Michael Kitchen’s big blue eyes, wing ears, bump in the nose, and curls all captured with a few strokes of pen.
Illustration: The New Yorker, Jan. 17, 1994
Prior to appearing in The Russia House, Michael Kitchen had already acted in several other works written by Tom Stoppard during his years at the National Theatre. One of the most successful of these plays was On the Razzle, which opened at the National to rave reviews.
From the website of the Hippodrome in Bristol where the production made a stop:
With a lesser cast it would not have worked, said the critic. “Timing, presentation and sheer momentum are everything and the National have a magnificent line-up which savours every idiotic nuance and tosses puns around like firecrackers. …Michael Kitchen and Harold Innocent round off a remarkable comedy team.”
Among the comments in response to a review of Foyle’s War S1-6 on openlettersmonthly.com:
… your post did remind me of the first time I saw (a very much younger) Michael Kitchen… He was playing the roguish waiter type character and had the refrain ‘classic’ which cropped up throughout the show. I can hear him saying it now. His timing was spot on and he made that one word mean a thousand different things. He hasn’t had anywhere near the recognition he deserves. – Alex
Castmate John Challis wrote last month in the Birmingham Mail:
The villagers are used to film crews and some of Foyle’s War was shot there. Indeed, Michael Kitchen’s funny old face smiled enigmatically down from the wall as we spoke our lines. I worked with him at the National Theatre in Tom Stoppard’s On The Razzle and he recently got in touch with me, which was a lovely surprise.
More about MK’s character, Melchior, and some of the play’s pun-filled dialogue in this blogspot.com post.
Cartoon: William “Bill” Hewison, Punch