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Simon Russell Beale - LitFest 2016 by Tony Smith

 

In the late 80s or very early 90s, it was a warm morning in Avebury that I came across a young man, mug of tea in one hand and sheaf of paper in the other, leaning on the front fence of his parents’ house, learning his lines.  He was still in his pyjamas and dressing gown.

I didn’t take a lot of notice.  I was new to the area and supposed Avebury people might be a bit odd.

Over the next 25 or 30 years, I saw that same young man many more times, principally at Stratford or the National.  Each performance was more arresting than the last.  Simon Russell Beale was becoming a very great actor.

At the 2016 Marlborough Lit Fest, in the Town Hall, the finest actor of his generation chatted to us in what must have been for him a tiny auditorium with a tiny audience.

But that voice was still the same.  The voice that brought to life many of the greatest characters in English drama chatted to us. And he let us in on the secret of the RSC’s upcoming production of ‘The Tempest’.  Ariel was to be given a high tech makeover – digital wizardry!

And then, would we like to hear him give a speech from the current rehearsals?  Yes, please, we said.  And we were, as they say, blown away.

My wife and I saw that “Tempest” at Stratford.  Blown away. Not by digital magic.  By Simon Russell Beales’ Prospero – real magic.

 

 Tony Smith

 

 

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CivicSelfie1
IMG9097
Animals06
Remebrance-18-2
Big-Bull
Remebrance-18-3
Mop-Fair---10-10-09---08
D812668
George-Wilding-301
Scouting-for-Girls7
Christmas-Lights15-11-20097
1stXV-and-others-with-Mayor
Sunset
Civic-Service-18
Camilla-MSM
Musical-Time-Machine5
Marlborough-2013-04-18StPeters
Torch-2012-05-23093-
MYFC005
JazzFestSat572
SBJ
Pete-Gage-Band1
4MI-2013-11-28030
ARKManton-2012-01-1449-
D4S9273
IMG8472
Camilla-2012-10-19152
TdB-Pewsey044
Town-Hall-2011-05-0308-
Snowy-High-Street
Hares017cropped
Silbury-Sunset---10-06-08---07
Remebrance-18-1
Sunset2
Landscape
D4S0472
Bluebells-in-West-Woods-10-05-09---30
Brooks-Williams1
Gordon-and-Sam
Inquisitive-sheep-in-West-Overton
White-Horse
Duke-of-Kent086
Brazier
Tina-May5
Marlborough-under-snow-from-above---Pete-Davies
Roving-Crows1
Turin-Brakes6
Ogbourne