BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

24 September 2014
BBC NorfolkBBC Norfolk

BBC Homepage
Junior Football
Message Board
Video Nation
Sense of Place
In Pictures
BBC Local Radio
Site Contents 

Contact Us

You are in: Norfolk » Going Out » Stage

22 October 2002 1648 BST
West comes to the east
PIc: Timothy West in King Lear.
Timothy West: In a rage as King Lear

One of Britain's best-known actors, Timothy West, is also the president of the Norwich Playhouse.

Lyn McKinney caught up with him when he came to the city to star in King Lear.

Graphic: speaker.Hear Timothy West's interview
(Real 28K 3'00")

Use the BBC Webwise guide to downloading realplayer
Norwich Playhouse
Norwich City News: Playhouse future secured

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites


What do you think about the funding of the arts?

Have your say, e-mail

King Lear review

Ian Ogilvy interview

Jonathan Wilkes & Daniel MacPherson interview

Theatre guide
Norwich Playhouse,
St George's Street,
Tel: 01603 612580
Fax: 01603 617728
print friendly version of this page.View print friendly version of this page

The Norwich Playhouse opened in 1995 and has recently received a £325,000 loan from the city council to help secure its future.

Timothy West, a former artistic director at the Old Vic in Bristol, talks about his role in King Lear and how he hopes the government will provide more funding to councils for arts projects.

Is King Lear the part every actor aspires to after Hamlet?

It's very rewarding and very infuriating because every night you feel like you're climbing an enormous mountain and sometimes you get half-way up and other times you're just in the foothills.

Pic: Timothy West.
Timothy West in the English Touring Theatre's King Lear

It would be nice to do it seven times a week with the same sort of perfect performance - but there's no such thing.

Today you're at the Norwich Playhouse.

It's lovely to be back.

What is it that you like about the playhouse?

When Henry Burke built it with a lot of advice from different people he was after an adaptable stage which would do for about the right number of people in a very nice setting by the river with a little courtyard.

It was originally designed as a producing theatre - what we used to call a rep - but that didn't work.

Possibly there are too many theatres in Norwich, with the Royal at one end of the scale and the Maddermarket at the other.

Maybe it wasn't necessary to have a professional repertory theatre, which we thought might be needed.

But it does very well at what it does at the moment, which is take shows for one or two night visits. A great variety of things: jazz concerts, plays, little musicals.

The playhouse has been loaned money by the city council to lift the weight of responsibility of debt.
Is there anything which you think the government could do to ease the situation of theatres?

Yes, I think they could. I think if there was some sort of mandatory provision to local authorities for the arts - which there never has been, it's up to local authorities to find their own pennies - that would ease things enormously.

It would have to be under control and it would be. You can't just have people sprouting up things which are fun for them.

But for a project like this, it is wonderful that we've been let off the accumulated debt which was bound to occur.

jump to homepage.
jump to going_out index.
send an e-mail to the BBC website for Norfolk.
jump to top of page.
More Stage »
Picture: Hippodrome Circus: link.

Hippodrome Circus summer show

New season announced at Theatre Royal

Puppet-making workshops

Get into going out
- enjoy the celebrity interviews, archive of reviews and theatre guide.

In Entertainment »
Get into going out in Norfolk: link
Discover a world of entertainment in Norfolk.

In Kids »
Graphic: Kids' astronomy: link
Reach for the stars and explore space with our local astronomer.

In Nature

Graphic: British Isles: A Natural History: link
Take a Walk Through Time at Whitlingham Country Park.

In Fun Stuff »

View Broads webcam: link

Take a virtual trip on the Broads with our mobile webcam.

In Local News »
Graphic: BBC News: link

Trains cancelled as works over-run

Garden digs to reveal Roman secrets

Man arrested over attempted robbery


BBC Norfolk website
The Forum
Millennium Plain

Telephone: 01603 617411
Fax: 01603

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy