Bertolt Brecht

17th June 2013 19:00
Kings Place
90 York Way, N1 9AG
A special event which explored the life and work of Bertolt Brecht, one of the most influential poetic voices of the 20th century.

Known primarily as a playwright, Brecht’s plays have had a lasting impact on how we create and experience theatre. Less well known is his status as one of the greatest German language poets of the age, whose poems reflect in a distilled way his passionate, dark and unique vision.

The event featured acclaimed poet and translator, David Constantine and Brecht expert Tom Kuhn, with wonderful live musical settings of Brecht’s poems from composer Dominic Muldowney and theatre director Di Trevis.

David Constantine has published several volumes of poetry (most recently – 2009 – Nine Fathom Deep), a novel (Davies – 1985), and four collections of short stories. He was the winner of 2010 BBC National Short Story Award. He is an editor and translator of Hölderlin, Goethe, Kleist and Brecht. With his wife Helen he edited Modern Poetry in Translation, 2003-12.

Tom Kuhn teaches modern German literature at the University of Oxford and is a Fellow of St Hugh’s College. He is one of the leading scholars of Brecht in the English-speaking world and a general editor of the main English-language Brecht edition. He has also been active as a translator. He is working, together with David Constantine, on a new English edition of Brecht’s Poems.

Di Trevis is a theatre director with many years experience at the National Theatre and the RSC. As well as plays and operas by many other writers, she has directed major productions of Brecht. For over a decade, Trevis has been teaching actors and directors in her international workshops. Between 2003 and 2007 she was Head of Directing at the Drama Centre, London.

Dominic Muldowney succeeded Harrison Birtwistle as the music director of the National Theatre, from 1981 to 1997. He is perhaps best known for his film and television scores, radio works and incidental music for the theatre. Until 2006, he was a composition teacher at the Royal Academy of Music. He has always had a particularly close relationship with the music of Hanns Eisler, whose music is featured in tonight’s programme.
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