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Miscellany


Projects not listed include directing pantomimes, staging rehearsed readings of neglected 17th century plays for Shakespeare's Globe, contributing essays to The Sphere Guide to the 20th Century Novel, giving guest lectures in both directing and acting at drama colleges and for the last thirty years has staged arguably the biggest and most eccentric November 5th private firework show in London

(sorry - by invitation only!).

Has also written and staged a dozen shows for Partytime, a non-profit company that tours care homes.

 
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THE SIMPLE PAST

Following a staged reading at The Gate, The British Council and Moroccan Government invited us to tour Morocco with this dramatisation by Geoffrey Cush of Driss Chraibi's novel ' Le Passe Simple'.  Site specific performances took place in university gardens, ancient riyadhs and The Churchill Club in Casablanca.

Natalie Wright and Peter Bayliss

 

THE TEMPEST

Workshopped with the late VICTOR SPINETTI as Prospero. This was to be a site specific staging for The Horse Hospital Gallery in which Prospero was the only live actor, spying on the other characters through cctv and only communicating with them via video link. The island exteriors were shot in and around Newhaven Fort.
Victor died before a full production could be mounted.

Ricci Harnett as Caliban

Maddy Sparham as Trinculo

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LONDON TOWN

COACHING & DRAMA SCHOOLS

Dialogue coach on several projects including LONDON TOWN
with Jonathan Rhys Meyers
& Daniel Huttlestone.
Masterclasses at LAMDA & Drama Studio in both acting and directing. Productions for Mountview, Academy and Webber Douglas include
Lady Windermere's Fan,
Loves Labours Lost,
Beckett's 'Play',
Exit the King

 
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Living  Shakespeare

Clerkenwell is not an area associated with Shakespeare in the popular imagination. This promenade performance commenced with an introduction by Sir Edmund Tilney, who licensed the plays from his Clerkenwell office and included famous scenes in their historical locations, culminating in St Etheldreda's, Ely Place.

 
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Memorials

Recently dubbed

'The Master of the Memorial'

for several high profile tribute events

at St Paul's, Covent Garden

These have included

celebrations of the lives of

Victor Spinetti and Fenella Fielding.

Photos and reviews below.

 
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VICTOR SPINETTI

LONDON EVENING STANDARD


Sir Paul McCartney made an appearance

at a memorial service for Victor Spinetti,

 the Welsh actor, author, poet and raconteur,

at St Paul's Church in Covent Garden.

"We used to play a game together"

said the ex-Beatle.  

"We would choose a cloud in the sky

and make it go away.

This morning I saw a cloud

but it didn't go away.

It got bigger and bigger

and suddenly I realised  ... it's Victor!"

 

THE OLDIE

Father Simon Grigg became rather excited when introducing the service.

'It's going to be that sort of an afternoon' he said,

referring to the choir who sang 'Bread of Heaven' with a coda

'You can buy your bread from Tesco, Morrisons and Asda too'.

Comedian Rob Brydon was first up with a joke about how Spinetti never wore a watch.

How did he tell the time, Brydon had asked.

'The time is now and I am here, in it,' Spinetti replied.

swipe and double click for performer names

 
 

DAILY MAIL

Victor Spinetti's final farewell at St Paul's Covent Garden

more resembled a star studded pantomime than a memorial service. 

With turns by Sir Paul McCartney, Rob Brydon, Jim Davidson, Barbara Windsor,

Barry Cryer and Michael Ball, vicar Father Simon Grigg confessed

that he had never heard so many expletives at any service.


Proceedings were delayed because no one could find diminutive Ronnie Corbett

who was to read from Victor's autobiography. Ronnie explained from the altar : 

"I got locked in the lavatory at the back of the church. I had to shout and

someone threw over a screwdriver. I had to unscrew the lock to get out"


Davidson related how Spinetti had once convinced him

at a panto that Princess Margaret fancied the comic and that when she met the cast afterwards, she would wink and whisk him back to Kensington Palace.  

But, recalled Davidson : "She looked me straight in the eye and asked: 'Were you in it ?"


Finally the vicar returned with his blessing, saying  that it was

'the greatest concentration of talent he had ever seen in his church.'

Spinetti had once said that if you're going to drop a name, make sure it bounces.

'I'm going to be dropping names for a very long time,' concluded Father Grigg.

 
FENELLA FIELDING

FENELLA FIELDING

"I am just in from St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden, where Peter Benedict and Simon McKay

had assembled an all-star cast to remember and celebrate

the extraordinary life and wonderful talent of the phenomenon that was Fenella Fielding.


There were Dames (Cleo Laine and Sian Phillips) and national treasures (Barry Cryer) alongside students from LAMDA and a bright young star called Anya Hewett from the Sylvia Young Theatre School who performed

‘Nobody Loves a Fairy When She’s Forty.’


It was a special occasion, happy and sad, and full of poignancy every time we heard a moment or two of Fenella’s recorded voice as part of the proceedings. The rector, the Reverend Simon Grigg, presided and unveiled a plaque to Fenella which, if ever you are in Covent Garden, you must make a detour to see."

Gyles Brandreth

Sadly, photography was restricted during the service but below are a few of the performers. Click on images for names.