Simon Callow pays tribute to film-maker Mike Nichols
Their first meeting, a script reading for Postcards from the Edge, felt like a reunion. Simon Callow looks back at his 25-year friendship with director Mike Nichols, who died last week
Simon Callow: The Golden Age of Pantomime
Never underestimate the power of a heavyset hero in fishnet tights. Panto has long provided the heart, soul and high camp of the festive season. How did it all begin?
A Christmas Carol, Houston Grand Opera, Wortham Theater Center, Houston, Texas — NEW review
The tradition of performing A Christmas Carol as a one-man show goes back to Dickens himself and continues with contemporary practitioners such as Patrick Stewart and Gerald Dickens. Now it has inspired a brilliant new opera by the young British composer Iain Bell, with a libretto by the actor, director and Dickens expert Simon Callow and a performance of astounding stamina and vigour by the tenor Jay Hunter Morris. Don’t expect jolly holiday entertainment, although the new Christmas Carol is amply heartwarming in its own entrancing way.
We have added a new section to the website. Please find 'Diary' located on the top information bar.
Here you will find a complete schedule of Simon's appearances past, present and coming soon!
The Man Jesus - UK tour
|10 & 11 Sep||Salford Quays||The Lowry||0843 208 6000|
|12 Sep||Horsham||Capitol||01403 750220|
|13 Sep||Bideford||Devon Hall||01805 624624|
|14 Sep||Exeter||Northcott||01392 493493|
|16 Sep||Brighton||Theatre Royal||0844 871 7650|
|17 Sep||Aylesbury||Waterside||0844 871 7607|
|18 & 19 Sep||Southend||Palace||01702 351135|
|20 Sep||Newport||Riverfront||01633 656679|
|21 Sep||Richmond||Theatre||0844 871 7651|
|23 & 24 Sep||Mold||Theatr Clwyd||0845 330 3565|
|25 Sep||Dundee||Rep||01382 223530|
|26 Sep||Musselburgh||Brunton||0131 6652240|
|27 Sep||Berwick||Maltings||01289 330 999|
|28 Sep||Lincoln||PAC||01522 837600|
|29 Sep||Bromley||Churchill||08448 717 620|
|01 Oct||Leicester||Curve||0116 242 3595|
|02 Oct||Darlington||Civic||01325 486555|
|03 Oct||Southport||Atkinson||01704 533333|
|05 Oct||Cheltenham||Everyman||01242 572573|
|06 Oct||London||Lyric||0844 482 9674|
|07 Oct||York||Grand Opera House||0844 871 3024|
|9 – 11 Oct||Guildford||Yvonne Arnaud||01483 440000|
|12 Oct||Leeds||West Yorkshire Playhouse||0113 213 7700|
|13 Oct||Milton Keynes||Theatre||0844 871 7652|
|15 Oct||Neath||Gwyn Hall||0300 365 6677|
|16 Oct||Halesworth||Festival||01986 872000|
|17 Oct||Spalding||South Hollland Centre||01775 764777|
|19 Oct||Plymouth||Theatre Royal||01752 267222|
|20 Oct||London||artsdepot||0208 369 5454|
|21 Oct||Canterbury||Marlowe||01227 787787|
|22 Oct||Woking||New Victoria||0844 871 7645|
|24 Oct||Bridport||Electric Palace||01308 424901|
|25 Oct||Malvern||Festival Theatre||01684 892277|
|27 Oct||Harrogate||Theatre||01423 502 116|
|28 Oct||Bristol||Tobacco Factory||0117 902 0344|
|30 Oct||Dublin||Pavilion Theatre||01 231 2929|
|31 Oct||Coleraine||Riverside Theatre||028 70 123 123|
|01 Nov||Limerick||Lime Tree Theatre||061 774774|
|02 Nov||Cork||Everyman||021 450 1673|
|03 Nov||Northampton||Theatre Royal||01604 624811|
|04 Nov||Oxford||Playhouse||01865 305305|
Various dates and venues. See www.themanjesus.co.uk for details.
Ros Povey, Zoë Simpson and Seabright Productions present Simon Callow in the Lyric Theatre Belfast production of The Man Jesus by Matthew Hurt
Directed by Joseph Alford
This extraordinary play looks back two thousand years to witness key moments in the life of ‘the man Jesus’, through the eyes of the people who knew him.
