January 15th, 2011

Monsieur le Posh

Surprise! A sweet NY Times article about Eppy's old RADA friend Brian Bedford

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/theater/09bedford.html

With two of his brothers dying slowly of tuberculosis, he spent a lot of time alone in the bathroom, “pretending to be a radio,” softly speaking lines he had heard in broadcasts. He says he wanted to be an actor “before I knew there was such a thing as the theater.”

He left school at 15 and joined an amateur theater group in Bradford. Among the people he met then was a “stage-door Johnny” named Brian Epstein, who also wanted to be an actor but became famous as the manager of the Beatles. “Brian gave me my first record player,” he says, “and my first classical album, which was the Sibelius violin concerto.” His education was well under way.

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From Brian Epstein's autobiography
A Cellarful of Noise,
Martin Lewis edition, pages 86-87:
It was Saturday, the final night of a three-week run, and Helen Lindsay, a lovely actress now well known on television, had done very well in a difficult part.

There was a lot of praise and noise and everyone was very pleased with themselves in that disarmingly vain way actors have. I suddenly felt depressed and I said: "I think I'll pop off home, I'm rather tired."

Brian [Bedford] bawled: "Nonsense. This is a wonderful night. We're only just starting." I said: "You may be — all of you. I'm a doomed middle-aged businessman."

Helen said: "What do you want to do with your life?" and I replied, to my immense surprise, "I wouldn't mind being an actor. But it's too late." Brian refused to accept this and said, "There's a very good chance you could get into RADA."

He had, of course, distinguished himself there and he and Helen encouraged me to seek an audition.

Many more photos and links, and a great slideshow of Brian Bedford's various stage scenes, can be enjoyed in the full article at the Times website [HERE]