Text of the Day: Robin Soans on playing a vicar

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Random and topical thoughts and quotes gathered by My Theatre Mates contributor Aleks Sierz, first published on www.sierz.co.uk.

One from the archives. Actor Robin Soans remembers working at the Bush pub fringe theatre in West London in the 1970s when the theatre was located in an upstairs room which had no facilities:

“When we did A Bed of Roses in 1978, once we were backstage there was no way back to the dressing room, or, indeed, the lavatory. If we needed a pee during the performance it was either a ladder onto the roof and down the drainpipe, or down the backstairs and across the road to the ‘cottage’ on the corner of Shepherd’s Bush Green. I found during the dress rehearsal that I was bursting for a piss and opted for the ‘cottage’.

“The only thing was I was playing a vicar and at the time was dressed in full surplice, cassock and dog collar. I entered the brick toilet where 40 men in tight jeans were fiddling with or eyeing each other’s willies. On the appearance of a man of the cloth in their midst, there was a mass zipping up of zips and within five seconds I had the entire bank of urinals to myself.” – Neil Burkey’s ‘Close-Up Magic’: 40 Years at the Bush Theatre (2011)

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Aleks Sierz
Aleks Sierz FRSA is a theatre critic, and author of the seminal study of new 1990s playwrights, In-Yer-Face Theatre. His other books include Rewriting the Nation, The Theatre of Martin Crimp, John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger, The Methuen Drama Guide to Contemporary British Playwrights and Modern British Playwriting. His latest book (co-authored with Lia Ghilardi) is The Time Traveller’s Guide to British Theatre. He also works as a journalist, broadcaster, and lecturer. Aleks blogs independently at www.sierz.co.uk and tweets at @alekssierz.
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Aleks Sierz on RssAleks Sierz on Twitter
Aleks Sierz
Aleks Sierz FRSA is a theatre critic, and author of the seminal study of new 1990s playwrights, In-Yer-Face Theatre. His other books include Rewriting the Nation, The Theatre of Martin Crimp, John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger, The Methuen Drama Guide to Contemporary British Playwrights and Modern British Playwriting. His latest book (co-authored with Lia Ghilardi) is The Time Traveller’s Guide to British Theatre. He also works as a journalist, broadcaster, and lecturer. Aleks blogs independently at www.sierz.co.uk and tweets at @alekssierz.

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