Simon Callow, one of Britain's best-loved actors, performs this fresh and moving account of biblical stories including the raising of Lazarus, the wedding at Cana and the journey to Jerusalem. His powerful portrayal of the tyrants, traitors and madmen in Jesus’ life asks people of all faiths and none: what sort of a man was able to inspire the history of the world?
Thought-provoking, thrilling and full of wit, this production premiered to great acclaim at Belfast’s Lyric Theatre, and now embarks on a strictly limited UK tour.
‘Callow renews our sense of wonder at the son of man and his story.’
'Callow and Hurt manage to keep us gripped.’
‘Callow is stunning.’
IN LONDON THIS WEEK!
26th to 30th of August at St. James Theatre
Directed by Simon Stokes
Adapted by Richard Quick
From a translation by Peter Green
Simon Callow does stand-up comedy – filthy, scabrous, politically incorrect – as he lambasts foreigners, plutocrats, women, gays – as delivered last in Rome AD 100.
Juvenal was one angry white middle-class male. In Juvenalia he tells it like it was. And is.
‘A comic delight … Callow comes on like a foul-tempered and thoroughly vicious Woody Allen’
‘The observation and lyricism delight and resonate’
For tickets and information: LINK
Houston Grand Opera
Running from the 5th to 21st of December
A Christmas Carol
When Charles Dickens' novella A Christmas Carol appeared in 1843, it delighted Victorian London and still inspires imaginations today.
Iain Bell, a promising young British composer, has written a captivating score to a libretto by Simon Callow, the renowned film and stage actor. Remembered for roles in films like A Room with a View and Four Weddings and a Funeral, Callow has also played Ebenezer Scrooge and Dickens himself on the screen.
Together, they have penned a spellbinding, intensely theatrical experience for HGO's intimate Cullen Theater. The opera is a true tour de force - a one man show - with Houston favorite Anthony Dean Griffey as the narrator of this beloved fable. We will, without doubt, leave the theater with a deeper understanding of the holiday each time we say, "Merry Christmas."
The Narrator - Anthony Dean Griffey
The Narrator - Kevin Ray (Dec. 17 and 20)
Conductor - Warren Jones
Director - Simon Callow
Set & Costume Designer - Laura Hopkins
Lighting Designer - Mark McCullough
Houston Grand Opera Orchestra
Phony politicians, flashy oligarchs, gay marriage. As Simon Callow takes his one-man show to Edinburgh, he explores the timeless bite of Juvenal's Satires...
With its comic intrigues and double cross-dressing, as well as its longing for a vanished world, this is Strauss's most successful and satisfying opera...
Edinburgh Festival and London
Directed by Simon Stokes, Adapted by Richard Quick, Translated by Peter Green.
Riverside Studios, London:
Tues 17- Tues 22 July 7.30pm
Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh
Jul 31, Aug 1-5, 7-10, 12-17, 19-25 at 3.30pm
St James Theatre
Tues 26-Sat 30 Aug, 7.30pm (matinee performances at 2.30pm on Thurs 28th and Sat 30th
Simon Callow does stand-up comedy. Filthy, foul-mouthed, viciously funny, and deeply politically incorrect. The target: immigrants, plutocrats, women, gays. As last delivered in Rome AD 100. Juvenal was one angry white middle class male. In Juvenilia he tells it like it was. And is. The Writer, Juvenal born circa ad 55, wrote sixteen satires that attacked the decadence of Rome in its heyday. Here adapted by Richard Quick we are given a view into the moral decline that is as relevant now, as it was back then.
Following the critically acclaimed sell-out concert, Ivor Novello – The Great British Musical, award-winning Musical Director Ross Leadbeater and The Novello Singers return to the St James Theatre for a limited 3 performances only with a new theatrical concert celebrating the best of The Great British Musicals.
Narrated by BBC Radio 4 Just A Minute host Nicholas Parsons CBE (Friday and Saturday Eve) and Stage and Screen legend Simon Callow CBE (Saturday Matinee) this is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to enjoy a ‘glamorous night’ at St James Theatre with Ross Leadbeater and The Novello Singers – a newly established eight-voice musical theatre ensemble.
