An Actor’s Life | Far from the madding crowd …

It actually takes quite a lot of effort to get away from it all. I have just done just that and, as a result, I went to bed at 7:45 on New Year’s Eve due to exhaustion. I travelled about 10,000 kilometres to get here to this paradise on Earth. So where am I?

Well, imagine the songs of the birds, colours of the foliage and the butterflies in the tropical section at Copenhagen Zoo. That’s right, well done reader. I’m on the east coast of Thailand. More precisely at a small resort hacked out of the jungle called Koh Kood.

I’m the first one up. It’s 7am. Even my mother-in-law lasted longer than me at the celebrations taking place on the beach last night. My wife came to see how I was at 11:30, and I got up to see the New Year in. I didn’t have the obligatory glass of champagne though, (last night was a first): I sipped an ice-cold Coke straight from the can as the fireworks were exploding around us (yes, even here it seems we feel the need to do that). We danced slowly to some Tony Bennett out on our terrace. Our dancing was a fairly stationary affair as I felt I was spinning around enough due to the exhaustion I mentioned earlier.

Well, I feel much better today I’m pleased to say and in case you were worried. After what seemed like a very long night, once again I’m back to my optimistic self. That, I suppose, is part of the human condition. You can’t keep us down for long. As I lied there in my bed feeling the world spinning around, I gave some thought to what’s it all about Alfie. Life. Christmas.

The orgy of the present-giving is simply too much. We say so every year, and yet every year we do the same, don’t we? One of the highlights for me was the story-telling that took place at St Alban’s Church: a very simple, candlelit affair that served as a reminder of what this time of year should be about. I don’t know much, but I don’t think it’s about watching Macauley Caulkin out-witting and smashing would-be house-thieves in true Tom & Jerry style and about a poor little rich kid having to spend a few nights alone.

I truly hope that the world will be a better place for more of us from today onwards. I’m going to make a start by enjoying being here with my family and enjoying our break far from the madding crowd.

When I get back, I’ll be diving into rehearsals for our production of ‘Shakespeare’s Women’, which is a world premiere no less and something we wrote ourselves. I’m actually very proud of it.

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