I’m shocked to realise that it’s now nearly three years since I last wrote a bulletin, as if l’d been forbidden to or, like some security risk, been forced to stay silent. No, not a bit of it!  

In fact I’ve been busy in various ways  –  l’ve been in Oregon and Seattle in the interests of my solo Sweet William; done a Artsnight programme about King Lear which came off rather well, and made the beginning of a stab at an autobiography/memoir which is by no means finished, any more than I am, I hope….

Doing Arturo Ui at the Donmar was a trip down Memory Lane as I did so much there in the 1970s when the RSC first used it. If I looked to my right in the Dressing Room I was surprised it wasn’t Norman Rodway sitting there, with Alan Howard to my left, or Dearbhla Molloy.  

Meanwhile I was doing some Star Wars Conventions for the first time since I played a tiny part in 1981 in The Return of the Jedi – the autograph hunters are much more polite at those Events and don’t ambush you at the Stage Door of whatever theatre you might be playing at (not that they’ve been watching!), demanding autographs on photos without their own names on (so that they can sell them).

More interestingly, I was very much attached to the development of Stephen Beresford’s adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s great Fanny and Alexander, and finally did it at the Old Vic in 2018 with beloved Penelope Wilton and a first rate cast. Then some troubles - a nasty eye infection, some cataract etc -  I only tell you this because I am now COMPLETELY recovered – better than before, actually -  I’ve even been able to take on what in the nature of things might be my last major Shakespeare - Prospero in The Tempest. Ever since Tom Littler took over the Jermyn Street Theatre with such success he’s asked what I would like to do there (usually over a good lunch) well, it’s many years since a director gave me that kind of carte blanche and so this has happened. And a joy it was until a couple of weeks ago when the Government demanded after six performances that the shutters be brought down on all the theatres. I hope we can do it again in the autumn and maybe tour it - we hadn’t quite finished our business with it.

Thank you all as ever for your interest, and apologies for having been away so long. Be well and happy.

This site is maintained by Mary Hunwicks on behalf of Michael Pennington