The concert celebrates the works of Gilbert and Sullivan, Lionel Monckton, Vivien Ellis, Noel Coward, Ivor Novello, Lionel Bart, Leslie Bricusse and Andrew Lloyd Webber, and features a special First World War centenary tribute to Ivor Novello’s 1914 composition ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning’.
30 June 2014
Join us for a theatrical exploration of Beethoven through his music and letters. Intense emotion, psychological drama and the Academy of St Martin in the Field's signature interpretation of Beethoven provide "as edge of a seat experience as you will find", featuring award-winning screen and stage actor Simon Callow, Inon Barnatan and in a change to the previously published line-up, Jack Liebeck (director/violin).
Seventy years ago, in July 1944, with the most disastrous war in history in its death-throes, a secret meeting took place in a hotel deep in the forests of New Hampshire. Bankers and economists from over forty nations met to draw up a settlement to save the world economy and secure the peace. Everything depended on two men - John Maynard Keynes and Harry Dexter White, played in this new play by Simon Callow as Keynes and Henry Goodman as White.
Featuring a star-studded array of storytellers like Harry Enfield, Sally Phillips, Richard Hammond, Sarah Solemani, Rebecca Front, Kevin Eldon, Hugh Dennis, Jessica Hynes, Sharon Horgan, Jack Dee, Stephen Mangan and Charlie Higson, this brand new and exclusive Dave original taps into a bygone age of television storytelling. But this time, instead of the cosiness of the original it took inspiration from, Crackanory is packed full of darkly funny yarns that are firmly set in the cut and thrust of 21st century life.
Each episode features two 15-minute tales narrated by some of the best names in comedy and featuring some special guests, while these unique stories are brought to life with a mix of live action and animation. Simon will be appearing in the second series, due for release later in the year.
We’re thrilled to announce that Simon Callow is confirmed as the narrator for the performance of Tarik O’Regan’s Suite from the Heart of Darkness on Wednesday 14 May at BBC Hoddinott Hall.
The Suite is extrapolated from O’Regan’s opera of the same name based on the novella by Joseph Conrad. The spoken text for the narrator is based on the libretto written by Tom Phillips. An added bonus is the post-concert talk which will see Callow joining O’Regan and Phillips in conversation with broadcaster Nicola Heywood-Thomas.
Full details of the concert, given by BBC National Orchestra of Wales, can be found:
Simon Callow concludes Newsnight's celebration of Shakespeare's 450th birthday playing Prospero, from The Tempest.
Director: Ben Cura
Producer: Cuibar Productions (ES) /Tough Dance (GB)
A love triangle is unraveled when a painter whose career and marriage are in decline is approached by an admirer and eased into making sense of his troubled relationship with his wife. The movie is based on the original play by August Strindberg (recently revived at the Donmar in 2008 in London and at the B.A.M. in 2010 in New York).
Simon plays Chloe Fleury’s literary agent John Allen. John is seen at her book-launch party on Osea Island approaching Freddie Lynch, a famous young painter. Freddie’s earlier accidental encounter with Chloe, in a remote corner of the island, has left a mark on him - which John can sense. He uses this to take advantage of a photo-op with the two - which will eventually segue, Chloe’s husband being absent, into adultery.
But what about the little guys, the wasters - new to the big city, stuck in office jobs, unable to get the girls?
Plebs follows three desperate young men from the suburbs as they try to get laid, hold down jobs and climb the social ladder in the big city – a city that happens to be Ancient Rome.
The series stars Tom Rosenthal (Friday Night Dinner), Joel Fry (White Van Man) and Ryan Sampson (After You’ve Gone) as the three young men – Marcus, Stylax and their lazy slave with an attitude problem, Grumio.
Simon will be making a guest star appearance in the second series.
Simon appeared on the quiz show's theatre special.
"Rob Brydon hosts a new series in which five celebrities help contestants to guess the answers to some rather revealing questions. The famous faces in this episode are James Corden, Jennifer Saunders, Simon Callow, Emilia Fox and Louis Smith."
Simon Callow brings to life Shakespeare's unforgettable characters and the real man behind the legend in this triumphant and critically acclaimed play.
