

That is the Globe tradition. It was new, and it is still new. A newness that begins again every afternoon and every evening when the audience come in and draw their breath at the sun, the wood, the colour, the swirl of it all, and each other. Newness is not easy for everyone. The bile towards the Globe was there at the beginning, was felt keenly by Mark, was ever-present in my time, and spilled out last autumn hideously from those both pro- and anti-Emma Rice. It goes with the territory. The Globe is forever breaking moulds, that inspires fear, and fear can lead to loathing. The rush of energy that accompanies the new, and the roar of approval from those happy to climb on board is more than ample compensation. Dear Fearless and Fortunate Soul, above all else keep the Globe new.

From the very start, the Globe pushed the boundaries on BAME casting, an action which we continued in my time with the natural joy of walking into a brighter room. Emma has carried that torch. Globe gender-bending began with Shakespeare, and Mark extended it with Vanessa Redgrave as Prospero, and with three all-female companies, including Phyllida Lloyd’s first Shakespeare with a female company, a seedling which grew into a spectacular tree. We carried this on, and were proud to transfer two successful plays by women writers to the West End in my last year. Emma extended this experiment much further, and she was right to. Carry on pushing these envelopes.

Mark experimented with new plays, a risk that grew fast as we presented countless big new public works. New writing beside a Shakespeare is a constant reminder that Shakespeare himself was once new, and the energy of the former electrifies the latter. Emma has carried that on, and, for me, it should remain at the heart of the Globe.

The Globe’s youth creates endless opportunities. It fits no particular mould – neither subsidised nor truly commercial – so is still free to invent itself. Over the last twenty years, it has freestyled different ways of playing Shakespeare; created a small-scale touring network, both national and international; built a new theatre, the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse; held a huge International Festival, and created a filming programme and a VOD platform. Contrary to some bizarre lies which have been circulating, all done within its unsubsidised means. Emma came in with a host of new directions, of new ways to facilitate artists, and with a large-scale intervention into how shows are staged.

The fact that Emma has been stopped in fulfilling her ambitions is heart-breaking. It is also wrong. The spirit of a theatre is that it should follow the lead of its artistic director. And an artistic director cannot usefully be anyone but themselves. The fact of your contract is also that, unless otherwise specified, you are free to invent as you wish. The only people who have the moral strength to get rid of you are the audience. No-one else, not the board, not your supposed colleagues, not the vulture punditry, just the audience. Emma had lost a little of the Globe audience, but all the evidence is that she had gained some as well. Please remember, F, and F Soul, that your first responsibility is to yourself, and to them.

At the heart of the Globe are, for me, two things. First the £5 ticket for the yard. Over the last twenty years that single fact has given over five million people an extraordinary experience for less than a sandwich costs. They have seen Mark in his pomp, Gemma Arterton’s Rosaline, Gugu Mbatha Raw’s Nell Gwynn, Roger Allam’s Falstaff, Eve Best’s Beatrice and Cleopatra, and countless others for only £5. It is a miracle. For all the talk of accessibility elsewhere, there is nothing equivalent to touch it. It makes many uneasy, many who espouse accessibility write with a shameful snobbery about tourists and students as if they were a sub-human species. There was also a steady pressure internally to raise that price, a pressure which Mark and I and Emma resisted. The £5 ticket is at the heart of the Globe’s success, you must fight for its survival.

The second thing at the heart of the Globe, for me, is playing in a shared light. A democratic space where a story unfolds as an imaginative agreement between text, actors and audience. It is this that Emma experimented to change, and which is at the heart of her disagreements with colleagues and the board. For me, shared light was the unique Globe tool, which subverted the orthodoxies of director’s and critic’s theatre, and which handed back to the actors and the audiences the capacity to collaborate together freely on making an imaginative experience occur. Taking away that uniqueness doesn’t strike me as radical, it strikes me as conformist. Every theatre has light and sound, the Globe didn’t. This uniqueness matters to me, and for me, F and F Soul, it is important to preserve.

