Wachtel On The Arts - Katie Mitchell
Eleanor Wachtel speaks with Katie Mitchell, an innovative theatre director committed to feminism, surrealism, and following stage directions that were meant to be impossible. The actor Benedict Cumberbatch calls her "a real European master craftswoman," a nod to Mitchell's 'auteur' approach to directing, and a style that seems rooted in the theatre of Germany and Eastern Europe, rather than her native England.
Her results are provocative -- this spring, a Katie Mitchell production at the National Theatre in London 'provoked' several audience members into fainting! -- but Mitchell's subversiveness goes beyond shocking the squeamish. Her real concerns are against patriarchy, against cosy sentiment, and for honesty and facing tough realities.
"Maybe they're just less accustomed to blood" -- Katie Mitchell on why five male audience members fainted at a recent production of Sarah Kane's play, Cleansed.
It's a busy season in London for the director. In addition to her audience-shocking production of Sarah Kane's Cleansed in April, this month brings the world premiere of Ophelias Zimmer ("Ophelia's Room"), a feminist spin on Shakespeare's Hamlet. She also directed a highly original staging of Gaetano Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor at the Royal Opera House.
VIDEO - National Theatre "Cleansed" Trailer