Friday, December 02, 2005

The Actor Prepares

I did my MBA in the days before the City University Business School metamorphised into the CASS Business School and moved into swish new premises.

In those days the school was spread over a couple of floors of the sprawling Barbican Centre which was also, in those days, the Royal Shakespeare Company's London home.

A year or so into my studies the RSC put on a production of a deeply obscure sixteeth or seventeenth century Spanish play in "The Pit", their small Barbican theatre. It was, and indeed remains, so obscure that I can't remember what it was called, but I went to see it because an actor called Anthony O'Donnell - an Old Illtydian like me - was in the cast.

At the end of the performance, I applauded, got up and walked straight to my regular post-lecture pub. The Barbican can be a confusing labrynth but as I was attending it three times a week I knew it like the back of my hand and flew like an arrow to the bar.

When I got there several members of the cast - who moments ago had been on stage in full make up, false beards, ruffs and full Elizabethan rig - were already there washed, changed and drinking happily. Outstanding. It made me wonder if "Exit; theatre to pub" was perhaps available as an advanced course in RADA.

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