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20 Questions with ... Travels with my Aunt star Jonathan Hyde

Jonathan Hyde stars in Christopher Luscombe's revival of Graham Greene's Travels with my Aunt, adapted by Giles Havergal, which opens at the Menier Chocolate Factory tonight.

Performed by four actors (Hyde is joined by David Bamber, Gregory Gudgeon and Iain Mitchell) playing a host of characters, the anarchic comedy tells the story of retired bank manager Henry Pulling and his globetrotting adventures with his Aunt Augusta.

Hyde's recent stage credits include The King's Speech and Peter Pan, while his film appearances include The Mummy and James Cameron's blockbuster Titanic.

Where and when were you born?
Brisbane, Queensland on the 21 May 1948

What made you want to become an actor?
When I was five, my sister used to pull my pants down at parties, which always got a laugh. I was hooked.

If you hadn't become an actor, what might you have done professionally?
Painter? Teacher? Designer?

First big break?
Being accepted for RADA after a catastrophic audition.

Career highlights to date?
See my website: jonathanhyde.net

Favourite directors?
Theatre - Declan Donnellan, Giles Havergal, Philip Prowse, Philip Franks and Adrian Noble.

What was the first thing you saw on stage that had a big impact on you?
A Man for all Seasons starring Robert Speight in Melbourne when I was at school (1965).

And the last?
The American Plan at the Ustinov Theatre, Bath. Starring Diana Quick and a fantastic cast (2013).

Do you often get recognised?
Sometimes - mainly for Jumanji, Richie Rich or Titanic.

Favourite book?
Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman.

What's the most embarrassing thing that's happened to you on stage?
I once corpsed so badly that I was quite unable to speak and had to leave the stage.

Iain Mitchell, Jonathan Hyde & David Bamber in Travels with my Aunt (photo: Catherine Ashmore)

What drew you to Travels with my Aunt?
The invitation to play Henry AND Aunt Augusta.

Who's you favourite character to play?
Aunt Augusta.

And favourite line in the show?
"God's in His heaven - All's right with the world!" (It's the last line of the play)

Do you have a favourite aunt?
Aunt Bertie.

Where's your favourite post-show London haunt?
The Ivy.

Any pre-show rituals?
I always arrive early and maintain a routine.

If you could swap places with anyone for a day, who would it be?
David Cameron (then I could sack the cabinet and resign).

Who's your acting idol?
Sir Ian McKellen.

What have you got lined up next?
A holiday.

Travels With My Aunt continues at the Menier Chocolate Factory until 29 June


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