Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Funny, isn't it . . .

One of the parts my agent sent me up for in the early days when I’d only recently left RADA was for the series “A Horseman Riding By” with the BBC. A couple of days later they told my agent that they had a short list of just two of us and couldn’t decide which way to go – so they literally tossed a coin to see! Nigel Havers got it instead of me and so started his most successful career. Funny, isn’t it, the way things happen.

Monday, 28 May 2007

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Sunday, 27 May 2007

Lord Laurence Olivier

This last week has seen celebrated 100 years since the birthday of Laurence Olivier. When I was a lad he was my Hero with a very capital H. At the age of 11 I went to the cinema three times in one week and saw ‘Hamlet’, ‘Henry V’ and ‘Richard III’ and I was never quite the same thereafter - I decided totally that that was what I wanted – to be an Actor. It’s true, I did have some success and my appetite whetted when playing King Herod in the Nativity at school when I was just 7 – but Sir Laurence was my defining moment.

I well remember the very first time I saw him live. It was at the Old Vic (a theatre I was to come to love many years later from the other side of the footlights too when I played
Ratty in Alan Bennett’s “Wind in the Willows”) when I was 18 and managed to get a ticket for “Uncle Vanya” with Olivier, Max Adrian, Michael Redgrave, Sybil Thorndike, Rosemary Harris, Robert Lang etc. etc. It was a wonderful evening and when I waited at the stage door and managed to get autographs from Sir Laurence, Michael Redgrave and Rosemary Harris my evening was totally complete.