27th January, 2022 / 19:00 -
25th September, 2013
Veteran actor Joss Ackland talks to Geoffrey Colman about his long and distinguished career, the Hollywood movies, the extraordinary stars of stage and screen he has worked with and his forthcoming production of King Lear at The Old Vic. This promises to be a rare and special opportunity to hear one of our greatest actors speak about his life.
Joss Ackland CBE has been an actor for sixty-nine years. Theatre roles include: Captain Shotover in Heartbreak House, Weller Martin in The Gin Game, Clarence Darrow in Never the Sinner, Sir John Falstaff in Henry IV parts 1 and 2, Alfred Ill in The Visit, Captain Hook and Mr Darling in Peter Pan, Captain Brassbound in Captain Brassbound’s Conversion, Gaev in The Cherry Orchard, Gus in Hotel in Amsterdam, Galileo in Galileo, Long John Silver in Treasure Island, Eustace Perrin State in The Madras House, Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew, Sir in The Dresser, John Tarleton in Misalliance, and Mitch in A Streetcar Named Desire.
Musical roles include: Justice Squeezum in Lock up your Daughters, Jorrocks in Jorrocks, Juan Peron in Evita, Frederic Egermann in A Little Night Music, Captain Hook in the musical Peter Pan, The King in The Little Prince, The King in The King and I, Honore in Gigi, and God in The Apple.
Movie roles include: Jock Delves Broughton in White Mischief, Don Masino in The Sicilian, Evil Edmonds in I’ll Be There, Arjen Rudd in Lethal Weapon II, The Man of Power in The Palermo Connection, Quarre in The House on Turk Street, The Russian Ambassador in The Hunt for Red October, Matisse in Surviving Picasso, and MKA in Flawless.
Television movie roles include: C.S Lewis in Shadowlands, Alan Holly in First and Last, Gerald Carmody in Daisies in December, Bondachuk in Citizen X, Archie in Voices in the Garden, Barrett in The Barretts of Wimpole Street, Isaac in The Bible, Aristotle Onassis in A Woman named Jackie, Cummings in Ashenden, Sir Burton in Queenie, Terence Fielding in A Murder of Quality, Jerry Westerby in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, and Hermann Goering in The Man Who Lived at the Ritz.
His wives and lovers on stage and screen have been Jean Simmons (three times), Claire Bloom (four times), Ingrid Bergman, Glynis Johns, Googie Withers, Greta Scacchi, Lauren Bacall, Anouk Aimee, Barbara Cook, Dorothy Tutin, and many others including Denholm Elliot. However, his longest running mate was Rosemary Kirkcaldy, who died in 2002 after fifty-one years of marriage. Together they produced seven children, thirty-two grandchildren, and eleven great-grandchildren.
Now at the age of “fourscore and upward”, veteran actor Joss Ackland takes on the Everest of Shakespearean roles in a unprecedented play reading of King Lear at The Old Vic. Directed by Jonathan Miller and supported by an all-star cast, Joss will be returning to his theatrical roots sixty years after joining The Old Vic Company.
Geoffrey is Head of Acting at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. As a director and acting coach he has collaborated with a diverse range of national and international practitioners including musicologist David Osmond-Smith (Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo and Purcell’s King Arthur – Gardner Arts Centre, Brighton), the playwrights Ronald Hayman (Being Coward), John Arden (When Is a Door), Antoinette Moses (Cuts), and John Roman Baker (Crying Celibate Tears – Finborough, London/Edinburgh Festival). He has directed hologram installations for Musion International (Bloomsbury Theatre, London), new writing initiatives in collaboration with Old Vic New Voices and OffWestEnd.Com, and had a longstanding association with the Theatre Royal Haymarket, as a ‘resident’ master. His acting masterclasses have also featured at The Old Vic (Old Vic New Voices), Young Vic, Pleasance, Soho, Globe and Olympia (Perform).
Geoffrey broadcasts and writes on a range of performance-related issues (BBC One Show, Eamon Holmes, BBC Radio, ITV, The Stage etc), and his numerous ‘in conversation’ events have become very popular, being held at high-profile venues including the National Theatre (Platform), Barbican (BITE/LIFT), Haymarket (Masterclass), Hampstead, ICA (Culture Now) with actors, directors and writers including Steven Berkoff (Independent Newspaper, Autumn 2012 Top 10 Cultural event), Claire Bloom, Vanessa Redgrave, PD James, Ralph Fiennes, Trevor Nunn, Robert Lepage, Alan Yentob, Esther Freud. Lectures and keynotes in the last year have included ‘Marylyn Monroe & Method Acting’ (National Portrait Gallery), ‘Acting Sarah Kane’ (University of Lincoln), ‘The Actor as Commodity’ (British Library) and ‘Acting for the Small Screen’ (University of York).
In addition to Natacha Atlas (Transglobal Underground) and comedian actor Lenny Henry, Miramax, Universal, Britain’s Next Top Model (Living TV), Skillicious (ITV), Pineapple Studios (Sky 1), Geoffrey’s recent film and TV coaching includes; Derren Brown – ‘Miracles For Sale’, ‘Apocalypse’, ‘Fear & Faith’ (Channel 4), ‘Mother of Invention’ (Sky 1/release 2013), and the blockbuster movie; Kick Ass 2 (Marv Films/Universal Pictures International – dir. Jeff Wadlow/release 2013). Geoffrey’s introduction to Steven Berkoff’s One Act Plays (Methuen Drama) was published recently.