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This report is taken from PN Review 230, Volume 42 Number 6, July - August 2016.

Letter from Wales Sam Adams
AS PART OF ITS quatercentenary salute to Shakespeare, the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff invited Michael Bogdanov to speak on ‘The Welsh in Shakespeare’. His visit drew a large audience to the museum’s Reardon Smith Lecture Theatre, attracted by his fame as a multi-award-winning theatre director and his subject. His list of credits for theatre productions – plays, opera, musicals, and in film and television, is of such staggering length, and in so many venues worldwide, you marvel at his creative energy and how he finds time to sleep. With a lot of experience in various media behind him, mostly in Ireland, where he had graduated from Trinity College, Dublin, he joined the RSC in 1970 as assistant director on a production that transformed the presentation of Shakespeare on stage, Peter Brook’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. (I saw it on tour at the New Theatre, Cardiff, and it remains the most exciting, most memorable, theatrical experience of my life.) He has been a disciple of Brook, dedicating himself, he says, to making Shakespeare politically relevant to people today, and viewing each directorial challenge as ‘like reading a detective story, piecing clues together, never taking anything for granted, ignoring received opinion’.

Throughout his international career Michael Bogdanov has maintained a connection with Wales, including a lengthy commitment, 2003–2009, as artistic director of the Wales Theatre Company, which had its home in Swansea. The location was a fitting choice for one born just down the road in Neath, to a Welsh mother and a Jewish father whose own boyhood was spent ...


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