Tributes paid to director Michael Bogdanov
The director, who founded the English Shakespeare Company in the '80s, has died aged 78
Welsh theatre director Michael Bogdanov, renowned for his interpretations of Shakespeare's work, has died aged 78.
His publicist, who confirmed he suffered a heart attack on Sunday, said his approach to theatre was to make it "political, accessible, joyous and transformative".
Bogdanov, who trained at Trinity College, Dublin and the BBC, directed eight productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company including The Taming of the Shrew which earned him the the Society of West End Theatres Award (now Oliviers) for Director of the Year.
Over the course of his career, he worked extensively at the National Theatre, and directed the 1980 production of Howard Brenton's The Romans in Britain. The production saw Bogdanov taken to court by religious morality campaigners over a scene depicting homosexual rape, but the prosecution was unsuccessful.
In the '80s, he went on to found the English Shakespeare Company, along with actor Michael Pennington. The pair wanted to present Shakespeare's work on an international level, and their 1987 production of The War of the Roses went on to play across Europe, Asia and the US.
He was also a keen fan of the poet Dylan Thomas. A member of the Dylan Thomas Society, he collected memorabilia and produced a version of the play Under Milk Wood which toured the world. To mark the centenary of Thomas' birth in 2014, Bogdanov produced a 36-hour reading of all of Dylan's work in the poet's home city of Swansea.
Bogdanov was also a prolific producer and director for television, working on over 120 productions.
In more recent times, Bogdanov worked extensively in Germany, directing productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream, The King's Speech and Warten auf Godot.
There will be a memorial service remembering Bogdanov in London at a later date.
RIP Michael Bogdanov.— Stephen Unwin (@RoseUnwin) April 17, 2017
His and Michael Pennington's ESC paved the way for my ETT.
Petruchio on a motorbike.
Very sad to hear of the death of Michael Bogdanov. Had the honour of working with him on The Thorn Birds musical few years back. RIP Bodger.— Kieran Brown (@Kierbro) April 17, 2017
We're very sad to hear that Michael Bogdanov has passed away, one of the giants of British theatre.— Sherman Theatre (@ShermanTheatre) April 18, 2017
A bold, ambitious and brilliant director (and co-founder of the National Theatre Cricket Team). Michael Bogdanov, 1938-2017. pic.twitter.com/ejZuL7uRCD— National Theatre (@NationalTheatre) April 18, 2017
Michael Bogdanov has died. His shows made Shakespeare feel like our contemporary. He directed the first production of The Romans in Britain.— Samuel West (@exitthelemming) April 18, 2017
Michael Bogdanov founded the National Theatre cricket team. Provocative on the stage, chaotic on the pitch, hilarious in the dressing room— John Langley (@jlangley99) April 18, 2017