Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Shaking hands with greatness

Went over to Sheffield last night to see "Family Voices", part of the Sheffield Theatres "Pinter Celebration"; the first part of the evening featured Pru Scales, Sam West and Tim West doing a script in hand reading of Pinter's short play "Family Voices", the first time the three of them have acted on stage together, which gave the play added power given that it was about an estranged family who are trying desperately to communicate with each other (although Liz and I did have a debate about it later - I thought they were all dead; she didn't think so). Beautifully acted, as you would expect, especially as the author himself was in the audience. And at the interval I got to meet Harold Pinter, and shake hands with him, which was rather awe-inspiring. He was very gracious, and seemed happy to speak to the stream of people who came up to where he was sitting. He walks with a stick but wasn't as frail as I'd expected, given that he has been so ill recently, especially around the time he was awarded the Nobel Prize. I'm still a bit awe struck, actually - thanks, Liz, for being my brave pal and stopping me chickening out of doing things I really want to do!

The second part of the evening was Sam interviewing his parents about their lives and careers, which was very entertaining. Some very funny anecdotes about life as an actor, and about growing up with theatrical parents. The audience had been invited to submit questions during the interval, and Sam picked out some to ask, including mine, which was "as actors, what makes you pick up a script and say 'yes I want to do this'?" Tim's answer - the play as a whole, not necessarily the part; that the play has something to say or has a world view that he feels something for; the quality of the writing, which should shine through in the dialogue. Pru's answer was essentially the same - the quality of the play not the size of the part. Tim also said playing bad guys is much more fun than the good guy, because the parts tend to be much more interesting and as an actor you can do more with the material.

Top class evening, then - entertaining and educational! I'll be back on Thursday to have another attempt at seeing "The Caretaker" - got to the interval on Saturday, and A didn't feel well so we had to leave. Hopefully will get all the way to the end this time.

Go here and click on the top link to watch a BBC news clip from yesterday about the performance; the play (not the interview, as far as I know) will be broadcast on Rony Robinson's show on BBC Radio Sheffield on Thursday. Unfortunately that means you have to put up with a BBC local radio phone-in programme, but it will be worth it in the end.


Blogger Nez said...

Wow...Just been catching up on your blog.

It all sounds pretty exciting. Particularly getting your film made. I can't wait to see that.

I also hope to feature in one of your blogs as 'N' some day!

9:37 pm  
Blogger Stacie said...

You, dearest Sal, are braver than you think! Yet thank you to Liz afterall! Sounds like a very interesting evening, but I must ask if you signed your question. :)

4:25 am  
Blogger Viv said...

What a fantastic evening! And good for Liz too.

Glad to hear you are writing again - want to send some 'writing vibes' my direction?! ;-) My thesis isnt visibly progressing at all...

1:42 pm  

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