I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Antony Tatlow

The Doubter

Previous biographies have called almost everything about Bertolt Brecht, including his authorship of the works attributed to him, into doubt, while political changes have seemed to diminish his importance. But a new life, revealing a new Brecht, reasserts his importance.

Less Thought, More Action

The German theatre company Schaubühne has toured its surtitled version of Hamlet in a translation which would more be accurately described as a transformation. The interpretation may be daring but the interweaving of meaning and “music” which makes Shakespeare’s language so memorable is lost.

A Cold Literature

The writer, Chinese Nobel laureate Gao Xingjian insists, is not a prophet. He must tell the truth and articulate difference. The only criteria are aesthetic quality and truth to the emotions. “Cold literature” does not seek to change the world.

The Chinese Playboy

Since the Chinese production includes so much sexual display, we have to wonder whether it might not be deliberately, or even unconsciously, a Chinese Playboy version of Synge’s “Western World”. At the very least, we must wonder to what extent the accumulation of sexually charged allusions affects an interpretation of the performance? To answer this, we need to consider changes of expectation within contemporary Chinese culture, the earlier norms of representation within the People’s Republic and the nature of the imaginative world in Chinese society today.