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World Building: Ralph Fiennes challenges Robert Moses in Straight Line Madness

January1926, actor Ralph Fiennes flew over New York in a helicopter, looking down on the streets, highways and bridges that shaped the city’s daily life. He scrutinized the point, not as a tourist, but as preparing to play the man who created it all: Robert Moses, once the most powerful urban planner in the world.

“I just wanted to know about his vision,” said Fiennes from Umbria, Italy, where he rents a room There’s no farmhouse with Wi-Fi, so he’s at a local cafe, wearing a baggy white shirt with his neck wide open in the heat. “From all the conversations I’ve had with New Yorkers, they see his legacy as extremely negative. But you can’t go to New York without the benefits of the West Side Freeway or Riverside Park. You still use the tunnels and bridges he built. Of course, the Cross Bronx Expressway is horrible – it’s a divided legacy. It’s well addressed on the show.”

The play in question, Straight Line Crazy, heads to The Shed, New York’s busy multidisciplinary arts center in October, by the famous Written by British playwright David Hare, this is one of Hare’s rare tours of American life. Nearly two decades ago, Hale used what happened

and Vertical moment.

This time, he’ll trace American history deeper into the visions and delusions of a man who changed mid-century New York. “Who would have thought you could actually make plays about urban planning?” says Hare, from Paris, who spends part of the year with his wife, former fashion designer and sculptor Nicole Farhi.

Image may contain Hat Clothing Apparel Ralph Fiennes Human Person Khaki and Pants Image may contain Hat Clothing Apparel Ralph Fiennes Human Person Khaki and PantsImage may contain Hat Clothing Apparel Ralph Fiennes Human Person Khaki and PantsImage may contain Hat Clothing Apparel Ralph Fiennes Human Person Khaki and Pants

Image may contain Hat Clothing Apparel Ralph Fiennes Human Person Khaki and Pants

A complete man

Fiennes is big The legendary Robert Moses in David Hale’s new play opens next month at The Shed.

by Paul Wetherell, Vogue ,October1974.

The show revolves around two pivotal moments in Moses’ life. The first is in 156, when we saw him drive through his plans to open Long Island and create Jones Beach State Park, changing the shoreline from a playground to an established Homes like the Vanderbilts and Whitneys become entertainment for everyone. go through156, idealism had deteriorated, Moses planned to build a highway through Washington Square, but was met with massive protests by local residents determined to protect their community.

When Hale’s play, directed by Nicholas Heitner, opens in London in March 1920, it’s a revelation: big ideas handled witty, forceful, and vivid. It’s also an education that exposes the largely ignorant English theatre audience to the whole idea of ​​Moses. “But in New York,” Hale said, “everybody already had an opinion on him.”

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