A find via the Foyle’s War Appreciation Society and tumblr, Michael Kitchen and Joanna Lumley, the latter captured in this photo blowing a kiss with The Greatest himself, are among the celebrities in the audience at the taping of Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Hits in London on June 5, 1979.
MK at 5:03 and 14:14.
MK at 6:47, 18:22, and 20:31.
Michael Kitchen sitting with his arms crossed again next to Joanna Lumley and her son at Sotheby’s Stars Auction in 1981.
Just in time to watch on the plane tomorrow.
The fight scene from Reckless.
For EH, who expressed an interest in seeing more of No Man’s Land, as it’s no longer available on YouTube in its entirety. I still don’t get the play, but I do enjoy reading articles about it that shed some light, like this entertaining NY Times piece with Christopher Plummer ( ❤ ) and Jason Robards, who starred in the 1994 revival on Broadway.
And via KT comes onemanz.com’s excellent review of the latest Broadway revival of No Man’s Land starring Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart, a production which apparently rivaled the original:
With the supporting roles filled by Michael Kitchen and Terence Rigby, even the recording of the original production is an English language equivalent of listening to a string quartet performing a timeless piece of classical music. So much so, revivals have never quite done the work justice, until now.
Thanks, KT, for sharing the review and also for alerting me to the video setting!
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.
Priceless beyond words.
The lion sleeps tonight…
Watch the clip.
LOL, before this:
there was this:
Entire Episode 2 on vimeo.
Michael Kitchen as Mr. Letchworth in the short-lived TV series, Sunnyside Farm (1997). Looks like he quite enjoyed acting the role, but his participation wasn’t enough to prevent the show from being panned by most viewers and critics. From a review in The Spectator:
The programme is predictably quite unpredictable, by which I mean that a joke is signalled so far in advance that you cannot believe they are actually going to use it…
On top of this, quite inexplicably, we have Michael Kitchen (what in the name of the Lord is he doing mired in this rubbish?) as the wicked landlord. The running joke is that he wants his money: ‘One week max, or say goodbye to your kneecaps.’ Ha! Ha!
…sitcoms really need only two ingredients: good jokes and at least one character you either like or at least identify with. If you produce half an hour without a single decent gag and a collection of characters who rival each other only for stupidity and brutish nastiness, you are certain to end up with a disaster, though rarely one as great as Sunnyside Farm.
Where else, though, does one get to watch Michael Kitchen in a fit of high-pitched chortling? 😀 😀
When a mouth shrug alone isn’t sufficient. Annoying that the video is blocked on YouTube.
MK at 36:57.
MK at 28:03.
The documentary, Washes Whiter, includes Michael Kitchen in ads from 1972 for Midland Electricity Board.
You don’t really need any training to be a dresser; you just need to be a certain kind of person. You can’t be star-struck, and a lot of people are – we live in a celebrity worshipping society. You have to know when to shut up, and when you can chat, and be quite sensitive to other people’s needs.
The actors usually come to the theatre half an hour before the performance.
Some actors need complete quiet when they are in their dressing rooms, and so you learn not to disturb them. Michael Kitchen is one of those. As soon as he came into the building, he would be in his part, and you couldn’t have a laugh or a joke with him, because he was very much in his own head. But in a nice way: he was an extremely nice man. Actually Romeo and Juliet [directed by Peter Bogdanov, 1986] with Michael Kitchen as Mercutio was one of my favorite productions.
– Kate Slocombe, part-time dresser and masseuse at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Backstage Stories, edited by Barbara Baker
Terrific insight into Michael Kitchen behind the scenes. The whole chapter on what it’s like to work as a dresser at the RSC is fascinating. No wonder actors often develop close relationships with their dressers – and sometimes even end up settling down with one of them!
Here’s a neat video of dressers for The King and I helping Kelli O’Hara change from one elaborate costume to another in only 40 seconds:
New trailer for Foyle’s War S9