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Archives July/December 2014


Well, I went and played King Lear at Theatre for a New Audience in New York this spring, and I have to boast that it was a big success. Apart from the press and public reaction, I felt that I’d done it at the right moment in my life, I was completely happy with the direction and design, I loved the American cast and I think they me. Three terrific months. It feels odd not to have played the part in the UK - English producers baulked at the cost of importing the show - so I’m now trying to set up a separate English production before I become too old.

Like Hamlet, Lear makes you disinclined to work for a bit afterwards, but on the other hand summer is festival season, and as Mary has reported, I ticked over with them; and then I pulled together various random invitations to do SWEET WILLIAM - from a theatre in Portland in Oregon, from a little theatre near Toulouse, and from the Cameri Theatre in Tel Aviv. I also took on playing Sir Anthony Blunt in a revival of Alan Bennett’s QUESTION OF ATTRIBUTION at the Rose Theatre Kingston. Not my first Bennett – I did George III for him some years ago - but my first Bennett comedy (as it partly is), and as I’d hardly got a laugh for a year or so – Strindberg, Richard II, King Lear - I jumped at it. Then I did the SWEET WILLIAM mini tour which I’m glad to say sold out everywhere, and which went particularly well in Tel Aviv at this terribly difficult time in Israel, when the struggle for peace is obviously preoccupying people of every persuasion. When I describe ROMEO AND JULIET as being not only a love story but a question: could two families (ie two halves of the world) who’ve been at war for ever, perhaps sit down and make peace because of the love of two of their young people, there was a spontaneous ovation from each audience. I’ll never forget it.

I’ve now done a very good David Rudkin play for Radio 3 called MACEDONIA that transits in early February, and so I’m rolling down to Christmas feeling well pleased by a varied and very stimulating year – and not least because I’ve just got the first advance copies of my new book LET ME PLAY THE LION TOO : HOW TO BE AN ACTOR – which Faber publish in mid January. Never mind the writing; it looks beautiful. Do have a look when it’s out.

Thanks again for your interest

December 2014

12th December 2014

Michael will be discussing his new book Let Me Play the Lion Too at the Theatre Royal, Winchester on the 15th February. Click on the link to see full details.

15th October 2014

I’ve just heard that Michael is heading off to the Northwest Classical Theatre Company in Portland, OR.,for two performances of Sweet William. Dates are  21st and 22nd of October and full information is found at the above address.

13th  October 2014

Michael will be doing a Platform Performance on 9th February 2015 to introduce his new book Let Me Play the Lion Too. Full details can be found at nationaltheatre.org.uk.

3rd October

Single :Spies has now opened to some very good reviews for Michael. I will add more as I find them.

24th August 2014

Michael will be reading the Book of the Week commencing Monday 25th August on BBC Radio 4 at 9.45 am. The book is Philip Larkin - Life, Art and Love by James Booth.

18th August 2014

You can listen to an audio of Michael’s appearance at the Ledbury Poetry Festival’s Hundred Years War by clicking on the following link:


He will also be appearing at the Cheltenham festival discussing King Lear with Jonathan Bate and Catherine Belsey on the 7th October at 11.45 am. Click on the following link for more details for full details: http://www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/literature/whats-on/grid.

2nd August 2014

Michael will be appearing in Alan Bennett’s Single Spies, a double-bill stage adaptation of his television films An Englishman Abroad and A Question of Attribution. It will be at the Rose Theatre, Kingston from the 25th September to the 11th October. You can fine full details at www.rosetheatrekingston.org

18th July 2014

Michael will be taking part in the Shaffer Celebration at the Chichester Festival Theatre this Saturday (26th July). He will be  part of the Question Time panel which also includes Derek Jacobi, Patrick Stewart, Albert Finney, Simon Callow and Jamie Glover.

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