Saturday, August 23, 2008

Playing Tag ...

Strange game for grown people ...

However, seeing as El Geek has set the challenge I will go, so far, with it ... with a difference:

1) My first 'big' role in a school play (apart from doing 'all' the singing in earlier productions) was as Oberon - and Theseus ... and my costume was on hire from the RSC - as worn originally by ...Ian Richardson, I am not sure - but I think it was the one worn in the production Judy Dench played Titania and Helen Miren one of the lovers - so my costume 'big' resonance.

2) My mother, when she was at school, had stared in a performance of 'Midsummer Nights Dream' as Titania ... and was on her way to being a professional until struck down with TB. She always claimed to have been pushed in her pram by a young Charlie Chaplin and his brother Sid - but after she died we discovered it wasn't her but her older sister, Madge, who had that honour ... my grandmother, also invalided off the stage ran a 'guest house' for Music Hall performers in Manchester.

Her 'god father' was George Robey, the Prime Minister of Mirth which sort of compensates for her claiming more of a connection than she really had to greatness ... I of course would never dream of doing such a thing!

3) Willy Russell once described my acting as being, 'like that of Orson Welles' - he described me as a 'King Actor' ... and then added the somewhat deflationary, 'not necessarily good, but certainly big.' That was at a time he was casting his play, 'Blodd Brothers' first productin in Australia ... which eventually included Russel Crowe in the cast.

4) I attended the first ever public performance at the New London Globe - quite by accident. I was on holiday in London and had heard the place was opening ... went along with a friend to see it and they were selling tickets ... so, we bought a couple for the yard and that was it ... i was one of many, my friend, the first Romanian ever to see a production at the Globe!

5) When I was training to be a teacher I did my teaching practice in 'Mirfield', which is in Yorkshire - and many would regard it as the armpit of England. It is a town with two famous inhabitants .. one, the Yorkshire Ripper ... the other Patrick Stewart. He, as you may be aware, has gone on to greater things ... although I did teach at the school he attended, it was some time after he left - and no one knew in the school just what a star they had on their hands.

6) And a final Shakespeare (not spectacular) Farrar experience - Hamlet (above) is being played by Doctor Who ... the actor who played the Doctor before, Christopher Eccleston was taught drama by the boy (grown to man) who played Lysander in the production of The Dream I appeared in at school ... he also went on to teach the most recent 'Othello' at the RSC.

Small world isn't it ...

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