One of the joys of not working is being able to see others at work. Since my Lear responsibilities ended in February with our recording the stage production for PBS/CHANNEL 4 showings and a DVD later this year, I've been a busy audience member.
In the theatre I've revelled in Sean Mathias's startling version of Jean Anouilh's farcical classic RING ROUND THE MOON; a jolly West End revival of PIRATES OF PENZANCE; a workshop of Joe Pietro's latest FUCKING MEN, LA CAGE AUX FOLLES soon to transfer to the West End with Douglas Hodge; Michael Grandage's acclaimed OTHELLO at the Donmar; Spacey and Goldblum sparking life into Mamet's SPEED THE PLOUGH — oh yes and five of Daniel Barenboim's concerts of Beethoven's Sonatas at the Festival Hall, a Vivaldi concert in Venice, and Mika's final gig of his 18-month tour, at Brixton Academy.
And more - because this week I visited Eton College where I led four very accomplished acting pupils through the intricacies of speaking Shakespeare sonnets outloud. This I have done with John Barton and others at the Royal Shakespeare Company, where treating the sonnets as self-contained speeches can illuminate the devices of Shakespeare's verse so that it sounds like dramatic language not a poetry recital.
— Ian McKellen, 29 February 2008