BSC Address

Monday, May 21, 2007

History in the making

Of course I am always interested in creating a first in theatrical terms and nearly achieved this on my first performance as Dad in DANNY.

Thinking I was late for a cue, I rushed towards the stage and hit my head on the corner of a piece of set so hard that not only did it knock a chunk off the set, it also took a wedge of skin off my head. It hurt so much that one word successfully forced its way out of my mouth: "***K!!"

By sheer good fortune, my radio mic was placed exactly next to the spot on my head which took the blow. And hearing a crushing sound, the sound op turned down the mic, just before I uttered my immortal word.

Thus were 500 children and teachers spared the delight of hearing Dad shout "***K!!" in the middle of his first performance in the show.

This would no doubt have been a theatrical first.

Some records are best unbroken!

Saturday, May 19, 2007


I still think most people don't understand why I run this company. It's assumed that if set up your own company that the acting must take second place to the overall operation. This would be wrong in my case. I love acting. And the last few weeks which have drawn me away from this blog have been a clear case of acting taking first place.

I've been learning the leading role of Dad in DANNY THE CHAMPION OF THE WORLD which I am playing for a month during it's two year tour. This was only possible if I could learn the part without rehearsal, as it wasn't possible to rehearse myself into the show while the play was on tour. So that has been the task - an extraordinary task that I wasn't sure could be achieved until, under Phil Clark's directorial guidance, we tried it this week. By some miracle it seems it is - and this week I've had the enormous privilage (after just 12 hours rehearsal which we managed to put together) of joining a truly wonderful show, which culminated in last night's performance in York at the end of an amazing week.

DANNY is one of those special shows which immediately draws it's audience into a heart-warming and dramatic story. By the end, the audience have helped Danny and his Dad hold onto their home and beaten the chief villain in the process. The joy that pours out of the audience at the end of the show is so palpable it knocks your socks off. And a full house last night didn't hold back in expressing their delight. It was a knockout experience - amongst the most enjoyable I've had in a theatre.

David Wood has written a perfectly structured adaptation. But it is only having been in the show that I discovered just how beautifully structered it is for an actor - taking you through a whole gamut of highs and pitfalls, leaving you and the audience to enjoy the triumph.

And what an amazing cast. They have been doing the show since November and there isn't a moment where one feels the show has lost its innocence or freshness. The characters are as bold and driven as the first week it opened. Which is why it has been such fun to join it.

Yep - it has been an experiment that despite all the odds against it succeeding has been as rewarding an acting experience as one could hope for.

Next week we're off to Edinburgh, then The Lowry, then Nottingham and Richmond.