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Simon Russell Beale Shares His Fears For the Future of the Theatre

Simon Russell Beale Shares His Fears For the Future of the Theatre

Simon Russell Beale has spoken out about his feelings and fears for the future of the theatre.

"My heart breaks for young actors," Beale told The Guardian. "To be a graduate drama student now must be horrible, with nothing in the bank and no previous work to persuade people to cast you in the future."

"I have never absolutely panicked before, even when I was young and out of work," he said. "But I am feeling it now."

Beale was set to appear in the Broadway transfer of The Lehman Trilogy, before theatre shut down due to the current health crisis.

"What was difficult was the idea that the job didn't exist any more," Beale said of the shutdown. "Normally if they cancel a show you can just go and find another one. Most of us are scared because we have no idea what is going to happen and what theatre is going to look like in the future."

He revealed what he is missing the most about being onstage.

"What I do miss is the feeling at the end of a show that you have achieved something: that first beer afterwards in the dressing room," he said. "It is really the bargain you make as an actor. You do it as well for the type of silence you can sometimes hear in the theatre, or for the laugh you get. I want us to all get together again for that one day."

Read more on The Guardian.

Simon Russell Beale started his London theatre career at the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) where he performed in such plays as The Man of Mode by George Etherege and Restoration by Edward Bond. In 1990, Russell Beale received commendation at the first Ian Charleson Awards for his performances in The Seagull, Troilus and Cressida and title role of Edward II, all of which were at the RSC. Later, Russell Beale performed in The Duchess of Malfi (1995), as Ariel in The Tempest (1994), as Iago in Othello (1997) at the Royal National Theatre, as Malvolio in Twelfth Night (2002) at the Donmar Warehouse and as title role in Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, alongside Helen McCrory and Mark Strong. Other National Theatre appearances include Volpone, Jumpers and the lead role in Humble Boy which was written especially for him. He also appeared as Joseph Stalin in Collaborators at the National in 2011 alongside Alex Jennings.

In 2005 Russell Beale appeared as Cassius in Julius Caesar opposite Ralph Fiennes at the Barbican, later that year he played the title role of Macbeth at the Almeida Theatre, following which he played King Arthur in Monty Python's Spamalot at the Palace Theatre. In 2013 Russell Beale appeared in Harold Pinter's The Hothouse at the Trafalgar Studios, alongside John Smith and directed by Jamie Lloyd. In 2015 Russell Beale returns to stage playing title character Samuel Foote in Mr Foote's Other Leg at the Hampstead Theatre that later transferred to the Theatre Royal Haymarket. He then performed as Prospero in The Tempest with the Royal Shakespeare Company in November 2016 in Stratford Upon Avon, before transfering to the Barbican in July 2017.


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