Tag Archives: funny MK

Peter Hall was also co-director, albeit a mostly absent one, with Alan Ayckbourn for the latter’s hit comedy play, Bedroom Farce, in which Michael Kitchen was one of the six original castmembers. In this marvelous video from the National Theatre Ayckbourn talks of rehearsing the play and how all the actors doubted their own abilities in the weeks leading up to the premiere:

By the time we got to Birmingham, the cast was suicidal…

I think every single one of them, including Joan Hickson, the great Joan Hickson, and Michael Kitchen – wonderful cast – they all came up to me and said, “I know I wasn’t the first choice*. Uh, but, uh, I want you to know that I’m- I’m rotten at comedy. I’ve never- I’ve never liked doing comedy. Uh, and uh, I was so sorry, I’m letting down your play, and uh, I’m rubbish.”

*Ralph Richardson and Peggy Ashcroft were on the original wish-list.

Hard to imagine that Michael Kitchen with his superb comic timing once thought he couldn’t do comedy. It hadn’t occurred to me that Bedroom Farce was indeed his first major foray into comedy. Thank goodness the Birmingham audience went barmy on opening night and Michael Kitchen went on to many more roles that showcased his comedic talents.

(Also on the photostage.co.uk site, photos of Michael Kitchen in Romeo and Juliet.)

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Since it’s National Handshake Day…



Like VIPs who have visited the White House this year, Jack Turner is the victim of an awkward handshake. Customary bowing, in my opinion, is preferable to shaking hands, especially when one must deal with a head of state whose hands have been grabbing the nether regions of untold women. For those with a bad back, though, I suppose a handshake is less taxing.

(Not quite the Michael Kitchen/Stella Gonet reunion I hoped for.)



John Farrow on being a dad.



The day after?


Fedge was made for April Fools’ Day.




Rehashed joke but still funny with Michael Kitchen delivering the lines.



Brian Pern and John Farrow rendezvous in the Amazon rainforest aka Kew Gardens. Cute lemur, cute cap.






Tippling would be one way to cope with the next four years.





Comfort food for distressing times.






“God Almigh-, it takes your breath away, doesn’t it? Jes…”

Not a day goes by now that I’m not echoing John Farrow’s sentiments as a similarly unqualified director times ten prepares to take the helm.


Michael Kitchen is light on his feet in Dandelion Dead.

Enjoyed the escapist La La Land today. Fun watching modern-day actors break out into song and dance.




Someone like George Michael has survived a series of scandals largely because-




What a voice. RIP George Michael. Thanks for the college memories.


The first season [of The Crown] had a much-reported budget of £100 million. To put that into perspective, it works out at about ten times more than the entire series — nine seasons — of my own Foyle’s War.

– Anthony Horowitz, “Why we screenwriters want to work for Netflix more than the BBC




A Netflix stalwart and a Netflix newcomer, Michael Kitchen and Claire Foy, with nary a trilby or crown in sight.














How COULD you, America?



Antipholus of Syracuse is accosted by Adriana, his identical twin’s wife, who has mistaken him for her husband, Antipholus of Ephesus, and misinterprets his apathy toward her as that of a straying lover. Having never laid eyes on her in his life, he’s simply treating her as the stranger she is, and is completely baffled by the accusations hurled at him.  Her self-righteous declaration of fidelity elicits a reaction of astonished amusement from him (the “Phew” cracks me up).  I love Michael Kitchen’s bemused expressions as his character tries to make sense of the odd situation in which he finds himself.








Jack’s not sure what hit him as Christine barrels in and out of his office with her sudden decision. A few takes of this scene and both parties are liable to have bruised lips. Love Michael Kitchen’s bug-eyed face.


Six weeks after Freud aired, Michael Kitchen could be seen live on stage playing a very different role in Tom Stoppard’s new work, Rough Crossing.

Two playwrights and collaborators, the composer and most of the cast of a musical comedy destined for Broadway are trying to finish and rehearse the play while crossing from Southampton via Cherbourg, to New York. – The Guide to World Drama

The play was deemed a big disappointment by most critics, but MK was singled out for his comedic chops. From Christopher Edwards’s review in The Spectator:

Next we move to the rehearsal of Turai’s and Gal’s monstrously bad musical comedy involving upper-class jewel thieves redeemed by the love of good women who play ping-pong. This may not be exactly correct but this is all part of the joke. No one really understands what the musical is about, thus enabling Stoppard to introduce his best idea in the form of a land-lubber waiter who grows in stature until he becomes a sort of one-man deus ex machina. He starts with comic misnomers, e.g. calling the funnels chimneys and the bridge the balcony; he initiates a routine which deprives Turai, on about half a dozen occasions, of a much needed brandy which he knocks back himself. Gradually he finds his sea legs when all about are losing theirs, and reveals a formidable grasp of the plot, unavailable even to those who composed it. Michael Kitchen’s performance is very funny, in particular his matter-of-fact plot synopsis of the ludicrously tangled business surrounding the jewel thief…

And Michael Billington wrote in his review for The Guardian (Oct. 31, 1984):

There is a very good performance from Michael Kitchen as the steward whom he endows initially with a knee-sagging Groucho-esque walk that suggests it is teatime on the Titanic which gives way to a trick of inclining vertically in his boots as if he were a marine Little Titch.

One theatergoer recalled years later on this blog:

It’s interesting to me to see Michael Kitchen in so serious a role in Foyle’s War and remember how funny, with excellent timing, he was as Dvornicheck in Rough Crossing. Very good actor.

Despite MK’s hilarious performance, the poor reviews for Rough Crossing led to the National Theatre pulling the play from its repertoire. For MK, though, unemployment didn’t last long, as the start of filming for Out of Africa in January 1985 was just weeks away.