Spot a certain ginger among a bunch of young actors playing in a celebrity football tournament around 1995/96!
It was Damian’s pal Jonsel Gourkan who tweeted the picture. Both he and Damian were playing football for Royal Shakespeare Company and it is clear from the tweet that the competition on the football field was real! Well, we all know Damian knows his footie, don’t we?
It all started when a good colleague with whom I share true love for theater asked me to name my favorite male and female stage performances in 2015. Easy. Lesley Manville in Ibsen’s Ghosts and Damian Lewis in Mamet’s American Buffalo (with Mark Strong in Miller’s A View From the Bridge as a close second). And what is it about these performances that made me fall in LOVE with them?
One word: Precision.
Then I thought about the heart-breaking performance Lesley Manville gives in Ghosts which, in fact, brought her an Olivier Award in 2014 (I saw the play much later when it visited Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2015). I know Manville mostly from her work on big screen such as Secrets and Lies (1996), Vera Drake (2004), Another Year (2010) and Mr Turner (2014) all of which were some of my favorites in the year they were released. But I really did not know about her stage work. So I googled her.
Matt Wolf, a theater critic who interviews Damian Lewis at Times Talks London in May 2014, spends quite some time talking to Damian about each and every play he has done to date at length, well, except for one: When it comes to Five Gold Rings, Wolf mentions it briefly and as more of a personal highlight than a professional one for Damian!
Matt Wolf: “One production at The Almeida called Five Gold Rings was perhaps not that successful except that it has the woman whom you ended up marrying so I would assume it was a success in that way.”
Damian Lewis is making a wonderful return to stage in Edward Albee’s late masterpiece The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? tomorrow and here is the last installment in our countdown. It is obviously a bittersweet end to our countdown with London in our minds and our hearts today. Please stay safe, everyone!
Damian takes quite a long break from stage – 6 years – after he does The Misanthrope with Keira Knightley and Tara Fitzgerald at Comedy Theatre. And after three seasons of Homeland, a season of Wolf Hall, three movies, an Emmy and a Golden Globe later, in 2015, he makes a wonderful comeback to stage as Walter “Teach Cole” in David Mamet’s American Buffalo… which also goes into history as the first time I see my favorite actor on stage. Continue reading “Damian Lewis on Stage: American Buffalo”
Continuing the countdown to Damian’s return to stage next week (!) with The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?, let’s take a visit to his penultimate play, The Misanthrope. It was 2009 when Damian played the lead role of Alceste in Martin Crimp’s modernized version of Moliere’s 17th century comedy. After his appearance in The Misanthrope he was not seen on stage again until American Buffalo six years later. Dare we say, The Misanthrope marked a turning point for Damian, the last one where he was the nearly A-list actor playing against decidedly A-list’er Keira Knightley. NOW, of course, he is not nearly anything but a full-blown highly sought commodity on stage and screen. In this post, I’ll tell you a bit about the play, then, beg your indulgence as I wax philosophical about the extent to which the themes of the play translate to Damian’s own career trajectory.