Interviews

Dexter Dias: ‘Justice is collective therapy’

This piece was originally published by The Justice Gap.   Dexter Dias is never more than a few sentences away from a thought experiment. This is one of them: You’re watching a game between two players, Maria and Denise. They can’t see you, but you can see them. You enjoy the competition as they try to outwit each other, some rounds going Maria’s way, others won by Denise. Then, something changes. Out of Denise’s sight, Maria hits a button. The game becomes skewed, and Maria starts to win every round. You watch for a while, as the cheat prospers, and then you’re told you can leave. On the way out, you’re given £10 for your time. You’re then asked if you want to give £2 back to even the game up. Chances are, so the experiments tell us, you’ll hand over the money. ‘That tells us something very important,’ argues Dias. …

Here, There, Gone: An Interview with Sir Nicholas Hytner

Nicholas Hytner’s Othello was so good I saw it twice.  It’s not the first time Sir Nick has wowed the critics.  And I somehow doubt it will be the last as I wait outside his office, fallen into an appropriately gelatinous state to accompany the close English summer heat.  I perch comfortably, staring at black-and-white action shots of hit after hit: Adrian Lester in Henry V, Simon Russell Beale in Much Ado About Nothing, James Corden in One Man, Two Guv’nors.  If there’s such thing as a grammar of theatre, Hytner is fluent in it. These days, he needs little introduction: the Cambridge alumnus who arrived at the National Theatre in 1990 via the English National Opera, the Leeds Playhouse and the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester has become one of Britain’s most well-respected directors.  One bookshelf in his office hosts a glass poster for One Man, Two Guv’nors; another …

An Interview with Peter Hitchens: Shouting into the Wind

“I didn’t arrange that,” Peter Hitchens blushes.  A stranger has just told him of her appreciation for everything he stands for and, for once, he’s been caught off guard, disarmed by praise.  The stone wall of rhetoric, dogmatic conviction and obduracy against which I’ve been fighting an attritional struggle for the past hour is felled in an instant.  And I can’t help feeling relieved. We’re in Starbucks showing our solidarity with their tax avoidance – well, Hitchens is.  “I’m a very bad interviewer,” he opens, slipping into the rich baritone of the ‘Hitchens’ voice that so melodiously beguiles and bewitches, “partly because I’m usually more interested in myself than the other person.”  And he has reason to be.  After all, Peter Hitchens is a hell of a lot more interesting than most other people; I’ll give him that.  Columnist and blogger for The Mail on Sunday; author of five books …