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           WORDPLAY INTERVIEW by Richard Braine

          Richard's guest this month: Sidney Livingstone


If ever the phrase ‘A Man for all Seasons’ is appropriate it surely is in the case of Sidney Livingstone. He really is a most remarkable man and actor. Born in Rochdale he was an apprentice chef, salesman, plumber’s merchant and engineer before he trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.  


He immediately went into Rep. at Liverpool, Leicester and Nottingham, amongst many others. This was then followed by five seasons at The Royal Shakespeare Company. He has completed many stints in the West End and toured extensively, including a memorable trip to Nairobi. His film credits are extensive, including: Peterloo’, ‘About a Boy’ and ‘Mike Basset, England Manager’. His television CV encompasses everything from ‘Call the Midwife’ to ‘Midsummer Murders’ and ‘Holby City’. The roster of theatre credits is particularly impressive and includes: ‘Crazy for you’ (Regent’s Park), Richard the Second (Old Vic), ‘Oklahoma’ (Royal National Theatre), ‘The Visit’ (Chichester) and ‘Blood Wedding’ (Young Vic).


Sid will be appearing in ‘Jane Clegg’ at the Finborough Pub Theatre from 23rd April to 18th May.


When did you first Act/write/direct etc? And what was it?

My very first acting experience was at school, appearing in the traditional “Easter Mummers Play” based on the St George legend. I caught the bug and, after many amateur shows, I went off to drama school.


What or who was your greatest inspiration?

No one particular person but I was always a great fan of the “character actors” in movies, such as Rod Steiger, Ned Beatty, etc.


What professional training have you had? Do you think it was relevant?

I graduated from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in 1969. I found the training to be an essential preparation for a professional career.


What has been your favourite part/play/production etc?

Working with Mike Leigh on a play stands out as an exemplary experience and also several shows with Trevor Nunn, particularly “Oklahoma!” at the National Theatre.


What has been the most wonderful thing you’ve seen on the pub theatre circuit?

“Garden Girls” at The Bush Theatre, some years ago.


Pub theatre is having something of a renaissance. Why do think this is?  

The intimacy of the venues, I think.


Where would you like to be in ten years time?

Still breathing!


Tell us something about yourself that nobody else would know?  

It’s a secret!


What is the song that most moves you?

Stephen Sondheim’s  “Losing My Mind” or Mahler’s “Ich Bin Der Weld Abhanden Geckommen.”


Musical, comedy, drama? What would you choose?

Comedy every time.


The crime you would carry out if you could get away with it?

Already done it!


The happiest moment of your life?

My first journey through India


The saddest moment of your life?

The loss of my parents


What historical figures would you invite to a dinner party?

Political columnist Anthony Howard, Charles Dickens.


How would you like to be remembered?  






Sidney Livingstone will be appearing as Mr Morrison  

‘Jane Clegg’ by St John Ervine

Finborough Pub Theatre from 23rd April to 18th May



Travelling salesman Henry Clegg has taken his wife, Jane, for granted for most of their marriage, as she endures his dishonesty, infidelity and neglect, as well as his demanding mother. But when Henry is accused of embezzling money from his firm and his latest affair is revealed, Jane realises she must finally escape her life of domestic abuse for herself and her children...only to find that for women without money and connections breaking free isn’t so easy.


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@March 2019 London Pub Theatres Magazine Ltd

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