Happy World Theater Day! Let’s celebrate this beautiful day dedicated to the wonderful art form that is theater with a little walk down the memory lane to live and re-live bits and pieces of Damian Lewis’ brilliant stage career!
Damian discovers theater at a young age at Ashdown House, the boarding school he went at age eight: “Each summer we staged a Gilbert and Sullivan Operetta. It was all so English. I used to sing the solos. I had a sweet treble voice.” His first ever role was a policeman The Pirates of Penzance, a Gilbert and Sullivan. And, by age 12, he had already played in 12 Gilbert and Sullivan Operettas.
It all starts with a good colleague with whom I share love for theater asking me to name my favorite male and female stage performances in 2015. Easy. It’s 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 make me LOVE them? Just one word: Precision.
Then I think about the heart-breaking performance Lesley Manville gives in Ghosts which, in fact, has 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 do not know about her stage work. So I google her. And this is one of the first images I hit!