We LOVE Simon Russell Beale and devoured every word of Nick Curtis’s interview with SRB in the Evening Standard yesterday.
Mr Russell Beale is starring in the forthcoming Deathtrap at the Noel Coward Theatre, with Matthew Warchus hoping to reinvent the hoary old thriller using the same magic he brought to Boeing Boeing. And we think he’ll succeed.
But Nick Curtis calling him a “chubby, gay son of an army doctor” didn’t feel quite right – even if Simon is delightfully self-deprecating. We are also not sure that a “polymathic national treasure” is much better, and when he throws in “he doesn’t have a partner and lives alone in a small flat in Pimlico” I’m all set to abandon my light stalking of SRB’s Deathtrap co-star Jonathan Groff (mainly because Baz is always one step ahead of me), and turn my attentions to Simon.
We also love that SRB is doing Deathtrap as a “guilty pleasure” and a “bit of fun” before he gives us his King Lear with Sam Mendes at the National.
In the interview he also talks about the forthcoming, inevitable arts subsidy cuts – and speaks more sense that most about the interdependence of theatre and creative people: “the subsidised sector and the West End are part of a continuous food chain that reaches into regional theatres and young companies like Punchdrunk. We must stick to our guns and say that the last 10 years in theatre have been spectacular but that won’t continue if it is not fed.”
Which makes you realise how much Jonathan Miller’s recent snarling about commercial theatre missed the point.