Tag Archives: Acting

The conundrum of being ourselves

During my second term at drama school, we had to face Shakespeare. All the students were frantic as agents from the RSC would be in the audience, scouting for new talent. There were tears after rehearsals. The toilets stank with … Continue reading

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Try to get ahead too fast and you might end up with your trousers round your ankles

When I left drama school, I expected to become a successful actress immediately. I sent my headshot to directors and agents. Every time the phone rang, my heart convulsed, but usually it was my mother, wanting to know about my … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 72 Comments

Trying to submerge a plastic bag with an air pocket

I have several recurring dreams. In one of them, I’m at university, faced with having to find a group to move in with for the coming academic year. But I’ve left it too late. Everyone has already made their plans … Continue reading

Posted in Essay, Fiction, Memoir | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

When you find yourself in a room with two strangers, having to fake an orgasm, it’s best to leave the country and change your life

I’m in the upper gallery of the Sheldonian Theatre, watching a graduation ceremony take place in Latin. Ad honorem Domini nostri Jesu Christi, the Vice-Chancellor intones, but I’m distracted by the fact that a few hours earlier I had to … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments


During the rehearsals of a pantomime in a Scottish town, an infant is needed for the Spirit of the Mustard-pot. Ellen Terry’s father offers her services. He has acted both at Edinburgh and Glasgow, throughout the 1820s and 30s, and … Continue reading

Posted in History, Memoir | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments