Michael C. Hall on Making His London Stage Debut in Lazarus

first_img Michael C. Hall is known for his award-winning work on TV’s Six Feet Under and Dexter but has been returning to the theater with increasing regularity of late, whether as one of Broadway’s Hedwigs or leading the starry ensemble of Will Eno’s The Realistic Joneses. He is currently making his London stage debut reprising the iconic part of Thomas Newton in director Ivo van Hove’s production of Lazarus. The David Bowie-scored musical, co-written by Bowie and Enda Walsh, is now previewing prior to a November 8 opening at the King’s Cross Theatre, so Hall was well placed to talk about picking up a part he played to acclaim off-Broadway last season.What is it like returning to the role of the resident alien Thomas Newton after the better part of a year away?This is something I’ve never really done before, and I was very curious as to how it would feel. What I’ve found is that the piece has been recontextualized doing it here in London and also, of course, by our performing it and [the audience] seeing it informed by David [Bowie’s] passing. [Bowie died in January, not long before the end of the off-Broadway run.]Did you expect an onward life for the production, once it finished at New York Theatre Workshop?Yeah, from the time of our opening there was talk of it having a life beyond the Workshop and that was something on all of our radars back then. When we did it for the last time [in New York], I very much had the sense that I wasn’t saying goodbye.How does it feel to have been described in this musical as “Bowie’s representative on earth”?I suppose it makes sense that someone would make that connection. I mean, talk about something beyond your wildest dreams!Has the show itself been changed by Bowie’s too-early passing, at the age of 69?On the surface nothing has changed: we’re still executing the piece that David initiated, and he was very much involved in its development. But inevitably there’s a sense of his presence as it pervades the piece and its message, whether implicit or explicit, is that much more potent now that he’s left us. It’s as if his presence is all the more palpable since he died.Did you have to prep for the role afresh?Well, I certainly made sure that I started singing more regularly and that I got the particular songs back in the groove of my voice, and then we had four weeks’ rehearsal to put it back together. A good amount of time had passed, but not so much time that I wasn’t still very pleased to discover that I had it in my muscle memory.Am I right that you’ve shaved your arms?I have! That’s something I did: nobody requested that. When I look down and see my hairless arms, it looks more like alien flesh to me.Do you agree with those who find the show’s tale of “the man who fell to earth,” to quote the title of the Bowie film that inspired Lazarus, to be “cryptic”?I feel that for Thomas Newton the piece is arguably all happening within the confines of his head and within the confines of his imagination and that he is not in complete control of those faculties, so the unfolding story and action of the piece are surprising and mysterious to him. If that makes [the show] “cryptic” from night to night, then that surely is appropriate. I’ve resisted the temptation to pin anything down so that I can allow what happens every performance to be continually and newly surprising.Has there been any confusion about what the audience thinks it’s coming to see—a David Bowie jukebox musical perhaps?I think there are people who come having no sense of what they’re going to see and inevitably—because this in many cases is known as “the David Bowie musical”—make inferences that are way off base.On a vocal level, how does this part compare, for instance, with the glam-rock challenges of playing Hedwig?It’s different. Hedwig is unique and I think from a physical standpoint was as comprehensively challenging as anything I’ve done: vocally, emotionally, cardiovascularly. This, in turn, requires a different kind of concentration insofar as everything is conjured by my character’s experience. And I do have seven numbers. I definitely need to get my rest.Is it difficult to come down, as it were, after each performance?It’s draining and exhilarating—an exhilarating drain. I step into the shower and wash off my milk—spoiler alert! [laughs]—and that kind of helps re-set everything. I certainly don’t struggle to fall asleep at night.Don’t you feel that David Bowie would have totally got the world of Hedwig?Very much so. I think if you made a list of the people to whom Hedwig owes a debt, Bowie would be first on the list, in terms of the glam sensibility and also the musical sensibility. “The Origin of Love,” which is the seed from which the whole of Hedwig and the Angry Inch grew, sounds like a Bowie song.Did you revisit the 1976 Nicholas Roeg-directed film that gave rise to Lazarus?I watched [The Man Who Fell to Earth] for the first time around 2005 and then again when we were in rehearsals in New York and yet again at the London Film Festival here when they had a new print of it. I was perplexed by the film when I first saw it, but it remains of its time in terms of the way it was shot and the drug-fueled atmosphere of the creatives. If nothing else, it’s such a wonderful chance to get an up-close look at Bowie at the height of his powers.How familiar were you with the London theater?It’s somewhat new to me, though not entirely. The first time I came [to London] was in eighth grade on a school-sponsored trip with my mother. She managed to get us tickets to the hot musical in town, which was Starlight Express. I remember sitting in the top balcony seriously jetlagged and every time I would start to nod off, these roller skaters would come whizzing by.Have you long had a desire to appear here on stage?I always loved the idea of finding a way to work here, and I couldn’t think of a better way to do it than via this sort of posthumous homecoming.Didn’t you make your Broadway debut in a British play?I was the understudy for Christian Camargo in Skylight [the David Hare play, first seen in New York in 1996], but I never went on. I would just call in at the theater each night at 7 30 and watch The Simpsons. That was the job that got me my Equity card and to sit in that theater and watch [leading man] Michael Gambon stalk that stage remains a highlight of my life: it was so incredible. I did later get to do the part in L.A. with Brian Cox and Laila Robins.Are you looking to increase the amount of theater you do now that you’re no longer in a TV series?I never planned to do 13 consecutive seasons of TV, which is what I did with five seasons of Six Feet Under followed by eight of Dexter and I had been acting more or less exclusively onstage before that. It was only when I got the chance to do The Realistic Joneses that I reactivated that love, that appreciation, for the theater and the immediacy of that experience. I certainly like to imagine that there will be further opportunities for me in other mediums, but the theater has always felt like home.How does it feel to be opening your show on Election Day—and away from home?I thought it might be odd, but with the internet, everything is so accessible and all the information is right there. I think, too, that Brexit has made the British perhaps less inclined to be pompous about what’s happening in the US. Besides, whatever happens on Tuesday isn’t the ending of something, it’s only the beginning—though I hope not. Michael C. Hall in ‘Lazarus'(Photo: Jan Versweyveld) View Commentslast_img read more

