BSC Address

Monday, March 13, 2006


One of the biggest decisions I seem to have made this year
is to appear as Dr Dee in the next tour of HORRIBLE
HISTORIES. It will be the first time I've gone on one of
our national tours, something that has always seemed
impossible because of running the company. But I have
always loved appearing in our shows for children and
indeed some of the happiest times of my theatrical life
THE BFG. Apart from plays for children, modern theatre
provides few opportunities for actors to be larger than
life, to be a grotesque, to be silly. HORRIBLE HISTORIES
is an opportunity to explore all three!

As it happen, I spoke to Mr Dahl once on the phone when I
was fifteen. (At that time, before the age of celebrity
had dawned, you could find almost anyone’s telephone
number in Who’s Who). Unfortunately I asked to speak to
Ronald Dahl and the man on the other end was quite clear
that no-one of that name lived at that address. Even when
I checked the number, the voice at the end was adamant
that there no-one called Ronald Dahl at this number.
“There’s a Roald Dahl living here” he offered pointedly.
When I acknowledged my embarrassed mistake and asked if I
could speak to Roald Dahl, the same man didn’t miss a
beat: “Speaking!”

I was able to play Grandma again when we visited Dubai
with GEORGE’S MARVELLOUS MEDICINE but since 1997 all our
plays for children have enjoyed long tours which have
prevented me taking part. So the relatively ‘short’ twelve
week tour of HORRIBLE HISTORIES starting in June is the
first opportunity that I’ve had to consider a show for
children – and I’ve jumped!

Sunday, March 12, 2006


As you can see from the date of the entries below, I'm not
very good at keeping up to date with diaries! I stopped
writing my own personal diary in 1992 and clearly I
haven't picked up the habit again easily! My March
resolution will be 'try harder'!

It looks like I've achieved my aim to map out the future
of the company and we have now agreed what we are
producing for the next two years. There's a wonderful
feeling about knowing what is coming upon you, although at
the same time I resent the lack of immediacy that
long-term planning brings into your life. Thinking ahead
reduces the chance of surprises and I like surprises, so
long as they come in innocent, easy to handle, thoroughly
enjoyable packages!

If you've looked at the Welcome page you'll know what
we're doing this year. I'm delighted that for the first
time ever we'll have five different productions appearing
in Birmingham - HORRIBLE HISTORIES just sold-out at the
Alexandra Theatre and they are soon to host a return visit
of THE JUNGLE BOOK. This autumn we are staging PROOF and
if any of you are desperate to see a new, gripping and
intelligent play, you should make sure you get to see
PROOF when it comes to The Old Rep. They don't come much

If you are an actor reading this blog, look out for
casting reports soon in SBS, PCR etc. We have three shows
to cast in the next two months: you can always send us an
SAE and you'll receive the details as soon as they are

And in the meantime, I'll try and keep to the