Thursday, November 26, 2009

So, Ian Hart remonstrating with a 'disruptive' audience member was understandable, was it? I prefer Sir John Gielgud's approach, which was to rise above it and press on. At one point in the 1950s, the great actor found himself working with a young man heavily in the thrall of Pinter. It might even have been Pinter himself, I'm not entirely sure. After an epic pause, the kindly Gielgud asked the young thesp a question: "Dear boy, why are you leaving these enormous pauses?". The young chap replied that it was all the rage at RADA now. Gielgud's reply was majestic. "It's nothing new, dear boy. I went through a similar phase myself until one night when, in the middle of a lengthy, dramatic pause, I heard from the stalls a cry of 'You horrible beast, you've just come all over my umbrella'." I wonder how Ian Hart would have dealt with that one?