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Diary: Carvel is poetry in motion

Bertie Carvel. Photo: David Jensen
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For the uninitiated (and, in fact, the initiated) Equity’s Annual Representative Conference can feel really quite silly.

Performers, stage managers and retirees all gather together in a room, have a good shout about what the union should be fighting for, then retire to the bar to get absolutely sloshed.

And when certain delegates take to the conference’s much-coveted podium there are a few jokes, a bit of grandstanding, and quite a lot of waffle – almost as though some know nothing of what they want to say, other than that they want to hear themselves say it.

Having a surreptitious look around the room, Tabard’s keen eye was richly rewarded with some familiar faces, including Bertie Carvel – star of Doctor Foster and The Hairy Ape – representing the union’s Stage Committee.

Or at least Tabard thought this was a good spot, until Carvel took to the podium to back a motion, to rapturous applause. And then took to the podium again. And again.

Yes, despite Carvel being due to present only one motion, his podium appearances were in double figures by the end of the conference – proving that it’s not just the Equity stalwarts who are addicted to the conference limelight.

In one particularly memorable turn, he appeared to ditch reason altogether, treating the crowd to a dramatic poetry reading which received, it must be said, lukewarm applause.

This aside though, Tabard thinks an actor of Carvel’s profile should be applauded for taking an active stance and standing up for his industry. Equity needs more like him.

Send stories to tabard@thestage.co.uk

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