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Posts Tagged ‘Covering McKellan’

Under the weather–perfect English euphemism for the annoying cold that isn’t exactly ‘flu that has confined me to bed, for almost a week now.

Meredith and Pippa have been exemplary carers though–(Meredith up and down stairs with trays and tinctures and Pippa lying there on the bed, willing me better)

Pippa(r) with two student carers.

–and it has given me some reading time.

David Weston’s book “Covering McKellen” arrived the day I was struck down.

It relates, in the form of a diary, the troubled but entertaining backstage story of the 2007 Royal Shakespeare Company’s World Tour of Shakespeare’s King Lear–starring Ian McKellen.

David Weston understudied Sir Ian and played the supporting role of “Gentleman” in the production.

He prefers to call the job “covering”–hence the title.

I was in the National Youth Theatre with David in 1960 and The Actors’ Company between 1972 and 1974 with Ian–hence my interest.

The book has proved therapeutic and enjoyable.

It has also reminded me of the danger understudies can pose to a principal–they might be rather good!

Lunch yesterday, for instance, was grilled lamb chops and asparagus–provided by my understudy/cover.

Perfectly cooked–nicely pink without being bloody, seasoned to a “T”with salt and black pepper and with a hint of olive oil, garlic and rosemary from the short marinading–I ate them with relish, not quite understanding the faint feeling of unease I was experiencing with each bite.

Then I remembered David’s book and resolved to get better–asap!

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