Almeida Questions

Almeida Questions is an eclectic programme of pre-show discussions which consider some of the questions raised by the work on our stage. In each discussion, invited panellists dig into the key issues and ideas emerging from the show. See the upcoming discussions around our current season below

 

PAST DISCUSSIONS

THE RIGHT TO WRITE

Who owns culture? Who has the right to tell certain stories? Is imagination enough?

A panel including Oil playwright Ella HicksonVava Tampa, writer, poet and founder of Save the Congo; theatre critic Matt Trueman; British-Chinese journalist, author and speaker Xīnrán Xue and Oil’s director Carrie Cracknell discuss cultural appropriation and the right to write.

SHAKESPEARE, HISTORY, NATIONHOOD AND US

Why does history matter so much to the British? How has popular history shaped our sense of nationhood? And to whom does history belong?

Almeida Artistic Director Rupert Goold and historian Simon Schama discuss the cultural understanding of history in the 16th century, how Shakespeare's work changed this, and the ways in which his plays speak to the anxieties of a nation in crisis.

DRAMATISING POVERTY 

Does modern drama have a responsibility to put stories of disadvantage on stage and screen? Is there a danger of cultural voyeurism? To discuss, Boy playwright Leo Butler will be joined by Selina Todd (author of The People: The Rise and Fall of the Working Class, fellow and vice principal of St Hilda's College, Oxford), BAFTA and Evening Standard Award-winning playwright, Roy Williams (Sucker Punch,Days of Significance) and Policy and Research Director at The Children's Society, Dr Sam Royston. The discussion is chaired by Almeida Director of Participation, Dani Parr.

ON CHEKHOV
Almeida Associate Director Robert Icke, director of Uncle Vanya, in conversation with renowned director Katie Mitchell, who has staged ground-breaking productions of all of Chekhov's major plays, about the challenges and pleasures of working on Chekhov. 
 
ON NATURALISM

What is naturalism? How did it develop? And is it still a viable way to make theatre? Journalist Andrew Haydon, academic Dan Rebellato and playwright David Eldridge discuss the characteristics of the 19th-century movement in European theatre, whether EastEnders fits the category, and the challenges of staging “round plays in square rooms.”

 
IN CONVERSATION: RICHARD EYRE AND RUPERT GOOLD 
Almeida Artistic Director Rupert Goold in conversation with 
Sir Richard Eyre about the joys and challenges of artistic leadership; about balancing directing shows with directing an artistic programme; and about how theatre has evolved since Richard's legendary time at the National Theatre.
FROM ARISTOTLE TO ALBERT SQUARE
Guardian Chief Culture Writer Charlotte Higgins, Professor of Classics at King's College Edith Hall, acclaimed actor and director Fiona Shaw and Guardian columnist and priest Giles Fraser discuss what tragedy, in theory and in life, means to us now in the 21st century.
FROM MEDEA TO MUMSNET
Novelist and writer of our production of Medea,Rachel Cusk is joined by broadcaster and author Polly Vernon and the editor of Mumsnet, Sarah Crown to discuss why Medea is such an incendiary figure and what her story asks of contemporary feminism.
FROM DIONYSOS TO DAWKINS
What if a god were alive among us now? Almeida Artistic Director 
Rupert Goold takes a closer look at the Athenian understanding of the divine and its effect on us now, with the broadcaster Joan Bakewell and Professor of Christian Origins at King's College Dr Joan Taylor.
FROM ATREUS TO PISTORIUS
Is it ever acceptable to kill? Almeida Associate Director Robert Icke, philosopher A.C. Grayling and Cambridge English Lecturer Dr Jennifer Wallace ask whether the end can ever justify the means.
WHY GREEKS MATTER
Three of the world's leading directors of classical work, Rupert GooldIvo van Hove 
and Deborah Warner explore why these texts remain, and should remain, central to the ongoing practice of theatre makers and audiences.