February, 2006 Newsletter

Dear Email Friends,

We're sorry that some people could not get tickets for the final weeks of LONDON SUITE because it was sold out. Our current play, THE GLASS MENAGERIE will be playing for another seven weeks, so the best time to book tickets and avoid disappointment is right now. Call (040) 227 7089.

An anecdote from the past
In a period play we did several years ago, one of the actresses played a dainty elderly lady who moved grace-fully around the stage in a long 19th century dress. She was very convincing. During one of the scenes when she was offstage, she was waiting in her dressing room for her next appearance. Suddenly a man and his wife from the audience pushed through the “Do Not Enter” door which led to the backstage area. The man's wife could not breathe and was turning blue. Something had to be done quickly to save her life. The actress who played the delicate upper class lady suddenly turned into a sumo wrestler! She grabbed the poor woman from behind in a "Heimlich maneuver" and squeezed her with all her might. The chunk of food that had been caught in the woman's throat popped out of her mouth and she could breathe again. The actress went back on stage as if nothing had happened, and the happy couple left the theatre to recover from the woman's brush with death. The moral of this story is to chew your food thoroughly before coming to the theatre. The actress with the remarkable first aid skills is not with us this season to save your life. 

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Recent Press Clippings

Eine Gänsehaut bescherte Julie Bevan den Zuschauern. Keifend geht sie in der Rolle der Mutter auf Tom los, zetert und krakeelt, bevor sie schwer gekränkt im Sessel zusammensackt. Michael Lindley als Tom hält verbal und physisch gegen die Mutter, um ihr dann im entscheidenden Moment ganz wunderbar seine Liebe entgegenzubringen. Ganz still dagegen die schüchterne, in ihre Glastierwelt versunkene Laura. Ein großartiges Stück in einer schönen....Aufführung.

Wie der Regisseur Clifford Dean in seiner klassischen, die Psychologie der Figuren liebevoll herausarbeitenden Inszenierung überhaupt für alle Charaktere Verständnis zu wecken vermag. Trotz ihrer individuellen Konflikte und Probleme, sich gesellschaftlich zu verwirklichen, sind sie erschreckend liebenswert. Wenn auch das Lebensgefühl einer engen, kleinbürgerlichen Familie in den späten dreißiger Jahren sicherlich deprimierend war, transportiert es Regisseur Dean auf äußerst sympathische Weise.

Please help the
English Theatre of Hamburg with a tax-deductible donation, large or small.

You can find out about the benefits of sponsorship here: Sponsoring Package. Sponsoring is a two-way street. A sponsor helps the theatre, but the theatre does a lot for the sponsor as well.

Please transfer your gift to:
The English Theatre of Hamburg e.V.
Vereinsbank, Hamburg
Konto Nr.: 39 13 928 BLZ: 200 300 00

Please include your name, address, the name of your firm (if applicable) and The English Theatre's booking number: # 400.

In Memoriam
In 1985 John Newton performed in Ira Levin's comedy-thriller DEATHTRAP and John Osborne's LOOK BACK IN ANGER. It took him a while to bring the necessary fire to the leading role in DEATHTRAP, but we resorted to letting him drink a little brandy at the beginning of rehearsals. It was his idea and it worked. After a few days, he didn't need the brandy anymore. He was surprised himself that he had so much vitality. He gave an stunning performance every night. John also gave the best parties in town. He was famous for making "Blue Boys" (Blue Curaçao with a raw egg yolk). He may have added another secret ingredient. In any case there were no inhibitions after knocking back two of those harmless looking drinks. No wonder everyone had such a good time. Robert Rumpf spoke to him on the phone shortly before his death. John's deep voice resonated over the phone as he said how tired he was, that he just wanted to sleep. He was well taken care of and had no pain. He was just tired. Robert wished him sweet dreams and said good-bye for the last time.

John Newton

30th Anniversary Season
(2005 / 2006)

The Past (1976)

Here's a look back at 1976, the first year of The English Theatre of Hamburg. Remember hating a picture of yourself and then looking at it ten or twenty years later. Or even 30? The older you get, the better the picture looks. The pioneers in this picture are at the top, from left to right: John Walther and Gabi Ellis; at the bottom, l. to r.: Eloise Jaffer, Robert Rumpf, Clifford Dean and Anja Anderson. John, Gabi and Anja played in Ionesco's THE LESSON and Eloise, Gabi and Anja performed in THE MAIDS by Genet, the first two productions that laid the ground work for the next 29 years. You might expect us to break out in a song about the good old days now, but they were the very hard old days and none of us would want to start climbing this mountain again. It is much better to look down from the top of a mountain that it took thirty years to climb.

The Present (2006)

Michael Lindley as Tom and Julie Bevan as his mother, Amanda Wingfield, in Tennessee Williams' THE GLASS MENAGERIE now playing at The English Theatre of Hamburg. Tom and his mother are making a wish on the moon in this photo. Amanda wishes for "success and happiness for (her) precious children." Tom is keeping his wish a secret.

Laura (Olivia Dawnay) and her mother (Julie Bevan) are looking a picture of a young man Laura once had a crush on in high school. Laura is crippled and very shy. She stays at home where she plays old phonograph records and cares for her glass menagerie. Her mother hopes for a "Gentleman Caller" who will fall in love with her daughter and ask for her hand in marriage.

The Future (short term)

The casting process for our next production has begun. This thriller, BAD BLOOD by Richard Stockwell will be the final offering of the season. Teaching material for this play will be available on 6 March. You can use the link at the bottom of this page to download it.

We are in the process of applying for the professional rights to exciting, entertaining and thought provoking plays for our 2006/2007 Season. These plays will be announced in our April, 2006 newsletter.

...............The Future (long term)

You can look forward to the next 100 years of The English Theatre of Hamburg. If you do not plan on being here in 2106, tell your grandchildren and great grandchildren the good news. The theatre is more than the sum of its parts. It has a life of its own and, although it is the longest-running professional English theatre in Germany, it is still young, hale and hearty, and anticipates a great future. We will certainly do everything we can to sustain it, and hope you will give us some support and encouragement along the way.

Romance Department

Meriel Bradley (above) was cast in THE STAR-SPANGLED GIRL by Neil Simon in 1992. The script called for a beautiful girl. We could hardly believe our good luck when Meriel showed up at the auditions. Our Set Designer at the time, Bill Rasmussen, fell in love with her and vice versa. Bill's eyes just about popped out of his head when he first saw her. Can you blame him? When the run of the show was completed, Bill took Meriel back to Canada, his homeland, married her and they now have three young sons.

We lost a terrific Set Designer and a gorgeous actress. Meriel is now working for Canadian TV (in front of the camera, of course) and the multi-talented Bill designs websites and is, no doubt, involved in dozens of other artistic projects. We lost touch a few years ago, so we can't show you the photo that Bill sent by email of the happy family. We lost the photo and his address when we changed to new computers and new software. If anyone has the address of Mr. and Mrs. Rasmussen, please send it to us.

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