Friday, 14 October 2011

Ian Redford Comes in for a Chat.

Ian Redford joined us for Making Theatre this afternoon full of stories and anecdotes from his long career, in particular working with Max Stafford Clark and Out of Joint. Once again the students were full of questions and the session flew by.

Two things re emerged from last week's session with Dennis. First of all the idea that you needed some kind of special key to enter the theatre profession - (Ian objects to the word industry) - a rich benefactor, an Oxbridge degree, a family member already in situ. Ian, like Dennis, was clear in his belief that theatre maintains a proud tradition of democratic and meritocratic involvement and that whilst theatre makers do require intelligence, it's not necessarily academic intelligence.

The second question was one about self-belief and confidence. Ian had revealed that particularly as a young actor he'd often felt inferior to his colleagues and fellow professionals. This seemed to strike a cord with a number of the year group. Izzy asked him how he'd overcome it. Ian stood in thought for a few seconds, screwing his face up before carefully answering :-

"Imagine you've got a little man on your shoulder who keeps whispering in your ear - 'You're no good, why are you even here? Why don't you just go home.' Now if that were really true wouldn't you try and get rid of him. Wouldn't you eventually just tell him very forcibly to 'fuck off!' ? Well that's what you've got to get good at doing."

After the session Trevor joined us and we went for a cup of tea. Half way through Ian got a text message letting him know that Michael Boyd is going to step down as artistic director of the RSC. Ian had been in line to play Belch in a forthcoming production of Twelfth Night for the company, but then had a call explaining they were taking the play in a different direction. He's curiously waiting to see who has been cast.

'Well, well, well,' he said.

We asked him who he thought would get the job. Scholarly Greg Doran, who missed out last time. Rupert Goold, boy wonder and scourge of the traditionalists. Marianne Elliott, who hasn't had a dud for many moons. Dominic Dromgoole, who's given The Globe a boisterous new lease of life?

Ian shook his head.

'David Farr. It'll keep everybody happy.'

I wonder if he's right.

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