Global investment in wind and solar doubles that in gas, nuclear, and coal

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Wall Street Journal:Global spending on renewable energy is outpacing investment in electricity from coal, natural gas and nuclear power plants, driven by falling costs of producing wind and solar power.More than half of the power-generating capacity added around the world in recent years has been in renewable sources such as wind and solar, according to the International Energy Agency.In 2016, the latest year for which data is available, about $297 billion was spent on renewables—more than twice the $143 billion spent on new nuclear, coal, gas and fuel oil power plants, according to the IEA. The Paris-based organization projects renewables will make up 56% of net generating capacity added through 2025.Once supported overwhelmingly by cash-back incentives, tax credits and other government incentives, wind- and solar-generation costs have fallen consistently for a decade, making renewable-power investment more competitive.Renewable costs have fallen so far in the past few years that “wind and solar now represent the lowest-cost option for generating electricity,” said Francis O’Sullivan, research director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Energy Initiative.Sustained government support in Europe and other developed economies spurred the development of renewable energy. But costs have fallen for other reasons. China invested heavily in a domestic solar-manufacturing industry, creating a glut of inexpensive solar panels. Innovation helped manufacturers build longer wind-turbine blades, creating machines able to generate substantially more power at a lower cost.Renewable-energy plants also face fewer challenges than traditional power plants. Nuclear-power plants have been troubled by mostly technical delays, while plants burning fossil fuels face regulatory uncertainties due to concerns about climate change. And pension funds, seeking long-term stable returns, have invested heavily in wind farms and solar parks, allowing developers to get cheaper financing.“It is just easier to get renewables built,” said Tony Clark, a former member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. “There is that much less opposition to it.”More ($): Global Investment in Wind and Solar Energy Is Outshining Fossil Fuels Global investment in wind and solar doubles that in gas, nuclear, and coallast_img read more

