During her visit to the Brooklyn Academy of Music with the Abbey Theatre's production of Ibsen's "John Gabriel Borkman", Fiona Shaw discusses taking on one point of this lesser-known play's unromantic triangle and links her work with co-stars Alan Rickman and Lindsay Duncan back to their membership in the Royal Shakespeare Company 25 years ago. She also talks about having to get a degree in philosophy before she was allowed to enroll at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art; her quick leap from RADA to the stage of the National Theatre in "The Rivals" -- and why she stayed too long; the unique confluence of talents that came together at the RSC during her time there; her ongoing collaboration with director Deborah Warner and the uproars that accompanied their productions of Beckett's "Footfalls" and Shakespeare's "Richard II"; why she spent a lot of time as "Hedda Gabler" rearranging the furniture; how she finds modern equivalencies in the great tragedies like "Medea" and "Electra"; her first encounter with Chekhov, doing "The Seagull" under the director Peter Stein, and how the rehearsal process at Stein's Italian home influenced the production; how she and Warner were permitted to do Beckett's "Happy Days" after being "banned for life" from Beckett's work 13 years prior; how she approached T.S. Eliot's poem "The Waste Land" as a theatrical text; and the great fun she had throwing off her tragedian's mantle to appear in "London Assurance" with Simon Russell Beale. Original air date - February 9, 2011.
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