Mark Brown

Blair in the dock

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Theatre director Nicolas Kent and Guardian journalist Richard Norton-Taylor are well known for their powerful plays based on tribunal hearings. They talked to Mark Brown about their new drama, Called to Account, which puts Tony Blair in the dock over Iraq

An interesting process has taken place since the movement against the Iraq war exploded onto the British political scene. A legal term, which ordinarily would be a topic of discussion for only a small minority of the population, has become part of mainstream public consciousness - possibly millions of people in Britain believe that their own prime minister is a "war criminal".

Harold Pinter: Prize Fighter

Issue section: 
Author: 

Theatre critic Mark Brown welcomes an unexpected Nobel Prize laureate.

When it was announced on 13 October that Harold Pinter, who recently turned 75, was to be the 2005 Nobel laureate for literature, there was surprise (not least on the part of Pinter himself) followed by celebrations and recriminations, according to one's cultural and political tastes. Deliciously, it also cast a shadow over Margaret Thatcher's eightieth birthday party, which was held on the same day.

Making the Strange Obvious

Issue section: 
Issue: 

An Interview with Adriano Shaplin

American theatre company The Riot Group have achieved critical acclaim with Pugilist Specialist, their satirical attack upon US military operations in the Middle East. Mark Brown met up with playwright, director and actor Adriano Shaplin in California just as the US military announced the capture of Saddam Hussein.

How was The Riot Group established?

Crouching Tarantino Hidden Dialogue

Issue section: 
Author: 

Review of 'Kill Bill: Vol 1', director Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino has established himself as one of the world's leading film-makers, largely through the original and imaginative reworking of the cinematic genres which have most heavily influenced him. Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction reinvented the American mafia movie. Jackie Brown was a new take on the Blaxploitation pictures of the 1960s and 1970s.

Death Squad

Issue section: 
Author: 

Review of 'Pugilist Specialist' by The Riot Group/Adriano Shaplin, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

Leon Trotsky argued that cultural creations, whether they be novels, paintings or plays, should be considered first in terms of what he called 'the laws of art', rather than simply 'the laws of politics'. This is a lesson which should be learned by a number of writers and companies who brought work to this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

What is it Good For?

Issue section: 
Author: 

Review of 'War', Harold Pinter, Faber and Faber, £5

I interviewed the playwright and poet Harold Pinter in November 2001. A story he told me on that occasion came to mind upon reading War, his short collection of eight anti-war poems and one speech.

At a function as part of a human rights delegation to Turkey, he asked a senior Turkish state official why the security forces torture Kurdish 'suspects' by attaching electrodes to their genitals. The official asked Pinter to leave on the grounds that the writer had insulted the official's wife by using the word 'genitals'.

War Theatre

Issue section: 
Author: 

Review of Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

It seems that rumours of the death of fringe theatre have been somewhat exaggerated. Despite complaints--many of them justified--regarding the huge growth in the number of substandard stand-up comedy shows on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, this year's event still found the world's biggest arts festival doing what it does best, responding creatively to international events.

The Setback That Lasted Thirty-Five Years

Issue section: 
Author: 

Review of 'Six Days of War', Michael B Oren, Oxford University Press £25

The Arab governments referred to the Six Day War, with tragicomic understatement, as 'the setback'. In reality the conflict, in June 1967, was a shattering example of Israel's military superiority over its Arab neighbours which left it in illegal occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Mark Brown