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25th June 2010

It’s been a bit quite recently, but news has started to trickle through about casting for The Master Builder in Chichester - Maureen Beattie is to play Aline Solness. Last time I checked the tickets were selling well, so if you haven’t already bought yours I should hurry! Check them out at www.cft.org.uk

4th April 2010

I’ve just added some New York reviews for Love is my Sin

21st February 2010

Something I appear to have overlooked when compiling the site is a video I have entitiled The Poetry Video. It’s primarily a teaching aid and on it Michael reads Wordworth’s Daffodils , Browning’s My Last Duchess and William Blake’s London. It’s now available on DVD and you can check the details at: http://www.englishandmedia.co.uk/publications/cat_detail.php?i temID=476

19th February 2010

Michael will be appearing in Chichester again this year. This time he is playing Halvard Solness in Ibsen’s The Master Builder. The play is showing in the Minerva from the 9th September to the 9th October. Booking for Friends is already open, but general online booking opens on the 1st March and telephone booking on the 4th. You can check out for details on www.cft.org.uk.

7th February 2010

I’ve come across a short film from 2009 in which Michael appeared. It’s called Britain isn’t Working and he plays the part of Mayor Bunion. It lasts about 10 minutes and you can view it on the director’s web site, which is: http://shootingpeople.org/cards/RockyPalladino. It’s very funny and quite topical - well worth a look.

I’ve also added quite a bit of detail on Michael’s various television  appearances for the 1970s/80s!

5th February 2010

Michael will be continuing the tour of Love is my sin in New York from the 27th March to the 17th April 2010 - it will be playing at the Duke Theatre on 42nd Street and you can access details at: www.tfana.org/love_is_my_sin.html

Following on from the David Tennant’s Hamlet which the BBC broadcast over Christmas, they’ve put together a very good page on previous Hamlets on both stage and screen. To access it click on the following link:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/hamlet/past_productions/rsc_stage_1980. shtml

22nd January 2010

I’ve added to the Anton Chekhov page Michael’s contribution to an article which appeared in The Evening Standard on the 19th entitled The Chekhov I Love. Plus a review for Chekhov’s Vaudevilles which Michael Billington wrote for The Guardian.

21st January 2010

I’ve added details of the plays included in Chekhov’s Vaudevilles last Monday at Hampstead.

20th January 2010

The five Chekhov stories Michael recorded for radio are being broadcast on the five mornings from Monday 25th - Friday 29th January. Entitled About Love they are on at 10.45 each morning on BBC Radio 4. There are also some other very interesting looking radio programmes on Chekhov during the week - The Cherry Orchard is on Radio 3 on the 24th, Words and Music again on BBC Radio 3 at 10.45 on the same evening explores male fragility in Russian literature, and, again on Radio 3, each evening at 11.00 a series of programmes entitled The Essay: Chekhov Essays.

18th January 2010

A Jubilee for Anton Chekhov commences today at the Hampstead Theatre. Click here to read details of the schedule and to access a couple of articles (one by Michael) which have been in the newspapers over the last couple of days.

15th January 2010

You might like to check out the following web site in which Michael has been interviewed about Chekhov: http://www.theatrevoice.com/

12th January 2010

The 19th January sees the first radio broadcast which I first mentioned back in November. Entitled The House That Chekhov Built, it’s a documentary about Michael’s journey to Yalta and the dilapidated state in which he found Chekhov’s home. It’s on BBC Radio 4 at 11.30

8th January 2010

Michael is appearing in Silent Witness on BBC1 this week. The episode is entitled Voids and is on over 2 nights - the 14th and 15th January at 9pm.

7th January 2010

Perhaps Michael’s first published article (should you know better please let me know!) appeared in the Granta Magazine in the 9th November 1963 - it was entitled Pinter Now, And Then  - click here to read a transcript.

1st January 2010


My correspondent Grant has let me know that the 2nd volume of the RSC Essential Shakespeare CD has a clip from Timon of Athens with Michael and Richard McCabe. These CDs are copies of live recordings from the RSC archives and well worth a listen. I must admit to have looked at the CD when I was in Stratford last month and the fact that Michael was included completely missed the radar - I must be slipping! (Although having now bought a copy I see that his name wasn’t included on the cover and so I would indeed have to have been psychic to have spotted it!)

(For new readers you might not know who Grant is - he is artistic director and co-founder of the Northwest Classical Theatre in Portland. In 2005 Michael recorded the part of Chorus for his production of Romeo and Juliet. You can listen to the excerpts by clicking here.)

I’ve bought forward the following from November as it is only a couple of weeks before the Chekhov celebration begins: The 16th January 2010 marks the 150th birthday of Anton Chekhov. To celebrate this event  the Hampstead Theatre is hosting a Jubilee. It runs from the 18-23 January and will be hosted by Michael and leading Chekhov specialist Rosamund Bartlett. The event has been organised to raise money to restore the White Dacha - Chekhov’s house in Yalta (to read the article Michael wrote for  The Independent on the 20th November 2008, click here). A different show will take place each night over the week - full details are on the Hampstead web site - www.hampsteadtheatre.com, but public booking doesn’t open until the 23rd November. A final note - Michael will be performing his one-man show Anton Chekhov on Saturday 23rd at 3pm.

Michael will be reading five Chekhov short stories for BBC Radio in January and has also made a documentary for BBC Radio about the house in Yalta which will be broadcast at the same time. More details when I have them.

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