To celebrate the centenary of Arthur Miller’s birth, director and Professor of Theatre at the University of Bolton David Thacker is hosting two days of intimate and exclusive discussions about the life and work of the esteemed American playwright responsible for The Crucible, A View from the Bridge, and All My Sons.
The celebration events on Friday 30 and Saturday 31 October will include screenings of Miller’s work, lectures from David Thacker and other expert guest-speakers. Audiences will also enjoy live performance extracts from professional actors, directed by David Thacker on the Octagon stage.
Friday’s events are free. Saturdays are £10 for the full day, £5 students. You need to book for all events.
Full booking details and timings are on our events webpages
A full day of lectures, film, theatre and discussion will take place at Bolton Library and Museum
Friday’s events include David Thacker’s inaugural lecture on Arthur Miller’s Broken Glass, his first lecture as Professor of Theatre at the University of Bolton. David Thacker directed the British premiere of Broken Glass (and the world premiere of the final authorised text of the play) at the National Theatre in 1994. During this time he worked closely with Arthur Miller on the script and has a unique insight into the play’s development.
David Thacker will host ‘An Investigation into Arthur Miller’ and will be accompanied by novelist and Professor of American Studies, Christopher Bigsby, who wrote the internationally celebrated two-volume biography Arthur Miller. Christopher Bigsby, who was a close friend and student of Arthur Miller and has worked closely with David on his plays since 1985, was gifted numerous boxes of unseen material by Miller just prior to his death in 2005, the contents of which contributed to a thorough and illuminating biography.
David Thacker’s long and valuable working relationship with Arthur Miller began when he first directed An Enemy of the People at the Young Vic in 1985. Miller’s adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s powerful play, An Enemy of the People, about the importance – and the cost – of standing up for what is right, as opposed to what is popular, was originally translated into American-English; a style unsuitable for an Anglo-English production. David’s powerful and gripping production of the play is currently running at the Octagon, to strong reviews.
Speaking of that time, David said: ‘He agreed to let us have the rights to do it and that’s when I started on my Arthur Miller adventure. Our relationship began with these very stimulating telephone conversations about the nuances of the text. As these conversations progressed, we spoke at length about casting. Later, rehearsals for Two Way Mirror coincided with the West End run of An Enemy of the People and Arthur decided to come see the show and spend a week in rehearsals.
‘It was a great privilege to work with Arthur Miller, to get to know him, to understand what his artistic priorities were, to discover how his plays work and to work closely with him. I think for many of us who had that opportunity it’s the most precious thing in our professional lives.’
Born in Harlem in 1915, Miller became a prolific playwright and essayist, receiving the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Death of a Salesman in 1948, less than ten years before being brought to testify before the House of Un-American Activities Committee, following the production of his politically controversial play The Crucible in 1956. His experience with the HUAC proved deeply affecting, and his heightened concern for the moral pursuit of the honest, working man was increasingly evident in his later work.
Got a news story or an upcoming event you would like including in the weekly bulletin?
Log in with your university account to tell us more ...