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year. with his production of Hamlet. which pleased and shocked audiences in equal measures. ‘It‘s an amazing piece of literature.‘ says Clifford. of (‘r’lesrinrr ‘I came across it when I was a student. and you can trace back to it. if you want to. the origins of both the modern novel. and the modern

theatre.‘ This observation is typical of his real passion for

theatre. and one of the reasons he has managed to avoid compromising his work to make it more commercially attractiye. Instead he draws out the basic themes underlying complex stories to create theatre that is both exciting and reley'ant. ‘()ne of the main themes of the original story was the corrosive and destructive effect that money has on human relationships. and that's obyiously still as aliy‘e an issue now as it was 500 years ago. It's going to be a really amazing play and a very experimental piece of work as well. because we had no way of knowing before we started quite how it was going to turn out.

Does all this amount to something of a renaissance. perhaps'.’ ‘()h. certainly I think things are changing] Clifford

says. with no hint or suggestion of any unyoiced thoughts of

his haying been largely neglected on home territory for so long. ‘Things like the International Festiy'al giye people a great opportunity to do something different. This is the fifth

show that I‘ve had at the Elli and I don‘t think that‘s true of

any other writer. so if that‘s a record it‘s one I'm Very proud of. And I also have another production on this year. at the Fringe. It‘s an Italian translation of Losing IZ'Itir‘r’. a play about war and low which is being staged for the first time

since the original in I985 - which is extraordinary. really. But at a reading of it at the 'I‘ray'erse last year I was surprised and proud to find that the play really hasn‘t dated at all. So. I‘m not complainingf

I'nlike many writers. (‘liffor'd has retained his passion for

theatre and its ability to entertain and arouse emotions in people without recourse to commercialism. But. like the lucky few whose work goes on to be afforded recognition by posterity. his career path has been a steady. pt'tigl'essly‘c‘ and meaningful one. If you missed (‘lifford‘s first 'oy'ernight success' nearly two decades ago. be sure to catch it this time around.

King’s Theatre, 473 2000, 16-24 Aug (not 22), 7.30pm; 19, 21, 24 Aug, 2.30pm, 223-26.

Calixto Bieito (above) directs rehearsals for Celestina, which stars Kathryn Hunter (far left, left and top), as well as Neil McKinven, one of Scotland‘s premier actors


V I Born Aikaterinl Hadjipateras of Greek parents in New York, Kathryn Hunter is an actress known for the seriousness of her approach to work. Film lovers will have spotted her in such acclaimed British arthouse films as All or Nothing, Simon Magus and Orlando. but she's far more of a legend in the theatre. Her portrayal of an autistic child in Lee Hall's Spoonface Steinberg was a legend of the late 908. while her Richard III in last year's all female version at the Globe was also acclaimed. Intense research combines with instinct to give her a dimension many actors lack. while her background with Complicite‘ gives her work a strong

physical dimension.