Thursday
Aug202009

Summoned by Betjeman

Am looking forward to playing Sir John Betjeman again in 'Summoned by Betjeman'. It's nearly three years since the play was last performed and certain areas of production and performance are to change. It's a lovely piece to perform and with more music and many fresh Betjeman insights and anecdotes being added, it should be great fun.

Friday
Aug142009

Archie Rice

Have been approached to play Archie Rice in John Osborne's 'The Entertainer'. It's a role I've wanted to play since I was in Arnold Wesker's terrific production in the 80's. I played Frank Rice and shared a dressing room with Martin Clunes, whose first job it was.

it's very tempting, but I fear there is a clash of dates on another project. My fingers and toes are crossed,

Friday
Aug142009

No Balmoral

Am hugely relieved not to be taking over from Rik Mayall in Balmoral. Due to insurance complications and probably several other things, the tour has been cancelled. Went to see it last Saturday and it was clear - in spite of the valiant performances from the company - that the production was in very deep trouble. I have my own feelings about the causes, but they're best left unsaid. I have to admit, I couldn't quite see how I could have in any way improved things.

Sadly, the last thing a theatre and a company need in this economic climate is to go dark, but a national tour is cancelled and several very talented actors are now unemployed. Hopefully not for long.

But for me...it was nice to have been asked. it's even nicer not to have had to go and do it.

Wednesday
Aug052009

In Rik Mayall's Shoes 

Have been asked to take over the role of Skinner in Michael Frayn's comedy farce 'Balmoral'. Sadly Rik Mayall has had to withdraw in the last week of rehearsals due to ill health. The play is the last production of this years Sir Peter Hall season in Bath and is due to set off on a nationwide tour followed by a possible West End run.

Rik Mayall has been a comedy hero of mine for years and the thought of trying to step into his shoes in this very difficult play fills me with dread. It's also a challenge and though I try to side step challenges a much as possible, sometimes you have to give yourself a push. I think. I trust.

I hope Rik makes a very speedy recovery and returns to centre stage 'comedy central' as soon as possible.

Wednesday
Aug052009

Sex, Drugs and Rock and Chips

Will be joining the cast of John Sullivan's Only Fools And Horses prequel set in the early 60's. Have been asked to play the pervy cinema owner Eddie Raynor. Can't say anymore for fear of being visited by the 'Television Secrets Dept' of MI5. News of the project has been met with some hostility in the comments section of the Guardian. No surprises there. How do i feel about it? It's John Sullivan. It's a terrific script. It's a job. I should be so lucky!