We were all very proud of the show and it went down well with our audiences, both at the theatre and on tour. Very sadly, Dennis Potter died in '94 and so the Everyman staged a memorial evening in celebration of his life and work, arranged and directed by David Hill. There were of course a number of readings and anecdotes from people who had worked with Potter and we performed a scene from our play, which was very well received. It had already been our idea to try to re-mount the play in London and on the night, we asked many of the 'stars' to support our bid by signing a declaration that they had seen some of the show and thought it a good idea to have it play in London; we asked for no financial contribution.
Here's the list of 'sponsors': Kenith Trodd, Piers Haggard, Renny Rye, Lynda La Plante, Alan Plater, Gemma Craven, Kika Markham, Corin Redgrave, John Shrapnel, Janet Henfrey, Lyndon Davies, Giles Thomas, Douglas Heshall, Imelda Staunton, Jim Carter, Bernard Hill, George Baker, Frank Finlay, Maggie Steed and Alan Bates.
With such support, we thought our idea had every chance of being realised and felt sure that it would be a success. Dan Crawford of The King's Head, Islington came on board to produce; the plan was to play at The King's Head and hopefully transfer to a West End Theatre. I've just been looking at the reams of costings and administrative notes we had compiled in our attempt to get the show into production. You can maybe guess that it all ended in tears; indeed it did. Three days before rehearsals were due to start, Dennis Potter's literary agent withdrew the performance rights; apparently there had been interest in staging a production of the play somewhere else by a more established company. The 'somewhere else' turned out to be the National Theatre. We were deeply upset and annoyed, as indeed was Dan, who realised what a good idea we'd had.
This photograph is of me playing 'John'. Also in the cast were: Angela Bain, Annie Sutton, Steven Deproost, David Kennedy, Peter Rylands and Julian Protheroe.
"Right down to the minutest detail, from the fidgeting and fumbling to stuttering and snorting, every single member of the cast recaptures those childhood mannerisms to perfection. It is one of the most intense, amusing and painful hours I can ever remember.The whole thing leaves you as breathless as the cast. It is a simple play - and one which is quite simply brilliant."