Philip Talbot: 62% Actor
27 August 2010 WOS Rating: Beehive Inn 7-28 August, 13:20 “The clue is in the title,” says Philip Talbot when asking his audience what percentage of actors in the UK they think earn less than £10,000 per annum. So, a one-man show about one actor’s hard luck stories? A spirited attempt to turn one’s professional disappointments into a 50-minute entertainment? No, 62% Actor proves to be more a celebration of the small triumphs in a 40-year career, and of the fact that showbiz, despite its many drawbacks is, quite simply, fun.
Talbot makes much of his Norfolk upbringing by Plymouth Brethren parents (who saw cinemas and theatres as dens of iniquity) and the tale of his transformation into an albeit temporary leading man in a West End show, followed by six years at the National Theatre, is all the more heartwarming for it.
In Edinburgh one is so accustomed to seeing callow, inexperienced youngsters attempting to strut their stuff that the sight of a white-haired genial chap recounting his own particular strutting is a welcome relief. Talbot fondly recalls his brushes with a never-quite-achieved fame, and has some delicious stories to tell about some of the Better-Knowns who passed his way, including
Felicity Kendal (playing a boy in shorts), Alfred Lynch (being stripped of his costume by an eager understudy) and Bob Monkhouse (being appalled that modern comics don’t touch a drop before they go on).
If you’ve ever wondered why thousands of actors persevere when the odds are so set against them, then this show will help to explain why.
- Giles Cole
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