Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Michael Bogdanov in Leicester

Photo © David Hallam-Jones

I was sorry to hear of the death of the theatre director Michael Bogdanov.

Back in the 1970s he was the artistic director of Leicester's Phoenix theatre. (That's the old Phoenix, shown in the photograph above,)

He was kind enough to put a season of three Shakespeare plays under the title He That Plays the King.

As these included both plays I was studying for A level - Hamlet and The Tempest - I saw both those productions. Bill Wallis, whom I knew chiefly from the satirical Radio 4 programme Week Ending, played both Hamlet and Prospero.

He also played Richard III in the play I did not see,


David Bertram said...

I did not know Bill Wallis was so distinguished. I too recall him from Week Ending and also as the 'other' character in the 'Ivor Cutler Meets A....' series and, of course, as the British spy in General Hospital in Blackadder Goes Forth. Missed.

My A level plays in '82 were The Winter's Tale and Anthony & Cleopatra. We clearly had a 'lighter' Board than you!

GuyTheZygon said...

Was only 10 but I always remember Michael Bogdanov's haunting 1976 production of the anti-pollution play 'Drink The Mercury' at the Phoenix Theatre in 1976. We were taken by our primary school and audience participation played a part towards the end; we all had to shout repeatedly "Drink the Mercury!" in unison... I believe there were periodic red/blue screen projections on the side walls of the auditorium making use of the alien ambassador footage from the 1970 Dr Who story, The Ambassadors of Death... thought-provoking stuff.