Gielgud - Centre Stage



Recollections of Gielgud's work in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. In the 70s he explored new territory, including roles in Edward Bond's `Bingo', Pinter's `No Man's Land', David Storey's `Home' and the radio version of Alan Bennett's `40 Years On'. In the 1980s, he won an Oscar for his role as the butler in `Arthur' and starred in the television series `Brideshead Revisted'. His work in the 90s included Kenneth Branagh's `King Lear' and `Hamlet' on radio, Peter Greenaway's film `Prospero's Books', and - his final film appearance - David Mamet's `Catastrophe'.

The Browning Version20000615

The Gielgud tribute evening continues with a look at the actor's work in the 1950s and 1960s. The 1950s saw Gielgud at Stratford with Peter Brook, in Rattigan's `The Browning Version' on radio and performing a solo tour de force in `The Ages of Man'. In the 1960s he starred in the films `Oh What a Lovely War!' and `The Charge of the Light Brigade'; on radio he was in Shaw's `Arms and the Man' and, with Ralph Richardson, `Richard II'; and he appeared on stage in Edward Albee's `Tiny Alice'.

The Secret Agent20000615

The colossus of British acting Sir John Gielgud died last month at the age of 96.

In a special tribute evening, Michael Billington traces a career in which Gielgud shaped the future of British theatre, while continually reinventing himself as a leading and character actor.

With contributions from friends and colleagues including Richard Eyre, David Hare, Alan Bennett, Michael Pennington, Felicity Kendal, Patrick Garland, Peter Hall, Irene Worth and Paul Bailey.

This first part of the tribute examines his work in the 1920s, 30s and 40s, including his first Hamlet at the Old Vic and his starring role in `The Secret Agent'.