SIR THOMAS MORE
Written by Henry Chettle, Thomas Dekker, Thomas Heywood, Anthony Munday & William Shakespeare
Directed by Frank Dunlop assisted by Richard Digby Day
Ian McKellen in the role of More
Nottingham Playhouse, Nottingham
10 June 1964 - 4 July 1964
Words from Ian McKellen
1964 was Shakespeare’s quattrocentenary and Nottingham Playhouse’s contribution was to un-earth this play containing a scene indisputably by Shakespeare (the hand-written manuscript survives in the British Museum). John Neville was to have played More until he fell out with his co-artistic director, Frank Dunlop, who re-cast me in the part. I relished embodying a Shakespeare hero in the first-ever professional production of the play. I have often re-called this production when speaking the More speech about “strangers” in my solo shows “Acting Shakespeare” and “A Knight Out”.
Our company was augmented by the arrival of Steven Berkoff. He was quiet and not much popular. Onstage his movements were eccentrically wooden – but this was early in his career and before he had studied mime with LeCoq or begun to write his explosive plays.