Harwood, Ronald (13 of 18)  An Oral History of Theatre Design

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  • Recording date

    2005-10-27, 2007-05-16, 2007-05-17, 2007-05-18, 2007-06-12

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home, Chelsea

  • Interviewees

    Harwood, Ronald 1934- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    O'Ryan, Lydia (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 13: [Tape 7 Sides A-B closed until September 2042] Description of work for British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Radio 4 programme “Kaleidoscope”, produced by Rosemary Hart. Mentions Peter France as other presenter; remarks on demands of travel and preparation for programme; also dislike of deputy director called Holmes. Description of circumstances behind BBC programme on History of the Theatre proposed by RH’s publisher Tom Rosenthal, Secker & Warburg. Mentions Aubrey Singer; also negative reviews and difficulties with directors and problems with the book of the series. RH recalls taking over from Melvyn Bragg (Lord Bragg) presenting programme “Read All About It”; remarks on sexism in BBC; comments on Television culture. Refers to impact of negative criticism including former Observer critic, Julian Barnes. Anecdote relating to impact of bad reviews and news of Oscar nominations for “The Dresser”. Refers to agent, Judy Daish Associates. Comments on National Theatre’s [NT] unwillingness to present his plays; negative responses from Trevor Nunn, Richard Eyre and Nicholas Hytner. Remarks on “fashionable actors”; refers to conversation with Sir Ralph Richardson about posterity of DW as opposed to Sir Michael Redgrave. Anecdote about Andre Previn [AP] and Vladimir Ashkenazy’s son. Further comments on NT; also remarks on initial bad reviews for New York production of “Taking Sides”. Mentions playwrights excluded from NT, including Simon Gray, Hugh Whitemore. Remarks on Alan Bennet’s “The History Boys”. Description of circumstances relating to unsuccessful production with AP of JBP’s “The Good Companions”; involvement of Johnny Mercer and Bernard Delfont; directed by Braham Murray. Description of subsequent friendship with JBP, also visits to his home “Kissing Tree House”near Stratford upon Avon; mentions Ian Richardson. Description of JBP’s wife Jacquetta Hawkes [JH]; also anecdote about their early relationship and being shown Nobel prize belonging to JH’s father (Sir Frederick Hopkins). Mentions JBP’s reluctance to talk about his First World War experiences. Remarks on JBP’s plays, including “An Inspector Calls”, “Dangerous Corner” and “Time and the Conways”. Description of circumstances relating to writing of “The Dresser”.

  • Description

    Interview with Ronald Harwood (1934-), theatre designer. Parts 1-4 comprise an interview about the life and work of Richard Negri, as recalled by Ronald Harwood. Parts 5-18 comprise Ronald Harwood's life story.

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