God bless the lovely Clare Higgins, who once told a journalist for The Independent that acting is something you “do in the dark”. A bit like sex, really. Her allusion, not Tabard’s. “You don’t do it at 8.30am, in 30-second segments. You just don’t,” she said.
At the time she appeared to be referring to television and film work, but Tabard understands the performer may have changed her tune somewhat. In an interview with this esteemed publication, Higgins says appearing in the ITV series Homefront changed her opinion on acting in the daylight. “I am incredibly proud to be part of Homefront,” she gushes. “And I didn’t mind getting up at 5am to go and act in the daylight. Or maybe I’ve just withdrawn my vampire teeth.”
But she still insists her original comments to The Independent were about theatre. “I was really talking about the stage, as I don’t think you should do a play unless it’s after dark. But you can film all day, that’s fine by me,” she said.
Tabard commends her for embracing the television way of working. But it seems she has to really, because in the same interview she tells The Stage that her agents threatened her with “the sack” if she didn’t leave theatre and do more TV work. Probably wise not to complain too much about early starts and 30-second segments, then.
Comedy of errors as misquote recalls sketch classic
Delighted to read a special 20 Questions with… Roger Rees on the What’s On Stage website the other day. Very interesting to know what he would be doing if he wasn’t an actor, and what made him want to act in the first place – apparently, it was “seeing a photograph of Laurence Olivier and Ralph Richardson in a production of Henry IV Part One showing four staff carrying the dead body of Hotspur back to his encampment to claim that he’d killed the boy”. How nice, Tabard thought, to see Olivier and Richardson being such inspirations.
But wait. Tabard was perplexed, and forced to re-read the sentence. Four staff? Who, Tabard wondered, were these four individuals referred to as carrying the dead body? Tabard doesn’t recall anybody carrying Hotspur’s body in Henry IV Part One except Falstaff.
And then Tabard saw the publication’s error and raised a smile. Oh dear, how embarrassing. Still, it would be easy to mishear ‘Falstaff’ if you aren’t as familiar with the play as an expert such as Tabard. One was reminded of that wonderful sketch from The Two Ronnies, in which Ronnie Corbett plays a shopkeeper who mishears his customer’s demand for “fork handles” as “four candles”. Very funny.
Needless to say, WOS realised its error and soon amended the piece. So no harm done. And Tabard is sure no one will have known about it. Until now.