Michael Kitchen reciting the poetry of love from Shakespeare in this video clip of him as Antipholus of Syracuse making romantic overtures to Luciana. His ardent words are met with shock and dismay, though, since Luciana has mistaken him for her brother-in-law, Antipholus of Ephesus, and thus believes him to be already married to her sister!
The BBC Shakespeare Plays: Making the Televised Canon, by Susan Willis, contains interesting behind-the-scenes details about the making of The Comedy of Errors that highlight Michael Kitchen’s professionalism. I was most surprised to read that MK was sick with a bad cold during the first two days of filming, which included the segment in the clip. His illness isn’t evident to me, although Willis writes that MK “looked very drawn during the taping”. Willis also explains that while performing the scenes upstairs in the Phoenix, MK was always conscious of the shadow of his head falling on the faces of the actors across from him and tried to manuever his head out of the way whenever possible.
And according to Willis, “Kitchen was not interested in fighting; he might be seen buying a sword but did not want to draw it.” As a result, the traditional opening of Act V Scene I showing Antipholus and Dromio battling witches and demons was replaced with the two of them being chased around the set instead. All in all, the production seems to have been a highly collaborative one between the director and actors — the way MK likes it.
Since it’s Virginia Woolf’s birthday today…
steviecat123 said: Oh my, the way his head drops and his eyes close…
And then his entire body drops with his signature knee dip – it’s the picture of dejection.
Just love those Mrs Dalloway GIF’s, thank you! So wish GIF’s had sound; Michael Kitchen and Vanessa Redgrave have a similar velvety timbre to their voices – SO attractive.
Yes, gifs with audio would be wonderful.
Oh, to have been among the fortunate audience who caught the 1974 broadcast of The Early Life of Stephen Hind (based on Storm Jameson’s novel) before it was sadly locked away from public view in the BBC vault like so much of Michael Kitchen’s television work. I can only imagine, after reading Clive James’s assessment in The Guardian (Dec. 22, 1974), how ruthlessly attractive Michael Kitchen must have been in the title role:
The Early Life of Stephen Hind (BBC2) was a three-part mini-series which did its thing and split before I could recommend it. Based on a Storm Jameson novel, it was handled with great style in all departments. Michael Kitchen ably played a Felix Krull type who charmed the ladies in all directions. It was surely no ordeal for Kitchen to stand around being called good-looking by a stream of personable women. But the character he was portraying, it emerged, was a bit of a rat — a bounder working his way up in the publishing world by a series of betrayals. He had a comeback, though, when taxed with acquisitiveness. He had been born into a life without order, comfort or beauty, and now that he had seen these things he wanted them for himself.
Michael Kitchen was also in the repeat of one of the best Country Matters. The Four Beauties (Granada). Again he was being adored by a row of stunning girls. How does this guy do it?
Clarissa keeps her promise.
Fully expecting George Briggs to be just another grabby man, Lady Caroline Dester is astonished to find that he has eyes only for Rose. But when George learns that Rose is not the widow he assumed she was, he and Caroline find a happy ending together.
Read in DVD Verdict’s review that Enchanted April was made on a very small budget “in twenty-eight days during one of the rainiest months in recent Italian history.” Wouldn’t have guessed it from the final result.
Upon their first meeting, George Briggs is immediately taken with Mrs. Rose Arbuthnot, and Michael Kitchen turns on the charm.
In his review of the film for The New Yorker, Michael Sragow wrote:
…Michael Kitchen delivers a tour de force of eccentric charm as the cultured Mr. Briggs…In his adroit and original performance, he transforms Briggs’ oblique peeks into a seductive gaze.
My top 20 Michael Kitchen roles:
2. Richard Crane in Reckless (1997) and Reckless: The Sequel (1998)
From the absurdly comical to the heartbreakingly tender, MK demonstrates his incredible acting range playing an arrogant surgeon who will do almost anything to prevent his wife from leaving him for another man.
Much of that fun is the work of Michael Kitchen, doing another turn as the abject and conniving Dr. Richard Crane… The mix of misery and resolve that Michael Kitchen brings to this character is altogether wonderful to see. – The Wall Street Journal, Apr. 12, 1999
This plug for Reckless written by Hikari on an Amazon.com forum is perfection.
What fun I had following the trail of Jack and Christy from the puncture through to MK’s characteristic, “Fine”. Is the rest of A&E as entertaining as the snippets with MK that you have posted?
Can’t thank the writers of A&E enough for the rain scenario. If by “the rest” you are referring to only the MK scenes in A&E, my answer would be a definitive yes. As in FW, those scenes that show the playful and/or private side of MK’s character are the ones I particularly adore. I wish MK had featured more in the show, especially in cute vignettes like this one, but a hospital themed show with an ensemble cast is what it is.