1992

La Bete

This play was written by David Hirson, directed by Richard Jones and designed by Richard Hudson. It was produced at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith by Andrew Lloyd-Webber's Really Useful Company.

I played Valere, a hugely over-the-top, flamboyant and obsequious showman, who is favored by the Prince and offered a place in the acting troupe headed by Elomire.  The play is a rhyming couplet pastiche of a Moliere play (the name Elomire is an anagram of the French playwright) and an extraordinary argument between art and commerce.

The play is also an incredible challenge for the actor playing Valere, as there is a nearly half an hour long monologue in the first act.

I was so exhausted by this play.  It really did me in. I love the feeling when I think I'm not going to be able to do something, for real, and this really came close to that. But I still think it is one of the best parts I have ever played, and I wish the play would be recognized for the masterpiece it is.

I was nominated for an Olivier Award in the Comedy Performance of the Year category.