Saturday, 16 January 2016

Are these some thespians I see before me?

Recently two of our grandchildren have taken their first steps onto the world of the stage. Bear with me as I indulge in some grandfatherly pride.
Grandchild #4 has been involved in the active modelling of some toys and games. If you look at the Santoys on-line catalogue you'll see how talented he is at playing around.
Meanwhile, down here in Cornwall, Grandchild #1 has a few small, but extremely important, parts to play in our village pantomime. This year it's Cinderella and Miss P is trebling up as a villager, page and mouse. I'm down to  advise on her cheese diet and to give her some squeaking practice. Squeak, squeak.
And where does their talent come from, I hear you ask? Well (modest coughing), in my student days at Aberystwyth circa 1967 I had my moments on the boards. The photograph above was taken when I had a cameo part as an executioner's assistant in Thomas Kyd's Elizabethan melodrama 'The Spanish Tragedy'. A review in the Cambrian News at the time said "Parsons acting was surely not the tragedy that Kyd had in mind when he wrote his play?". This triumph was followed by a much more challenging role as a wolf in Sleeping Beauty. I slept under the stars naked for a few nights to really get under the wolf's skin and was rewarded by another cracking review in the Cambrian News. This time the theatre critic praised the depth of my acting: "the camp and drunken wolf, clearly modelled on Quasimodo with a faux Somerset accented howl, is the main reason for not going to see this show. Let's hope Parsons' acting becomes as extinct as his subject". And I only had to run across the back of the set in silhouette once at the end to make that impact. No wonder the rest of the cast felt upstaged and never asked me to join their company again.

1 comment:

Brian Champness said...

Could be worse, Deri. Amongst other youngish academics and a large audience I read what I thought was a learned paper at a London Social Psychology conference many years ago, to which a now extinct magazine had sent a journalist. (I have the cutting). Reviewing my article he wrote: "A perfect example of polysyllabic codswallop".