Simon Russell Beale

21 Apr

I have fallen in love.

With Simon Russell Beale.

Simon Russell Beale who? Well, you probably would not have heard of him if you are not a theatre fan or if you have not come across some novel that has been made into a tv/film that has starred him in the last decade or so such as Jane Austen’s Persuasion or Anthony Powell’s A Dance to the Music of Time where he played the unforgettable Kenneth Widmerpool, but this was after the time that Britain has already hailed him as the greatest classical actor of his generation, and I was a bit late in showing my appreciation for the performing arts then.

Anyway, I fell in love with SRB (as I fondly call him when I am with my pal eddie) on February 28, 2008. It was a classic case of love at first sight. It was the first time I saw him perform on stage as the charismatic Andrew Undershaft in the National Theatre production of George Bernard Shaw’s Major Barbara.

So yes, I regret having missed his brilliant portrayal of Hamlet, described by the Times’ Benedict Nightingale as witty, troubled, caring, self-knowing, morally sturdy and supremely incisive. Russell Beale made it to his Top 10 Best Hamlet list at number 1. I saw him again at the National’s Much Ado About Nothing playing Benedick in March, and oh, how much I loved him there too. Since falling in love with him I promised that I will devour anything that has his name attached to it which I often do with the rest of them. So I bought the NT’s Candide OST where he played Pangloss just to listen to his singing voice! Apparently he earned the Laurence Olivier Best Actor for that production. He will perform in the upcoming National Theatre production of Harold Pinter’s short play called A Slight Ache as Edward, opposite Claire Higgins starting in July. Come autumn he will be part of the company from Sam Mendes’ The Bridge Project that will tour New York with productions such as Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard and William Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale, then back again in British soil to perform the same productions next spring.

If you care to know, now that I have indulged you this far, I saw him tonight in Major Barbara, (yes, my second time) but I sat much closer to the stage and boy did that feel so much better! We are literally breathing the same air. My heart skipped a beat as soon as he made his way onto the stage and as soon as he did what he does best out there, I was alive. It felt like I was flung into the heavens, and it was such a good feeling. And I think it wasn’t just me who felt the same, the audience at the Olivier tonight loved him too, we were under his spell. But one thing I am quite sure of is that I probably love him more, because you know what, I really do.

To experience this SRB moment, Major Barbara is currently playing at the Olivier, National Theatre until July 3.

10 Responses to “Simon Russell Beale”

  1. mrswentworthmiller at 6:26 pm #

    Nooooooo! looks like i’m gonna hav 2 put up with grandad.
    (chek out ma site i got more on it now)

  2. ShiShi at 3:08 pm #

    So you love Simon Russell Beale, huh? Ok, if I’m Anne Elliott and you-know-who is Capt. Wentworth and Simon is Charles Musgrove, then you must be……!

    Seriously though, I think your new man is great! New man, new love, the Bard bringing you together… what can possibly be more romantic than that?

  3. eddie at 1:02 pm #

    He better be worth my time on Saturday, or else!!!

  4. ShiShi at 3:23 pm #

    Or else? Sabunutan na!!!

  5. Simone at 11:27 pm #

    Tsk, tsk, tsk. Ye of little faith.

  6. Stagemother at 9:33 am #

    I like him as Charles Musgrove Monette!

  7. Simone at 10:37 am #

    Mum!!! When you visit me in London, I will make sure to treat you and see him perform live, you will forget him as Charles Musgrove.

  8. eddie at 5:26 pm #

    Now I know why Monqs. 😉

  9. feignedmischief at 9:49 pm #

    Acchhhhh so much has happened since I met the man! xxx


  1. Theatre Review: The Winter’s Tale & The Cherry Orchard, Brooklyn Academy of Music « Feigned Mischief -

    […] you might ask? As some of you might know, I have been shamelessly using my blog as a platform for my unrequited love for Simon Russell Beale, and you would think that nobody would bother reading it, apparently some have done and now I am […]

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