Don't miss your chance to experience this magnificent performance from one of Britain’s finest actors, as BEING SHAKESPEARE sets the West End alight for a strictly limited run of 22 performances only.
The show returns to the the London stage following its run at the Trafalgar Studios in 2012 and subsequent off-Broadway transfer.
At the Harold Pinter Theatre from 26 February until 15 March 2015,
Simon is very excited about staring in the up and coming: Space Age and Outlander.
One to keep an eye out for...
Tuesday 10 December 2013
Sponsored by Trailfinders, the concert will be a wonderful evening for adults and children alike and will feature popular congregational carols accompanied by the Choristers of Thomas’s Battersea, the London Central Fellowship Band and the Band of the Grenadier Guards, along with heart-warming readings from a host of well-known special guest and patients from Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Simon will be appearing on Tuesday 10th of December
Tuesday 17th December 2013
Join us to celebrate the festive season at the magical setting of St Paul’s Cathedral for our popular, annual Carols by Candlelight. This wonderful evening will put you in the Christmas spirit with seasonal readings from our celebrity supporters; be entertained by the world-renowned St Paul’s Cathedral Choir as they lead the carols, and enjoy spectacular performances throughout the evening.
Carols by Candlelight in 2013 will include readings and performances from celebrity guests. We're excited to announce that Jonathan Ansell will be singing at the event, and actor Simon Callow CBE will be reading. We will update this page with more guests, so check back for updates.
Gather after the service by the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral for delicious festive treats. For guests wishing to continue the Christmas merriment, we host an intimate champagne supper in the charming Crypt of St Paul’s, under the Cathedral floor. Here you’ll enjoy a champagne reception, delicious supper and the opportunity to bid in our luxury ‘auctionette’.
Etiquette on London's Transport Network
Wagner's Head is at the Theatre Royal Plymouth on the 12th, 13th and 14th of December (Matinee & Evening)
‘The most surprising thing I discovered was his autobiography. You assume an 800-page biography by Wagner is going to be heavy, but it’s one of the most entertaining biographies by an artist I’ve ever read’, said Simon. ‘It shows he does have a sense of humour. It doesn’t conceal anything, it’s absolutely lousy with anti-Semitism but equally it’s full of vision and brilliance and jokes. He was a funny man!’
In creating Inside Wagner’s Head, Simon revealed he has discovered a hugely complex character – one who was fervently nationalist but who hated militarism and imperialism. The BAFTA-winning actor also spoke of reconciling Wagner’s anti-Semitism with his ability to create awe-inspiring works:
‘It’s really difficult – I think that it’s a pathology in his case. When he was being painted by Renoir he chit-chatted most agreeably with Renoir and then suddenly a five-minute tirade against the Jews, completely unprovoked, and then after the tirade back to chit-chat. It was like a Tourette’s syndrome.
‘Wagner was a delinquent by temperament… he glamorized his participation in the revolution of 1849 – he went round joining in with the general mood of danger and excitement. He was very excited by being in the presence of [Mikhail] Bakunin, the great anarchist; the most famous terrorist in the world at the time. Wagner, like Dickens, is one of those people who attracted extraordinariness to him. Wherever he went, everything became more extreme. He self-dramatized to an astonishing degree, but that’s who he was.’
Simon also spoke about Wagner’s relationship with his patron King Ludwig II of Bavaria, his revolutionary activities and Wagner’s turbulent love affairs as well as giving a sense of how he himself developed Wagner’s voice for the one-man show.
Announced As Recipient Of The Stage Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre at the 2013 UK Theatre Awards.
Felicity Kendal and Simon Callow star as two people who have something in common: the affair that exists between their spouses!
Set in burgeoning 1950’s Paris, Chin-Chin tells of the often hilarious and ultimately disastrous effect of the affair, as the jilted couple rendezvous in a Paris apartment to set the world to rights, where they declare their independence in life, and in love.
But out of these undesirable circumstances, special connections are forged, and the un-likely pair soon realise that they will leave the ‘city of love’ with more than they had bargained for...
Dates and venues are as follows:
Cheltenham Mon 18th Nov - Sat 23rd Nov
Cardiff New Theatre Tue 26th Nov - Sat 30th Nov
Truro Hall For Cornwall Mon 2nd Dec - Sat 7th Dec