Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

Making It So, Patrick Stewart's Memoir

Recommended Posts

i just finished reading Patrick Stewart's memoir, "Making It So."  What an era to be part of British theater!  He's in his '80's, and a lot of his contemporaries and older idols have died, and it's easy to think of him as from a younger generation.  He performed with so many greats, working his way up in the British theater.

Most of the book is full of appreciation and generosity, but he doesn't pull punches the few times he describes situations where people were mean and power-hungry.  One of these was when he was part of The Old Vic company. which was touring three plays headlined by Vivien Leigh and directed by  Robert Helpmann in his post-dancing career.  He gives Helpmann credit for his renown as a director and for having helped to great a safe space for gay people at The Old Vic.  But he also described what a snob Helpmann was to the people he felt were beneath his attention, and he appeared to have had a PhD from the same school of making friends and influencing people  that Jerome Robbins did:

"By the end of the second week, those of us in small roles came to understand that Helpmann had no idea who we were and no interest in learning.  If he wanted to make an adjustment in the staging, he would yell, 'You, over there! No, not you, you fool, you, the other other!' Or if he wanted to be a little more specific: 'You in the green shirt, horrible color, you're standing too close to Miss Leigh.  Move!  And you in the red time--go stand with green shirt.'" (p181).

Then Stewart tells tells a short and sweet story about how Queen Salote of Tonga came backstage after a performance and wanted to be introduced to the cast.  It could have ended a lot worse for Helpmann, but it was delicious nonetheless, and no one was fooled.

I now have to go see the X-Men movies.  I had no idea he was in them. 

Link to comment
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...