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Posts Tagged ‘Pete Postlethwaite’

The above is indeed true of former RSC actor Pete Postlethwaite who has just died at the age of 64. I first saw him on stage in 1979 at the Buxton Festival when he played Sergeant Kite (a rich character performance) in the Bristol Old Vic’s production of THE RECRUITING OFFICER which was directed by Adrian Noble. Four years later, Adrian made his debut at the RSC with his direction of KING LEAR when the title role was taken by Michael Gambon, Antony Sher played the Fool and Pete Posthethwaite was a bluff and sadistic Cornwall.

In the same season he was a loyal and vengeful Macduff, with a return to comedy  showing superb clowning as Grumio in Barry Kyle’s Production of THE TAMING OF THE SHREW. I next saw him in the 1986 season as a notable Bottom when his fellow mechanicals included David Haig and Sean Bean.

Another splendid performance in a Shakespearian role has been captured for all time with his superb Friar Laurence (both pastoral and moving) in Baz Lurhmann’s film ROMEO AND JULIET. In this special year when we celebrate 50 years since the granting of the Royal Charter to our company, we remember players like Pete Postlethwaite whose performances are  both  vivid memories and worthy to be recalled as we think of the theatrical ghosts of Stratford past. For him and other former RSC members who have strutted their hours upon the stage, the following words seem most fitting at this time :

“Fear no more the heat o’the sun,

Nor the furious winter’s rages;

Thou thy wordly task hast done,

Home art gone, and ta’en thy wages “.

by Tony Boyd-Williams

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