Passionately pursuing a career that has taken me to over sixty countries, offered opportunities to play Shakespeare at Stratford, direct in the West End, and perform solo shows worldwide. Now focusing on nurturing other artists through mentoring, writing original work and dramatisations. And after recording over two hundred audiobooks I still love the microphone.
At last there is some optimism about live theatre, and it’s been a busy couple of months since I re-launched my show, Shylock, at the Playground Theatre here in London. Since then I’ve had the pleasure of performing it for some wonderful drama students at Bristol’s Actors Workshop, at the Bedford Park Festival, and now gearing up for autumn shows in Sudbury, Lyme Regis, Westminster School, Pendle, Epsom, and Worcester. Gigs are coming in too for 2022, so it’s great to have the diary filling up again.
I am hoping that more schools will take up the show as I think its theme of anti-semitism is all too relevant now. Resurrecting Shylock and his only friend Tubal in their old age has also given me some new perspectives on my script and Shakespeare’s matchless text.
The Jermyn Street Theatre, which has been at the forefront of keeping theatre alive during these last months, has staged live and streamed performances of my production of Shakespeare’s epic poem The Rape of Lucrece, and Wilde Without The Boy, my dramatisation of Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis performed by the indefatigable Gerard Logan, with whom I have collaborated so rewardingly for many years. We are also working together on a sequel to the evening of supernatural tales by E.F. Benson (Night Terrors) which toured so successfully in 2019, and Hauntings gets it’s first performance at the Rye Festival in September.
Trinity College London has had to suspend most of its live examining programme in Speech and Drama, especially overseas – so my globetrotting wings have been clipped for the time being. Similarly the work of PPAD in assessing and monitoring drama students was suspended, but it now reviving for online presentations.
Recording studios reopened last year so that I was able to finish the last half dozen recordings of all Georges Simenon’s Maigret novels, with my producer, Paul Kent. I also recorded a 24hr reading of James Pope-Hennessy’s biography, Queen Mary, for Heavy Entertainment – which was a lot more fun than it may sound.