However Emma didn’t come in to emulate myself, or Mark, she came in to be herself, and so she triumphantly was. As an Artistic Director myself, I respect Emma’s choice in doing so, and I cannot respect the blocking of her choice. No-one, not committees, not cabals, not connivers, no-one can set this policy but the AD. They have to make these choices with passion and conviction for the whole of the rest of a theatre to make sense.  Early on in your time, you will find it invaluable to listen to the many experienced voices around you, and also invaluable to be exceptionally wary of those who do not want to advise but who want to influence. Everybody wants to be Artistic Director. They can’t all be. Only you can. It is vital, Dear F and F S, that you ring-fence with iron and steel your own freedom and ability to make choices. This must be put down in black and white, and made public, and it must be adhered to. With an ear to what the audience wants, and with an eye for where to take them, no-one should set artistic policy but the Artistic Director.

Now that Emma has carried out her experiments with light and sound, it is pointless to pretend she hasn’t. What has happened, can’t unhappen. Many felt alienated by it, many loved it. To write it out of the Globe story and say it can’t happen ever again is fundamentalist, and as daft as any form of fundamentalism. Emma’s experiment should be folded into the Globe’s story as gleefully as all the other experiments have been; new work, internationalism, modernising, design interventions. For me, the majority of the work should be in a shared light, and with natural sound, but to make it that and that only, just doesn’t add up. Dear F and F Soul, fight to keep room for manoeuvre.

You will notice, Dear F and F Soul, that some of my comments have alluded to negative energy. It would be foolish to pretend it isn’t there. The Globe has its enemies without - many don’t like the freedom of the place, its open-ness and its warmth. Some simply can’t cope with its happiness. Our culture and its commentators often prefer the shrivelled sausage to the plump one, and the Globe is fat and juicy. The degree of bile can be disabling. I have just had my own and my family’s Easter wrecked by some pathological viciousness, and I’ve been gone a year. Emma has had to put up with much worse.

Sadly the negativity doesn’t only come from without, there is also a fair sum within. There are structural problems, there are personality problems, there is too much fighting for territory, and there are too many who feel free to comment on work without ever taking the risk of making it. It is absurd that out of the mess of last year, the only person to be suffering the consequences is Emma. However the Globe is taking steps to address the problems, you have an excellent CEO in Neil Constable, who has copped too much of the blame for last year’s imbroglio while doing all he could to avoid it, and you have the best theatre department in the country. The fact that the Globe has gone on making excellent work through summer and winter, with so much distraction, is testament to their excellence. Dear F and F Soul, you will have to be prepared for tough decisions, you will have to be strong and independent, but you will have some of the best around you.

Above and beyond all else, Dear F and F Soul, if you inhabit the same office which Mark, I and Emma were blessed to sit in, every day through the long summer, you will hear at 1 o’clock, and at 6.30, a bubbling hubbub of excited chatter, and standing to look out you will see a snaking queue of four or five hundred people, eager to charge through the doors, and jostle their way to the best positions in the yard. The quality of their excitement and anticipation, of their sheer appetite for a great afternoon or evening, of their big human hope - there is no price that can be put on that. It is one of the biggest privileges in the world of theatre to be able to join with it.

Relish, enjoy, make their hopes and yours real.

All the best,
Dominic Dromgoole

female film directors

“It’s irrelevant who or what directed a movie, the important thing is that you either respond to it or you don’t. There should be more women directing; I think there’s just not the awareness that it’s really possible. It is.” - Kathryn Bigelow

theguardian.com
Shakespeare Trilogy review – Donmar's phenomenal all-female triumph
A new staging of The Tempest crowns Phyllida Lloyd’s captivating trio set in a women’s prison
By Lyn Gardner

These are a-mazing roles to do in rep: “newcomer Leah Harvey, who is a tiny, eerie tricycle-riding Soothsayer in Julius Caesar, a vivid, athletic Earl of Douglas in Henry IV and an appealingly direct Miranda in The Tempest” not to mention Harriet Walter as Brutus/Henry IV/Prospero.