From the Archive...
On Monday afternoon I attended the Q&A for the second ‘Weekend’ screening at the London Film Festival. After we answered the audience’s questions, in as entertaining and interesting a way as possible, one lady approached me with an additional question - “Were you in Bent?” I was shocked.
It’s a sad truth that plays are very often forgotten; enjoyed on the evening and then rarely thought of again. They exist on the stage, and in the mind, for their time, and then are replaced by new diversions. ’Bent’ seems, in my life, to be the exception to this rule.
I’m always thrilled when people tell me their memories of the play as I was very proud to have been in it, but, most importantly, because their memories are often so vivid and their passion for the play, and the production, so strong.
It was an experience the entire cast and crew felt blessed to be a part of, but, at the same time, it was tinged with a sense of sadness as we all suspected that no other production might ever feel quite the same. I felt I had a similar experience while filming ‘Weekend’.
The reaction to both projects has also been similar - a passionate, immediate, personal connection.
The picture above is of (a very thin) me with the plays Director, Daniel Kramer. It was taken, sneakily from the stalls (by my friend Brian Angel who has a knack of catching the most interesting, secret moments on film), during an onstage rehearsal a couple of days before the play had its opening night.
I’m pleased to say that Dan and I have become the best of friends, and worked together on many productions since and plan to continue to do so well into the future - he was also my best man at my wedding.
The Lady at the London Film Festival told me that she came to see the film because she had a feeling she recognised my name. Only during the film did her memory make the full, happy connection. Thankfully she loved both the film and the play.
The film will live on for her, and me, on DVD. The play, sadly, will not.
Perhaps I’ll convince Dan that we should hire a theatre and take a trip down memory lane…not a bad idea.