I grew up in Cambridge – the third son of an eminent Academic and a distinguished French-English translator.
My earliest memory of performing is at primary school – playing the matador in an adaptation of ‘Ferdinand the Bull’ – not an easy task as I was required to cry (or at least shed tears of frustration) at Ferdinand’s immovable passivity.
At Preparatory School I played Bilbo Baggins in an adaptation of The Hobbit. At Secondary school I was poor academically, unlike my elder brothers, but excelled in sports, art and drama. I played Felipillo in the school production of ‘Royal Hunt of the Sun’ and Marco in ‘A View from the Bridge’ but most importantly my mother took me to the Old Vic to see ‘Hamlet’ – played by Derek Jacobi (a household name at the time for his performance in ‘I, Claudius’ on the television). We arrived late and took our seats at the back of the circle just as the play began. I sat in my coat – transfixed. I was twelve.
My dream became to apply to the Bristol Old Vic Drama School and become an actor. But...
In 2003 I returned to the UK having spent the preceding twelve years living predominantly in Spain with the girl I had met there, Trinidad. Alone or together we had made four short films and written four feature-length screenplays – with sufficient success to sustain us in our efforts but not sufficient success to progress us to the level we had hoped.
I began two years of part time courses at the City Lit in London before enrolling for an M/A in European Classical Acting (MACE 1) at Drama Centre. At the age of forty I was the oldest student they had ever had. The course included three fantastic months training at the Vahktangov Institute in Moscow. I finished in 2006 and have been a professional actor ever since.
I have shared my life with Trinidad for the past 30 years and we have two daughters – Cora and Alba.
My favourite writers are Simenon, Highsmith and Nabokov; my favourite film-makers - Wilder, Kubrick, Polanski and Tavernier; my favourite music – Charles Mingus, the Clash, Blondie and Mano Negra; my favourite artists – Brueghel, Velazquez and Monet. A favourite film is Casque D’Or, a favourite book Crime & Punishment. I cook and bake and drink too much tea and red wine. I have a small collection of film posters and like great book-cover design. My favourite role has been Cyrano de Bergerac. Roles I would like to play include Shylock and Timon of Athens, Shannon in The Night of the Iguana, Goldberg in The Birthday Party and Azdak in The Caucasian Chalk Circle.
Some of my remaining ambitions are – to make a feature film, perform on Broadway, speak fluent French and learn to draw better…