I was truly delighted when the actor Patrick Ryecart emailed me two weeks ago with an invitation to attend the press night of James Dearden’s play, Fatal Attraction, at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, in his capacity as co-presenter with Robert Fox Limited.
The event brought back too many happy memories. Patrick’s links with my family go back to the 1950s when he lived in Haifa as a young boy, his father having been the Anglican vicar who looked after the British community.
Whenever his parents had to travel to visit their flock in the Holy Land, his mother would leave him at my parents’ house where my little sister had the task of minding him.
Being already in England by then, I only heard about him at that stage but we did not finally meet and become close friends until a year before his marriage to the Duke of Norfolk’s daughter Marsha.
Patrick and I were subsequently responsible for producing the play The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B by J. P. Donleavy at the Duke of York Theatre in September 1981, in conjunction with my friend Howard Panter, where Patrick and Simon Callow played the two major roles with Susan Gilmore as the female lead.
On Tuesday night the Theatre Royal was full to capacity, and I thought the play (not for the faint-hearted) was beautifully directed by Trevor Nunn with a wonderful cast and excellent performances from the entire troupe.
The two leading actresses were breathtaking, and the play should hopefully be a box-office smash hit.
In the meantime, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for both Patrick and Robert Fox, as they deserve a rewarding outcome for this great theatrical endeavour.
Go and see the play and admire some bravura performances, which might raise your emotional tension to breaking point – and teach you to be faithful to your adoring wife. In brief, no fucky-fucky as a sporting sideline…