Theatre Talks

Cindy has lectured on the following plays in professional productions

The Print Room, London

LysistrataKingdom of Earth, by Tennessee Williams, directed by Lucy Bailey, April-May 2011

Judgement Day, adapted from Ibsen’s When We Dead Awaken, directed by James Dacre, November-December 2011

Jealousy, a dance-sculpture collaboration inspired by Alain Robbe-Grillet’s novel, February 2012

Toujours et Près de Moi, from Opera Erratica, combining holograms with Renaissance madrigals, directed by Patrick Eakin Young, May 2012

Uncle Vanya, by Anton Chekhov, directed by Lucy Bailey, March-April, July 2012

Thom Pain (based on nothing), by Will Eno, directed by Simon Evans, September-October 2012

Lot and His God, by Howard Barker, directed by Robyn Winfield-Smith, November 2012

Lot and His God - The Print Rom

Ivy and Joan, by James Hogan, directed by Simon Usher, January 2013

Molly Sweeney, by Brian Friel, directed by Abigail Graham, April 2013

4000 Miles, by Amy Herzog, directed by James Dacre, May 2013

Tutto Bene, Mamma?, adapted by April de Angelis from play by Gloria Mina, directed by Ewan Marshall, June-July 2013

The Last Yankee, by Arthur Miller, directed by Cathal Cleary, September 2013

The Dumb Waiter, by Harold Pinter, 23 October – 23 November 2013

Amygdalaby Geraldine Alexander, directed by Alexander, Dec. 2013; Cindy hosted Q&A’s.

Ignis, a dance piece created by Hubert Essakow, February 2014

Dead Dogs, by Jon Fosse, directed by Simon Usher, April 2014

Southwark Playhouse, London

Antigone by Sophocles, directed by Tom Littler of Primavera Productions, June 2011

Faith, Hope, Charity, by Ödön von Horváth, directed by Leonie Kubigsteltig, June-July 2011

The Changeling, by Thomas Middleton, directed by Michael Oakley, November 2011

The Hairy Ape, by Eugene O’Neill, directed by Kate Budgen with Cartwright Productions, May 2012

Riverside Studios, London

The Oresteia, by Aeschylus, directed by Anastasia Revi of Theatre Lab, March 2012

The Two Most Perfect Things, by Adrian Fisher and Stuart Barham, on the lives and music of Noël Coward and Ivor Novello, July 2012

Lysistrata, by Aristophanes, directed by Anastasia Revi of Theatre Lab, March 2013

Watford Palace Theatre, Watford

Our Brother David (inspired by Uncle Vanya), written and directed by Anthony Clark, April   2012

Arcola Theatre, London

The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, by Dudley Hinton and Sebastian Armesto with simple8, March 2013

Moby-Dick, by Sebastian Armesto with simple8, April 2013  

Jermyn Street Theatre, London

On Approval, by Frederick Lonsdale, directed by Anthony Biggs, April 2013

Religion and Anarchy, Steven Berkoff’s one-act plays, directed by Berkoff and Max Barton, September – October 2013

The Potsdam Quartet, by David Pinner, 29 October – 23 November 2013

The White Carnation, by R. C. Sherriff, directed by Knight Mantell, February 2014

Question-and-answer sessions hosted for And in the End, the Death and Life of John Lennon, written and directed by Alexander Marshall, May 2013; Socrates and his Clouds, by William Lyons, directed by Melina Theocharidou, June 2013; Vaudevilles and Other Sketches, by Anton Chekhov, directed by Jenny Eastop, July 2013; Soldiers Wives, by Sarah Daniels, directed by Anthony Biggs, July 2013; Spoonface Steinberg, by Lee Hall, directed by Max Barton, July 2013;  A Victorian Eye, by Rory Fellowes, directed by Maureen Payne-Hahner, August 2013; Doonreagan, by Ann Henning Jocelyn, directed by Alex Dmitriev, September 2013; The White Carnation, by R. C. Sherriff, directed by Knight Mantell, Feb. 2014; The Notorious Mrs Ebbsmith, by Arthur Wing Pinero, directed by Abbey Wright for Primavera, April 2014; Richard Maltby and David Shire’s musical, Closer than Ever, May 2014.

   

For the non-professional Barn Theatre,Welwyn Garden City, she has spoken on

Hysteria, Translations, Noises Off, Inherit the Wind, Under Milk Wood, The History Boys, What the Butler Saw, Shirley Valentine, Blood Brothers, Twelfth Night, King Lear, And a Nightingale Sang, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, The Pillowman, A View from the Bridge, Caught in the Net, The Elephant Man, Sugar Daddies, Private Fears in Public Places, Man of the Moment, Great Expectations, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Killing of Sister George, The Hound of the Baskervilles, A Tale of Two Cities, Side by Side by Sondheim, Hi-de-Hi, Jerusalem, Farndale Macbeth, Funny Money, Table Manners, Romeo and Juliet, Moonlight and Magnolias

 

Contact Cindy Lawford

 

WHY I THINK THEATRE TALKS MATTER

I give talks before or after performances, in theatres and in schools, wherever there is an audience that wants to learn a little more and try to experience a play more fully.  I also host question-and-answer sessions and interview directors, playwrights and academic experts.  Further, I regularly writes programme notes and articles on theatre.  I am convinced that there is no play, no matter how modern or familiar the setting, on which I cannot find something to say that will help people enjoy it more. 

I believe passionately that watching a play is a great challenge as well as a pleasure, and it is a challenge that we all, at times, find difficult to meet.  Most of us cannot expect always to be able to walk into a theatre, switch off the noise in our heads, and open ourselves emotionally and intellectually to everything that is happening on stage.  There are lines we don’t hear, lines we don’t quite understand, and lines we miss because maybe we were thinking about what was said ten seconds before.  We fail to note expressions on some actors’ faces or are perplexed by them.  We may not recognise the music, and we usually don’t grasp all the humour present in a play.  We typically don’t know much about the historical and political background of the characters or even about the playwright.

Simply gaining more knowledge of the politics, history or science behind a play can help us not to miss so much that passes on stage.  Sometimes anecdotes from a playwright’s life can illuminate a scene, and controversial issues of race, religion and sexual orientation almost always cry out for more exploration.  In my talks, programme notes and articles, I seek to address this gap in knowledge and add piquancy to our experience of plays – easing the way, I dare to hope, for the production of more laughter and tears. 

My talks are short, usually about twenty minutes.  They are relaxed, informal and, like her articles, packed with information but as un-academic as I can make them.  I continually finds myself reflecting on the near impossibility of the task that most theatre audiences are faced with:  at first sight and hearing, they are being asked to absorb completely a play that actors have worked with for weeks and a director for months or longer.  I aim to make the accomplishment of this task a little more possible. 

I would be happy to talk about any play being produced in London any time, to large groups or even to couples. I would prefer to have a couple of weeks to research the play but can do this on short notice if necessary. Please don’t hesitate to ask.