I’ve been acting all my life. My mother conferred her love of acting on me. Her mother ran a theatrical boarding house in Middlesborough. My father’s uncle was a celebrated Edwardian actor. My parents met and married in the Royal Navy. We moved house often.
Clowning became a way to quickly make friends at new schools. We settled in a rural Devon town with a strong arts scene. Subud encouraged me to self-expression and travel. I sat transfixed in a German kitchen, as an actor recited Faust from memory.
Movement training came from Jaques Lecoq in Paris. I found myself in a belle époque boxing hall in the red-light district of Paris, doing comedia del’arte, masks and mime with fellow students from around the world. I organised a production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in a Paris garden, in French, helped by a wonderful couple, members of the Paris Subud group.
My early career was hard, impeded by a lack of contacts. My ambition was weak. But I lived in a lovely house in West London full of young Subud people. I met Hannah Kodicek, who taught me about puppets, music and writing, a lifelong friend and mentor until her untimely death in 2011.
Through her, I now live in the Czech Republic and create shows for actors and puppets, such as Puppet King Richard II, from Shakespeare’s play. This show is the nearest I ever got to a Subud enterprise, thanks to co-performer Lucas Augustine and many others. My next project is a Kafka puppet show. I sometimes act on great stages such as the Prague Estates, Shakespeare’s Globe and the RSC, and sometimes in film and TV.
“Toute bouge” (“Everything moves”), as Jacques Lecoq said. Theatre ČR: “Puppet King Richard II” and “Troilus and Cressida”, “Deaf Empire”, “Winter’s Tale”, “Julius Caesar” and “Twelfth Night” (Prague Shakespeare Co.). Currently rehearsing “Můž Dvojhvězdy” with the Little Theatre of Česke Budejovíce.
Theatre UK: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Monsieur Popular” (Theatre Royal Bath), “Jefferson’s Garden” and “Time of My Life” (Watford Palace Theatre); “Wendy and Peter Pan” (Royal Shakespeare Company); “Travels With My Aunt” (Menier Chocolate Factory); “Blue Remembered Hills” (Chichester); “Sleeping Beauty” (Birmingham Rep); 5 seasons at Shakespeare’s Globe including Touchstone in “As You Like It”; and Zazu in “The Lion King”, London.
Film & TV: “The Letter For The King” (Anglo-Czech Films), “A Boy Called Christmas” (Blueprint/Netflix), “Carnival Row” (Legendary Pictures); “Interlude In Prague” (Stillking); “Genius” (Fox/National Geographic).