Catherine Byrne: Palliative care a kindly end-of-life right

first_imgNZ Herald 24 June 2017Family First Comment: From a palliative care specialist who knows…“All the genuine and compassionate reasons people have for being in favour of euthanasia can be met by good palliative care and that removes the obligation for doctors – till now only concerned with enhancing life – to instead be responsible for killing people.”www.rejectassistedsuicide.org.nz• Dr Catherine Byrne is a Tauranga GP who has worked at Waipuna Hospice for 15 years. She is married and has four children. The June 10 Weekend Herald published an article by Matt Vickers, husband of Lecretia Seales, who died last year, shortly before the Health Select Committee set up an inquiry to investigate the issue of assisted dying.The article was headed by a big, beautiful and evocative photograph of the pair on their wedding day.For reasons of privacy it is not possible to publish pictures of the many people who have been helped by the care and attention they have received at Waipuna Hospice, but as a doctor who has worked there for many years, I felt I could not let this article go past without pointing out that euthanasia is not the only answer to the serious concerns people have about the end of life, nor is it the most compassionate.Death, even from cancer or other frightening diseases, does not have to be “lonely, violent and concealed from family”, nor does it have to be “excruciatingly painful”, as Governor Jerry Brown fears. The whole point of the hospice movement is to prevent those very things, by excellent medical care and by warm, compassionate psychological and social support.There is no need to legislate for euthanasia to initiate “frank and honest conversations about death” – we have these conversations every day with people at the hospice. As Vickers points out, having those conversations brings comfort and relief to people previously afraid to articulate their fears.There is no need for anyone who receives good palliative care to die in excruciating pain; nor to die with loss of autonomy or dignity. Palliative care practitioners, from nurses and doctors to cooks and cleaners, spend their whole working lives doing everything they can to prevent any suffering at the end of life, and most people who have had contact with a hospice would support that statement. The way forward with difficult deaths should be to encourage the Government to ensure every single New Zealander who needs it has access to ever-better palliative care services.Opponents of euthanasia are not “religious zealots”, primarily concerned with “vulnerable, passive victims”. They are people who care about the value of all lives, including the disabled, the mentally ill, the very young, the very old and, most of all, the very sick.Based on my own experience, the people who ask for euthanasia are not those who are in an agony of pain – that has been dealt with by good medicine. They are articulate, intelligent men and women who fear they will be a financial and emotional burden to their family and friends.The Oregon data, which Vickers quotes, shows that 61 per cent of people requesting euthanasia stated “being a burden” as their main reason for doing so. At the moment, they cannot kill themselves legally, but if they could no amount of “protective legislation” would be able to prevent them. As it is we are able to help them physically and emotionally and allow them to reach a place where they see how precious the time they all have left together can be to their family and to themselves.Vickers states how delighted Lecretia would have been to see David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill drawn from the ballot. This bill requests legalised euthanasia not just for those dying from a terminal illness but for anyone with “a grievous and irremediable condition who experiences unbearable suffering that cannot be relieved in a manner they consider tolerable”. This would cover just about anything from cancer to severe arthritis.With such weak criteria, anyone suffering from anything would be entitled to take their case to the Court of Human Rights to say they were being discriminated against if they were NOT allowed to be considered for assisted suicide. In Oregon in 2013, 17 per cent of those completing euthanasia did not have a terminal illness at all but suffered from chronic disease such as diabetes and depression. In Belgium the percentage of deaths due to euthanasia is rising by 15 per cent every year and already constitutes 2 per cent of all deaths – and legislation there now allows euthanasia for babies and young children as well as consenting adults.READ MORE: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?objectid=11880452&ref=twitterKeep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more

Battle : Franklin and Marshall coach Robinson’s storied career influenced by UNC great Smith

