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Mr M Patel

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  • 13
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Funny, revealing, honest - a life

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 27-08-19

As well as benefitting from being read by the author’s own famously dulcet tones, this autobiography stands out as being more honest than most theatrical memoirs.

Yes, it contains life events - family deaths, revealing moments in his youth and young adulthood. But it also gives you all that a fan of the actor could hope for: Theatrical breakthroughs at the NT / Old Vic and work with RSC and Michael Grandage, tv highlights including I Claudius, Cadfael and the underrated gem Mr Pye.

It’s also more honest than most: verdicts on his own performances where he feels he fell short plus his views on some of his peers. Plus an interesting chapter on his involvement with a US benefactor / producer that turns a touch sour.

Top marks also for the analysis of his relationship with his life partner - not many people, let alone those in the public eye, would open up to the extent that the talented Sir Derek Jacobi does.

I’d read the book, but the reading is out of this world

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-08-19

I’d bought and enjoyed the book on release - as a collection of writing with additional commentary on the author’s life, it’s like a greatest hits of intelligent and fun theatre writing. From the title, you might expect an autobiography. There’s a path through Callow’s life, but it isn’t his life story in the traditional sense.

When I saw it was available on Audible, I knew it would stand a further visit. Simon’s reading is - perhaps as you’d expect - outstanding. It’s a star-studded tome, and the author ‘does the voices’ so well, from Denholm Elliott and Sylvia Coleridge to Gielgud and Olivier.

An essential read or listen to anyone who loves theatre.

History, trivia and opinion- all with great humour and modesty

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 28-07-19

Roger Moore reads wonderfully the history of Bond to 2012, just before Skyfall is released. It’s a book comprising the full history of the franchise, trivia and opinion- all related with great humour and modesty.

Such a wonderful thing to have now that Roger is no longer with us.

One point deducted for the excruciating ‘bonus’ interview where someone called Peter Curran asks poor Roger the most awful questions in an inept manner.

An essential addition

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 14-07-19

I’d had this recommended to me, and read other’s reviews before taking the plunge - and am so glad I did.
A fascinating life - eventful, ups and downs but this is no mis-lit - , and told by an expert in the field.
The writing is so economic, with much information and emotion conveyed beautifully.
Dame Penelope Wilton has been a lifelong favourite of mine, and her reading skills match those of her acting.

Excellent, but give chapter info and sort typos

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-05-19

Great stories and performances, as you’d expect from BBC radio.
But please sort out typo in the associated info -‘Kristen’ Scott Thomas?
Also it’s difficult to navigate a 13 hour collection without knowing which chapters relate to which of the stories.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

Wasn’t expecting a theatre recording, but good

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 18-02-19

Thought it might be more like a BBC radio adaptation, but this was a recording of a performance in a theatre. Not sure if it’s been adapted so that things you would see on stage are instead mentioned in dialogue, but it was done very well.
Great David Hare work, and as it’s one of his ‘State of the nation’ (ie of their time) plays, i was pleased to have chance to listen it, as it seems unlikely to be restaged soon.