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The Green Room: What skills would you most like to add to the ones you have?

Photo: Shutterstock

Meet our panel: We have given our panellists pen-names and used stock images but their biographies reflect their real career details…​​


Albert Parker is 60 and has appeared as a regular in soaps, two BAFTA award winning sitcoms, theatre and TV

Beryl Phoenix is in her 40s. She has played leading roles at the RSC, worked on numerous new plays, and toured both national and internationally

Adam Lovett, 45, has appeared in Oscar-winning films, on TV and in theatre at the RSC, National Theatre, and the West End

Gary Abblett is a 38-year-old jobbing actor with experience at the National, RSC, in the West End and on the road

Annie Walker is 25. Since graduating from drama school, she has worked predominantly in regional theatres and is also a writer and street performer

Peter Quince, 72, works in theatre and television

Eoghan Barry is 30. After studying at university he took an MA at drama school. He has worked as an actor on fringe projects and work for young people and more recently as a writer

Keith Simpson is in his early 20s and since graduating from drama school in 2016 has worked on national tours and in rep


Beryl Sign language. Or a really cool martial art.

Jenny Piano playing. I’ve achieved grade 4, but I so envy those who can play well.

Eoghan The ability to play a portable musical instrument – it seems every second job I want to be put up for requires it these days.

Keith Me too, Eoghan, or to be honest, just to be able to play an instrument.

Gary I wish drama school had included learning an instrument as part of the training.

Jon That’s a brilliant idea. I’m sure there are some drama schools who will be considering doing that for the general courses, as well as for specific actor-muso courses.

Keith It’s such a marketable skill. There are so many actor-muso things coming up at the moment and it’s so cool when you see a cracking actor who is also an awesome musician. It makes me very jealous.

Eoghan In many ways, I imagine from a directing/casting point of view, seeing someone extra talented makes you want to have them in more things – they seem more capable.

Gary If we’re talking about casting, it would have been useful to have foreseen the shift in fashion from natural-looking men to gym-honed men in British TV and film. I probably still wouldn’t have bothered my arse getting fit, but at least I would have known.

Beryl I’d love to learn an instrument. Cello?

Albert I think I’d really love to be able to sing really well, but I’m glad I couldn’t when I was younger, as it meant I didn’t get hived off into lots of musical chorus work.

Annie Signing, like Beryl. I would also like to be able to speak eight languages.

Jon My degree is in languages, but I can’t say it’s ever been useful professionally, because I don’t look like the (stereo)typical idea of someone who speaks those languages.

Jenny I’m learning Welsh. That’s fun.

Beryl I want to learn ventriloquism too.

Annie Beryl, we should so be pals. I would love to learn ventriloquism. Also, I was really into circus when I was younger, well – I still am – but I could have had an act together by now if I’d kept at it.

Beryl Let’s do sign language ventriloquist acts!

Albert I think I’d really like this other talent to be something that gave me parallel employment opportunities. I’m not sure if I added another talent to my performance skills it would really bring in more work.

Gary I wish I’d trained in several ways in my early 20s – things like care work or social work.

Jon Something like social work would be a really worthwhile parallel career, yes. But I also think non-professionally related skills are an interesting area. I’d love to be able to draw, for example. Just take a sketchbook somewhere quiet for a couple of hours.

Eoghan Yes, being good at something like that, a means of relaxation – and then some day it’ll probably come in weirdly useful for a job too, despite or probably because it’s a passion.

Jon It’s funny how that happens: “Why yes, I can do macrame!”

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