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Uncategorized April 24, 2016

PROSPERO’S FAREWELL

On the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth in 1964, I had three small parts in Olivier’s Othello at the National Theatre. On this 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death, I thought it might be appropriate to speak Prospero’s final speech, his farewell to his magic, which some have thought was Shakespeare’s farewell to the theatre.

Uncategorized April 16, 2016

IN THE ROUND AT THE NT

It is five years since the publication of my book Slim Chances and Unscheduled Appearances (in its original edition). The launch was marked by a Platform I did at the National Theatre and, shortly after, an exhibition at Burgh House in Hampstead. The Platform was filmed by the NT and, at the time, I posted

Uncategorized April 11, 2016

LIGHTING A SPARK

The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead, there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark; here was one. Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse Not sure I responded well to being accused of making a ‘cut-out’ instead of a 3D painting but something was wrong with the ear in my latest

Uncategorized March 13, 2016

CHIAROSCURO AND THAT LEFT EAR

I’ve been in two minds whether to burden my blog watchers with yet another self-portrait. The fact is I hadn’t picked up a brush for months and months and simply thought it would be good practice to use a handy mirror and force myself to get started on something. A friend made a comment about

Uncategorized February 29, 2016

SEE IT UNDER LIGHT

We’re waltzing in the wonder of why we’re here … Howard Dietz & Arthur Schwartz, ‘Dancing in the Dark’ (1931) The photo above shows a detail from the first annual Festival of Song and Light in New York’s Central Park in 1916. One hundred years later, London is celebrating the UK premiere of the Magical

Uncategorized February 18, 2016

COSMIC RIPPLES

I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. Albert Einstein A sonnet and short film to celebrate the recent discovery of gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of space-time that were predicted by Einstein a century ago as

Uncategorized February 3, 2016

AUDIOBOOKS

I was rather proud and astonished to be picked out recently by the South China Morning Post for my ‘bravura reading’ of War and Peace – astonished because the abridgement I recorded twenty-one years ago is so very … well, abridged.* At the moment I am deep into reading aloud the first of two mystery

Uncategorized January 29, 2016

MY FIRST LEADING LADY

I am carried away by the knowledge that the game I am playing is the most serious and exciting there is. Albert Camus, Notebooks CLICK TO HEAR PART ONE OF THE AUDIO RECORDING I learn from the latest edition of the West Bowling Local History Journal that my childhood first leading lady, Pamela Craven, is

Uncategorized January 6, 2016

WITH HEY, HO

Any great art work … revives and readapts time and space, and the measure of its success is the extent to which it makes you an inhabitant of that world – the extent to which it invites you in and lets you breathe its strange, special air. Leonard Bernstein I have long held that Twelfth

Uncategorized December 29, 2015

RENEWAL

Eternity’s a terrible thought. I mean, where’s it all going to end? Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Christmas is a time for recycling. This isn’t an installation at Tate Modern (I wonder what they do about their recycling). Nobody here in East Sussex, where we live, will take paper and cardboard in the