If you’re looking for a present, bound to make your beloved theatre person giggle all Christmas morning, then West End Producer’s shiny new book is the obvious 2017 choice.
Stage fright – both the dread and the actuality of it – looms very large in the lives of many, if not most, actors. And occasionally it becomes headline news. Remember Stephen Fry and Cell Mates or, more recently, Lenny Henry in Educating Rita at Chichester last year? And it was probably stage fright that lay at the base of Laurence Fox’s recent angry outburst in The Patriotic Traitor at the Park Theatre. That’s the trouble. When something goes wrong for an actor, it’s very public. Hence the terror.
It’s strangely comforting to realise that even the greatest actors have their fair share of fears and worries over their performances. Though most performers work hard to hide them, in his latest book Year of The Fat Knight Antony Sher (a Sir himself) confronts those feelings head on in a brilliantly honest and wonderfully engrossing diary that encompasses the days between the Gregory Doran deciding to direct the Henry plays and opening night at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.