first_img Comments Published on February 28, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Chris: cjiseman@syr.edu | @chris_iseman Sitting in his room at the Carolina Inn 35 years ago, Glenn Robinson spent hours scribbling down every piece of advice he was given in a conversation he almost couldn’t believe took place. A young coach at the time, he didn’t want to forget anything.The opportunity to spend a night asking Dean Smith questions about coaching may not ever come again.‘I made very few notes while I was sitting there talking to him,’ Robinson said. ‘But I stayed up almost all night writing down everything I said and what I learned during that time.’Whatever Smith said took effect on Robinson, who was only about five years into his own head coaching career at Franklin and Marshall College. Thirty-five years later, the advice ingrained in his mind, Robinson sits as the career wins leader in Division III with an 804-301 record. Robinson is one of the most successful coaches in NCAA basketball history, and when he thinks about how he got to this point, that conversation plays a pivotal part.Those two hours Robinson spent with Smith taught him more about coaching than he learned in his life up until that point. They sat on the floor of the hotel, Robinson asking questions he knew were general and far beneath the level of Smith’s knowledge. But with every one of those easy, general questions came a response only a coaching legend could come up with.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘I really wasn’t smart enough to ask a better question the right way,’ Robinson said. ‘But I was smart enough to realize what was happening. That he was answering these questions like three and four levels beyond what I asked. And it was just unbelievable.’Robinson soaked in the information and picked Smith’s brain as best he could. At one point, Robinson asked how many players he should keep on a team. The obvious answer was 15 because that’s how many scholarships teams offered at the time. Instead, Smith told him any beyond eight better be great kids who would hustle in practice knowing they wouldn’t get much playing time.The conversation capped off a four-day trip to North Carolina, where Robinson watched Smith coach the Tar Heels during practices. But speaking to him one-on-one without interruptions was where Robinson learned the most. Robinson took those notes that listed as much of the advice as he could remember and added it to his own career.‘I’ve done it for the past 35 years, so I don’t think I need to consciously think of it,’ Robinson said. ‘Whenever anybody asks me about it, I remember it vividly.’He might not have to think about it, but it’s as much a part of his success as the games and players themselves. And when it comes to the players, they know they have to give Robinson everything they have because it’s what he demands. In a lot of ways, it’s been a challenge for the Diplomat teams he’s coached since 1971.Junior guard Georgio Milligan said it’s not always the easiest thing to play for Robinson because it’s a struggle to meet his expectations. Those demands separate the players who see playing time and the ones who sit on the bench.‘If you’re not performing to what you’re capable of, you’re not going to play,’ Milligan said. ‘All the yelling and the criticism, it’s constructive. So if you don’t take it and get the gist of what he’s saying besides the yelling, it’s pretty easy to fall to the sideline and not even want to play anymore.’Robinson’s lifestyle, though, doesn’t match his coaching style. The man who screams at his players in practice lives in a farmhouse down a small road about 30 minutes outside Lancaster, Pa.When he brought the Diplomats to his house after the season a couple of years ago, forward James McNally couldn’t believe what his coach calls home. Seeing Robinson, one of the most well-known people in the area, living on a farm in what felt like the middle of nowhere was far from what he expected.‘I think that was the funniest moment. … Coach lives like a half an hour away in a lot of wide-open land,’ McNally said. ‘I wasn’t expecting that way out there.’On the court during practice, there’s nothing laid-back about Robinson. Like Smith, Robinson knows every player has to earn game time. So every player on Robinson’s teams, especially beyond the eighth, has to maximize his potential. It’s that advice that Smith gave him manifesting itself in Robinson-run practices.It’s worked for 40 years. But when Robinson thinks back over all those winning seasons, those two hours with Smith is what stand out. With every win, that conversation becomes more meaningful.Robinson knows exactly how much Smith’s words led to what transpired in the ensuing 35 years.‘I remember at the time, while I appreciated it,’ Robinson said, ‘I didn’t appreciate it to the magnitude to which I do now.’cjiseman@syr.educenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

England Women Managerial Job: Interim Replacement For Sacked Sampson Revealed

first_imgRelatedNew Manager Announces First Squad Ahead Of France FriendlyOctober 11, 2017In “Features”Nigerian-Born Player To Give Evidence On English FA At An InquiryOctober 4, 2017In “England”Everton New Owners Wants Diego SimeoneNovember 8, 2017In “Europe” England women U-19 coach, Mo Marley, is set to be appointed as the interim manager for the Three Lionesses of England on Friday as replacement for the sacked Mark Sampson.Marley, a former captain for both England and Everton, will oversee the team’s next three games. The matches include next month’s friendly with France and the World Cup qualifiers against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kazakhstan in November.50-year old Marley had earlier assisted former England manager Hope Powell and also previously had a spell as Everton Ladies coach.Immediate past manager Mark Sampson paid the ultimate price with his job after he was dismissed on September 20 following the emergence of evidence that showed “inappropriate and unacceptable” behaviour with female players in a former role.last_img read more