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Uncategorized November 2, 2016

SUPERSONIC SHERLOCK AND SPECIAL OFFER

In the early 1990s, I played Sherlock Holmes in a series commissioned in the US by National Public Radio and produced in the UK by Independent Radio Drama Productions. In one story, ‘The Greek Interpreter’, I also played Holmes’s elder brother Mycroft. The episodes were available as inflight entertainment on Concorde. So I can boast

Uncategorized October 28, 2016

OLD TALES AND GILDED BUTTERFLIES

Beautiful and bright it should be on the surface, feathery and evanescent, one colour melting into another like the colours on a butterfly’s wing; but beneath the fabric must be clamped together with bolts of iron. Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse The formalized early 20th-century depictions of the Battle of Lewes, glimpsed in the film,

Uncategorized October 27, 2016

HOWARD DAVIES (1945-2016)

I was sad to hear on the news that the director Howard Davies has died; he was only 71. I worked with him on David Mercer’s No Limits to Love back in the days of the RSC’s Warehouse Theatre (now the Donmar), which Howard had established. But what I’m chiefly remembering this evening is his

Uncategorized October 6, 2016

ROOMS OF ONE’S OWN, PART TWO

These rooms are small, I said to myself; you must discount the value of that old chimney piece & the niches for holy water. Monks are nothing out of the way. The kitchen is distinctly bad. There’s an oil stove, & no grate. Nor is there hot water, nor a bath, & as for the

Uncategorized September 27, 2016

BEFORE BLOOMSBURY, AND BEYOND

So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say. Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own Back in the spring we promised a film about Fitzrovia, which has since evolved and broadened its scope historically, geographically …

Uncategorized September 13, 2016

DREAMING OUT LOUD

A short film detailing my recent encounters with Surrealism in Sussex. On discovering Lewes House in 1889, Edward Perry Warren wrote: ‘It is in the centre of Lewes and yet has a quiet garden, a big kitchen garden, a paddock, greenhouse and stables ad lib. Downs accessible and green wooded country as well. You can

Uncategorized August 25, 2016

A SUMMER GARLAND

This is the last day of August and like almost all of them of extraordinary beauty. Each day is fine enough and hot enough for sitting out; but also full of wandering clouds; and that fading and rising of the light which so enraptures me in the downs; which I am always comparing to the

Uncategorized July 9, 2016

LIFE STILL AND VITAL

The latest version of my still life: And an excerpt from Virginia Woolf’s marvellous short essay, ‘The Death of the Moth’, in which she describes the beauty, power and wonder of life and the mystery of death. It is given added poignancy by the fact that it was written late in her life and published

Uncategorized July 9, 2016

MUSEUM OF THE YEAR

On the V&A being named 2016 Museum of the Year The ‘loot’ of an empire’ s the proud V&A From the days of pink maps when Britain held sway So each acquisition And each free admission Takes us quite round the world in a day. And some photos I took on a recent visit to the V&A.

Uncategorized July 4, 2016

STILL LIFE

The brushes and oils want to paint I must go with their flow and impose no restraint Inert? The material Suggests things ethereal Such ease at the easel! I’d have no complaint. I have, as I promised myself, begun a still life and offer here a glimpse of the painting in progress.