Happy birthday, dear Will! … The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together…’ (ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL) yours and mine both, Will. Many Happy Returns!

Lynne McVernon, author and theatre director who director me in several productions at the Young Vic Theatre celebrating Shakespeare’s birthday. She is also very generously talking about other productions I was in, as well as those she directed. The Young Vic was a truly wonderful time in my life. Thank you, Lynne.

Lynne McVernon

Dear Will – whether on not you wrote the plays, you have been a major influence on all of us who ever read painfully aloud from A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM at school or scratched furiously through an essay on ‘The significance of gender and power in Othello’, or some such spurious twaddle, at university. You would probably be appalled – or amused.

Three examples from schooldays stand out in my mind. My first was the reading aloud one. The second was playing Trinculo in a snippet from THE TEMPEST at an end of year drama competition. My best friend, Lesley, played the monstrous Caliban and won the school Drama Prize because of it. It was an all girls school, so not such extraordinary casting. That said, she was an olive-skinned, half-Italian beauty which made her achievement in convincing the audience of the creature’s lumpen ugliness all the more praiseworthy. Incidentally…

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