Frears, Stephen (3 of 11). The legacy of the English Stage Company.
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2008-08-27, 2008-09-02, 2008-09-30, 2008-10-14, 2008-11-10, 2009-02-20, 2009-04-07
Frears, Stephen, 1941- (speaker, male)
Devine, Harriet (speaker, female)
Part 3: Being in taxi with GD. SF’s admiration of GD. Battles of directors, bitchiness, hysterics, screaming; resemblance to children. Support of LA; LA’s sharp tongue. Last meeting with LA; his comments on Sandy McKendrick. LA really a critic, not such a great film director; a better theatre director. LA’s RCT production of ‘Julius Caesar’; PG having to do exits and entrances; a doomed production. SF’s realisation of cleverness of actors, importance of collaboration, relative lack of need for director. Learning about casting; Miriam Brickman, Pauline Melville, ex-RCT casting directors. PG and SF casting; auditions. Nature of general auditions. Casting Marianne Faithfull in ‘Inadmissable Evidence’, discovered by PG; her disappearance after first read-through after success of first record; her fitting the bill for the part. John Osborne, another frightening figure; his attendance at rehearsals; his sharp tongue, cocky manner. PG as den mother; looking after people. After 6-7 months, meeting Karel Reisz [KR]. KR’s early life; his successful career; his family; his humanity [15.16]. His appearance at RCT to direct a play; collapse of play; his offer to SF to assist on directing a film. KR’s involvment in Free Cinema, with LA and Tony Richardson [TR]. Origin of Free Cinema at National Film Theatre; its manifesto; ‘Sequence Magazine’. LA’s film ‘Oh Dreamland’; KR and TR’s documentaries. GD’s interest in European theatre; RCT getting hijacked by social realism; value of spontanaiety. SF’s making of ‘My Beautiful Launderette’; thinking film was about economics; his surprise at interest in gay kiss; zetigeist. SF’s brother as extra in ‘Saturday Night Sunday Morning’. KR taking SF into his family; his wife, Betsy Blair [BB], ex-wife of Gene Kelly. BB’s recent story of KR’s first meeting with SF. Making of film ‘Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment’; whacky film, from TV play by David Mercer. Brilliance of cast; themes of film; relationship to book by RD Laing. SF leaving RCT, working for KR as his assistant/apprentice. Location filming, part of rebellion, an attempt to change arthritic film industry. No ‘this is it’ moment. KR’s view of SF as good assistant; SF as idiot savant, questioning things.
Life story interview with Stephen Frears, film and television director.