Brief Encounter With …

What has drawn you to the part of Kenneth Williams(in Round the Horne) in particular?
Well, I have had the privilege of playing Kenneth Williams on and off for six years and being him on stage doesn’t get any better than that!

How does it differ from your previous roles?
Most of the roles I have played have been Kenneth Williams – so no difference at all. In between I have played Cardinal Richelieu at The Bristol Old Vic, Carmen Ghia opposite Peter Kay in The Producers for the UK tour and Lt Gruber in ‘Allo ‘Allo. So I think it would be fair to say there is a camp theme to my work!

What are the particular issues when taking on the part of a well-known person still very much within living memory? voice? general appearance? mannerisms?
I want to be as true and entertaining as I possibly can. I mimic a lot of people but I relish the vocal dexterity of Kenny. I am slim but now broader than Kenny as I go to a gym every day and enjoy wine too much! When playing Kenny my body and face take on a different persona. I also wear a suit and tie on and off stage as I love dressing up and it makes me feel the part.

Do you enjoy touring? And if so, why?
I am looking forward to the tour as my wife is understudying Betty Marsden, so it is fun for the pair of us to spend the days driving around together exploring our surroundings.

Why did you become an actor?
It was, along with art, the only thing I could do to a relatively high standard.

Where did you train? The Arts Educational’s Acting Company

What was your first part, and where? And your break-through role?
Cassio in Othello with Custard Factory. Not surprisingly Kenneth Williams in Round The Horne Revisited.

What parts would you ideally like to play after this one?
James Bond! Or failing that I had been cast in Carry On London as Sir Desmond Upingham-Knightly, before funding was pulled, so that would have been nice!

Robin Sebastian was talking to Anne Morley-Priestman