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Brief Encounter with

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What has drawn you to the part of Kenneth Horne (in Round the Horne) in particular? Kenneth Horne is a recurring role for me, since I played him in a previous show Round the Horne...Revisited for around 18 months. It's a privilege to play someone of Horne's stature; after all, he's often described as the last of the great radio comedians.

How does it differ from previous roles? Oddly enough, I was most at home pre-Horne playing sinister or saturnine roles, which is about as un-Horne as you can get.

The show would be very dull if it were just a museum piece, with voice-appearance-mannerisms slavishly copied. So we try to *give* an impression of the originals rather than *do* an impression. With Horne the challenge is to recreate the wonderfully warm and relaxed relationship he enjoyed with the audience. And to be onself, of course – which is exactly what Horne did. The other actors get to horse around as any number of grotesque characters. But Horne is Horne.

Do you enjoy touring? And if so, why? It's a while since I did it, so maybe I should answer that question in eight weeks' time!

Why did you become an actor? I did a lot of acting at school and university and after that there was no turning back.

Where did you train? I trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama in the late 1980s.

What was your first part, and where? And your break-through role? My first professional role was at a Scottish rep in Musselburgh (the Brunton Theatre), playing Rochester in Jane Eyre</>. I was a bit young for the part, to be honest. In so far as gaining a measure of public recognition is concerned, my breakthrough role has to have been Horne.

What parts would you ideally like to play after this one? I wouldn't mind a return to the saturnine and sinister, actually – just to mix things up a bit.

Jonathan Rigby was talking to Anne Morley-Priestman


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