|An Ever Glowing, Growing and Glorious Few So Generously Sharing with the Many|
Dame Dorothy Tutin
|LSW has, and continues to be honoured by the best.
The wide variety of subjects covered in tandem with the continuing good will and
cohesion from key members of the British and international theatrical communities never
ceases to astound in its generous inspiration. Having no political or economic flag
to fly, the variety of views expressed at LSW and the astonishing level of experiential
interchange freely allows all to individually, as Kevin Kline so generously put it: 'Take
the best and leave the rest'. The vast canvas of LSW's 'takings' would be hard to
better. For that, each and every LSW member of the burgeoning many must be eternally
grateful. The difference made on the behalf of all of us by an ever growing few -
the outstanding LSW guests - has been and continues to be vast. The gifts given are
It would be impractical to list all the Guests LSW has been honoured to enjoy in its first two years, and certainly I don't have sufficient pictures on hand to scan. (I'll have to start buying more programmes!) However, I will include a few scattered highlights: An extraordinary session on 'emotional reality' in Shakespeare by the amazing Gemma Jones; Janet Suzman defining theatrical excellence once again for all and sundry on two precious occasions; Lynn Farleigh proving that she is to London what Uta Hagen is to New York; John McEnery thrilling one and all by 'working through' Julius Caesar; Sam West illustrating a balance of metre as keenly atuned as his juggling skills evidenced below; the extraordinary Dame Dorothy Tutin thrilling all with her memories of another Dame, Edith Evans; Suzanne Bertish, Fenella Fielding and Sheila Steafel all working individual wonders with the sonnets; Josette Bushell-Mingo and Greg Thompson working individual magic in different ways with The Tempest; Greg Hicks and Richard Dreyfuss vividly illustrating theatrical courage; John Tydeman, Alec Reid and the extraordinary Clive Brill so colourfully reconstituting the so-called 'lost art', radio; Ian Talbot, the wondrous Matthew Francis, Andrew Jarvis and Glen Walford each strikingly focusing our energies; Trader Faulkner drawing verse out of the rudiments of flamenco; Ken Campbell being gloriously Ken in Pidgen and out; Bill Homewood and Estelle Kohler so acutely delineating variety with 'Shakespeare in the Saddle'; Malcolm Sinclair penetrating the turn of soliloquies; Kathryn Pogson and Gareth Armstrong fleshing out unsung characters; Desmond Barrit on the art of getting laughs through tears; Mel Churcher and Robert Palmer harnessing our cords; Luke Dixon and the enticing David Tennant on gender bending in Shakespeare; Jack Klaff and John Normington on the necessary rigour required to invest in that fine vest of theatrical armour - rapture in verse; Geoffrey Church, Sarah Davey and Andrew Visnevski enlivening through physicality; Dilys Hamlett, the glorious Sheila Reid, Diana Fairfax, Faith Brook and so many others delighting and instructing a vast many through meticulous work with a lucky few for commentary; the vast artistry that is Philip Voss, a vivid example (not to mention exemplar) in clarity as the root of focus; and so, SO many more; each investing in a wide plethora of possibilities. Every one of the LSW guests has uniquely offered a new format in the emission of hope. We have been blessed indeed.
That the LSW enterprise is worthy (should such a testament now be demanded) can be physically evidenced by the positive results already generated by the respect shown both for and between the guests and the LSW membership itself. Weekly encouragement has substantially benefited many professionals currently young in their careers, as well as those who may find themselves 'coming back', in a lull, or just lusting to experiment and keep their trademarked tools sharp. Supportive applause and energetic commitment have been the order of the Sundays. LSWs investment ratio in abetting theatrical faith has indicated that it can and will continue to pay substantial dividends.
As always, a simple 'thank you' for the enormous generosity of LSW's guests seems wholly inadequate, but it is, as ever, wholly heartfelt. The difference each LSW guest has made has been manifest. The sell-by date of their unique wit and wisdom shared in these magnificantly beneficent bequests is far beyond any one lifetime. The inherent joys remain nothing less than our heritage. Ours is a very rich one which deserves, indeed demands not only to be celebrated, but cherished. Long may we strive to do so.