Book Review: Year Of The Fat Knight by Antony Sher

In Features, Inspiring people, Interviews, London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Matt MerrittLeave a Comment

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.

Sher is a fascinating writer, brutally honest about his feelings and his past transgressions. He also has the knack of writing in a voice that is unmistakeably his. As he divulges the conversations his partner Gregory Doran has with a number of leading Shakespearian actors over whether they would be interested in playing Falstaff you understand he genuinely had no idea he would end up playing the role himself.

More than anything though this book, like his excellent Year of The King is a captivating instruction in what it is to be a character actor and how much work goes into not only learning the lines (though Sher’s technique for doing so is interesting in and of itself) but into discovering the character.

Though Sher travels from London
to Stratford, via New York, New Zealand and Africa, he maintains a very
down-to-earth attitude about his work.

I*f you’ve ever been fascinated
with just how a production comes together or how a consummate character actor approaches
their craft, or even if you just enjoyed the recent Royal Shakespeare Company production of Henry IV, then do yourself
a favour and grab a copy of this instant classic!

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Matt Merritt
Matt has been a theatre fan since childhood, regularly visiting theatres in his native Portsmouth and surrounding areas. He has been reviewing for some time, initially for local press outlets before starting his own site, Sitting in the Cheap Seats, in 2013. These days he can generally be found in the front row of the balcony in a theatre in the Southwest (or on trips to London), quietly thankful he is short enough not to notice the lack of legroom!
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Matt Merritt on FacebookMatt Merritt on RssMatt Merritt on Twitter
Matt Merritt
Matt has been a theatre fan since childhood, regularly visiting theatres in his native Portsmouth and surrounding areas. He has been reviewing for some time, initially for local press outlets before starting his own site, Sitting in the Cheap Seats, in 2013. These days he can generally be found in the front row of the balcony in a theatre in the Southwest (or on trips to London), quietly thankful he is short enough not to notice the lack of legroom!

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