November 4, 2004: Journalist Toby Young appeared on the London stage, playing himself in a stage adaptation of his book How to Lose Friends and Alienate People.
Our critic commented: “It is always a little dangerous portraying yourself in someone else’s adaptation of your own book, particularly if an actor such as, say, Jack Davenport, has already played you in a previous production of the piece.
“It could have been that established actor Davenport – This Life and Coupling – ended up being a more convincing Toby Young than, er, Toby Young.
“Not so. Despite Young’s previous thespic experience being the only student at Anna Scher’s drama school not to get a part in Grange Hill and having been fired after a week as an extra on the film Another Country, he gives a thoroughly convincing performance as himself… He is Ian Hislop’s uncoordinated, even more annoying younger brother, but in that he is not charmless.
“Owen Lewis’ direction has skilfully guided him through the traps and pitfalls of comic acting while allowing him to bring much of himself to the character of, erm, himself – although he is a little shorter in real life.”
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