So I’m a guest on this week’s As Yet Untitled London Theatre podcast, talking about new Doctor Who Peter Capaldi’s acting CV and how the approach he’s taken to his previous roles in theatre, film and TV may – may – give us clues about how he may approach his fortchoming role of the Doctor.
Something I’ve been working on for a couple of months (longer, counting the times I had to stop and either go on to other projects, or go off and be ill) went live on The Stage website today.
Rodgers and Hammerstein in London is an audio documentary looking at how the famous musical theatre pairing’s shows have been received in London, using archive material from The Stage’s extensive archive of back issues. I was aiming for a half-hour, Radio 4-style arts programme: the finished product ended up as just over 38 minutes, but I didn’t want to edit it down any further.
The project had its genesis when the publisher of Helena Blackman’s Rodgers and Hammerstein album asked if I wanted to interview Helena about the CD, and possibly include some short clips of the musical tracks. While I didn’t mind the idea, it was a format we’d done before – and we’d also been talking about ways in which we could promote The Stage Archive, an amazing resource which stretches back as far as the paper’s first issue in 1880. So the idea moved away from a straight interview to an exploration of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s works, with Helena presenting.
Although The Sound of Music’s 1961 opening was the spur, the documentary reaches back to the late 1940s and the debut of the groundbreaking Oklahoma!, as well as coming (relatively) up to date with How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?, the reality casting show that gave Helena her first break.
It’s been good fun putting it together – I’ve been interviewing people from the Dean of Southwark Cathedral to Stephen Sondheim – but the main focus is the archive readings, which my friend, actor Adam Lilley, very generously did for me. We kept in the original idea of including extracts from Helena’s album, as it helps break up the long, talky bits with a bit of music.
For the fourth year running, _The Stage_ has joined forces with Ewan Spence and The Podcast Network to produce [The Edinburgh Fringe Podcast](http://edinburghfringe.thepodcastnetwork.com), a daily podcast covering the best in theatre and comedy from the world’s largest arts festival.
The top and tail of each show will include adverts for various parts of _The Stage’s_ publishing activities. I’ve made the first, which heads up Friday’s first full episode, to promote [The Stage Podcast](http://blogs.thestage.co.uk/podcasts/), using excerpts from some recent interviews:
* Sally Lindsay, talking with Neil Bartlett about the Manchester International Festival about _Everybody Loves a Winner_
* Arthur Smith, who talked about his autobiography, _My Name is Daphne Fairfax_
* Omid Djalili, interviewed just prior to taking over as Fagin in _Oliver!_
* Daniel Dae Kim, the star of _Lost_ who played the King of Siam in _The King and I_
* Suranne Jones, who I interviewed about Unforgiven (although the clip concerned mentions her role in Coronation Street
* And we finish with a great quote from Arthur Smith again.