An Actor’s Life | Mind over matter – The Post

An Actor’s Life | Mind over matter

October 7th, 2013 10:16 am| by admin
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You can’t actually make this stuff up. Fact is stranger than fiction.

British supermarket chains Tesco and Asda have withdrawn several Halloween outfits from sale due to concerns they made light of mental health issues. Asda’s ‘mental patient fancy dress costume’ is no longer available, and Tesco followed suit by removing its ‘psycho ward’ outfit. Those behind this novelty costume gimmick have apologised, but argued there was method in their madness. Yes, they hoped to make bundles of cash, but now are being forced instead by the public backlash to donate money to MIND, the mental health charity. Saying that, the advertising campaign was reasonably funny, but smacks a bit of a nutter who’s escaped from the loony bin with an axe in one hand and a severed head in the other. The stuff of nightmares, but more of that later …

Well, quite an eventful few weeks for me. The Royal Opera House recently asked me to be the narrator for an opera/theatre version of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ by Mendelssohn. Imagine the buzz of being on stage with a full symphony orchestra, a 40-member choir, two incredible soloists and a world-famous conductor facing a full house of 1,500. My wife said that when I came out in my tailed-coat and best bib and tucker, I looked like a little boy who had been given the keys to the biggest sweet shop in the world. Needless to say, I relished and enjoyed every minute of the experience. It was a one-off performance, and afterwards at a reception, Maestro Bertrand de Billy said that we should all be happy that magical evenings – such as the one we had just witnessed – should serve as a reminder to us all of why we chose to enter this mad profession. Absolutely!

I’ve had an ambition to stage Danish classic comedies in English for some time because I think they’re funny and deserve to be seen by a wider audience. Next summer during the CPH STAGE theatre festival, we will perform a musical comedy called ‘No’ by Ludvig Heiberg at HofTeatret. It scores 10/10 on the ‘wow’ factor, and if you haven’t been to HofTeatret before, I recommend you do so. It’s Denmark’s oldest theatre and one of its most beautiful. The first ever production of ‘No’ took place there back in 1846, and it’s comedy that stands the test of time, ladies & gentles.

Not long to wait for our next production of ‘The Woman in Black’. This is a classic gothic ghost story that is said to be the most terrifying live theatre experience in the world. If you’ve experienced anything inexplicable that has sent shivers up your spine or made your heart skip a beat or three, please submit your ghostly encounters in the form of a short story to Ben Hamilton, the managing editor of The Copenhagen Post, at ben@cphpost.dk.

We will choose four winners, and then we will invite you plus a guest to come to see our play and to have your story read out by a member of That Theatre Company.

The month-long production of ‘Woman in Black’ starts on October 23 at Krudttønden, Serridslevvej 2, Cph Ø. See www.that-theatre.com for further info, and visit www.billetten.dk to book your tickets.