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Uncategorized July 2, 2010

REEL LIFE: KRAPP’S LAST TAPE

Nothing I have written, or can write now, seems adequate or even necessary by way of introduction to the intense, sparse poetry of this little masterpiece. It was an RSC production that played Stratford’s Other Place and the Pit at the Barbican and was included in the New York (BAM) and Washington season. Subsequently it

Uncategorized June 27, 2010

TOMORROW TO FRESH WOODS AND PASTURES NEW

In the garden under the sunshade on another ‘perfect’ summer Sunday morning. I am wearing black — not in mourning; a white shirt would reflect on the laptop screen. But there may be sadness today because … that’s it — a mere five weeks including previews and The Fantasticks has closed. We had a torrid

Uncategorized June 20, 2010

WIMSEY REDUX

I don’t think I could have got through this last week were it not for CoQ-10. British doctors tell you – have told me – that I was not suffering depletion of energy as a result of taking statins to lower cholesterol, and they have religiously insisted that I must take them. But there is

Uncategorized June 13, 2010

IN THE LAP OF THE GODS

It can be no secret that, on the whole, the London critics have not taken to The Fantasticks. The Daily Mail was particularly ungracious, not to say offensive: what worker in the most mundane job would get away with confessing to falling asleep, but the Mail’s man boasts of his inability to stay awake almost

Uncategorized June 8, 2010

A MOMENT BEFORE THE MATINEE

Tuesday morning: I am determined to keep faith with my so-called weekly posting three days late, though I must leave in time to get to the physical warm-up for an odd matinée very soon. We have our Press Night tomorrow and so our Wednesday matinée is today if you follow. Some critics crept in last

Uncategorized May 31, 2010

LIGHTNESS OF BEING

There has been an unexpected coda to the Picasso owl episode which you may remember from last week’s blog. It was played out this Saturday night in my dressing room after The Fantasticks. As I opened a card from my old Actors’ Company colleague Sheila Reid, I was faced with this remarkable real-life version of

Uncategorized May 23, 2010

THE LONG ARM OF COINCIDENCE FROM OCTOBER 2008 TO MAY 2010

London, Saturday, 25th October 2008 I was abroad, filming my part in Pope Joan, the legend of the woman who lived in disguise and became the Supreme Pontiff in the ninth century. Last Saturday I woke at the Park Hotel in the small Rhineland town of Euskirchen, which I had christened ‘Munch Binding’,  Euskirchen meaning ‘the

Uncategorized May 16, 2010

REHEARSAL AND THE REAL THING

On the way home from The Fantasticks rehearsal room today, having said a temporary goodbye to our platform stage which has by now gone ahead of us into the Duchess Theatre where we will tread its boards again on Wednesday, I thought back on the journey thus far: the songs getting more tender and limpid

Uncategorized May 9, 2010

RED-LETTER DAYS

Now that my Weekly Post is marked in red letters on my home page, I feel abashed not to be launching a new webcam film or at least a weighty and well-considered essay. Still, red-letter days can come in modest garb even though judges and academics traditionally don their scarlet glad rags. You see, my

Uncategorized May 2, 2010

DANCING TO ONE’S OWN TUNE

Two remarkable first entrances are my subject this week. First the professional debut of a young actress I saw at Birmingham Rep last Saturday in Lutz Hübner’s controversial play Respect, directed by Rae McKen. Rebecca Loudon appears dancing alone on an empty stage; it is an emblematic moment, though, from the realistic point of view,