“I have supp’d full with horrors; Direness, familiar to my slaughterous thoughts Cannot once start me.”


A wonderful article about Patrick Stewart, who is coming to New York in February and March – in a production of Macbeth which ran to sold-out houses last year on the West End (Kate – was this the production where you, in your ancien regime costume, and white curly powdered wig, tried to peek in on the rehearsal, only to be busted totally by the stage manager: “Uhm, yeah. You totally aren’t allowed in here.” I love that story) – Stewart’s “Macbeth” got him some of the best reviews of his career.

But the article is an overview of his whole career. Terrific. The bit about him lecturing the cast of about being “more serious” is very charming … and how the rest of the cast eventually broke him down. A different world for him, doing a television series, and he ended up being “the silliest” of all the cast members (having seen his brilliant little cameo in Extras, I am not surprised to hear that he is a silly silly man).

Lots of wonderful things in the essay though – the anecdote at the end – of him walking through the night, saying “the role” of Macbeth out loud to himself, making realizations, connections … Goosebumps.

Patrick Stewart says, in regards to working on Shakespeare:

“And that is part of the greatness of this dramatist, that he taps into something which is entirely human. You feel him reaching out his hand and saying to you as an actor, ‘Come on, it’s easier than you think.’ ”

I have tickets to the production at the end of February – and I’m psyched to see it.

(Here’s a link to the article again)

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19 Responses to “I have supp’d full with horrors; Direness, familiar to my slaughterous thoughts Cannot once start me.”

  1. bill says:

    the extras clip is TOO funny, as are all the episodes and cameos on that show! I’m excited to read this article. I remember seeing him in a tiny role in I CLAUDIUS!


  2. red says:

    Bill – I know. I love how his idea for a script is … well, it’s not quite clear. The guy’s a superhero but he doesn’t DO anything – except makes women’s clothes fall off …

    “And … I see everything …” he keeps saying….. over and over …

    HAHAHAHAHA He was so so funny in that scene! Love him!

  3. Brendan says:

    I saw him do ‘The Tempest’ outdoors in Central Park and it was UNBELIEVABLE.

    There was an actual storm brewing and he called for storms and it thundered off in the distance.


  4. bill says:

    sheila, yes, and Ricky Gervais, reaching…STRAINING…to give him a chance at some dignity, “Does it have any sort of narrative?” and still…”Posh comes in the room…” “And all her clothes fall off?” “And all her clothes come off!”

    The Ian McKellen ‘acting’ lesson and Kate Winslet phone sex advice clips are not to be missed as well…

  5. red says:

    “I’m not actually a wizard!”

  6. bill says:

    haaaaaaa…yes! ‘sir ian’ ‘sir ian’ ‘sir ian’ ACTION! ‘wizard’! CUT! ‘sir ian’ ‘sir ian’

  7. red says:

    I love the Daniel Radcliffe one, too … where Ricky Gervais basically drop-kicks that dwarf in the leprechaun costume.

    and Radcliffe flipping his condom in the air and it lands on the head of diana rigg!!!

  8. red says:

    bren – I heard a lot about his Prospero – I’m so jealous you got to see it!!

  9. bill says:

    ha…love that sheila…DAME Diana!

  10. red says:

    hahaha yes – DAME Diana!! Sitting there in the cafeteria with a freakin’ condom on her head.


  11. Lisa says:

    I read somewhere that Ricky Gervais had famous people beating down his door to be on “Extras” — he didn’t have to ASK anyone; they BEGGED! Clive Owen in the Christmas special was perfection. “I wouldn’t pay for that.” Hahahahahahaha!

    (But Ian McKellan was the best. “I’m not really a wizard.” and “How did I know what to say? They had my lines written down on a script. How did I know where to stand? People showed me!”)

  12. Kelly says:

    I saw Patrick Stewart in a very problematic RSC production of “Winters Tale” YEARS ago. (I must have been 6, now that I do the math. Quite amazing actually since I was in college.) I recognized that there were big difficulties way beyond “exit persued by a bear”. It was a turning point for me as a critical thinker to be able to discern what was and wasn’t working for these really incredibly great actors.

    Years later I heard PS being interviewed by Terry Gross (during his Prospero run) talking about that production and how it was the turning point for him in his career and as an artist.

    I eagerly dug out the program I saved and there was Patrick Stewart with hair. Leontes. And to think I had adored Jon Luc Picard for years never realizing I had seen him perform on stage!

    What I would give to come to New York and hear him say the word “Tomorrow” just once.

  13. Jeff says:

    Sheila, I’m envious – and you inspired me tonight to watch (and write about) a 14-year old VHS tape copy of “The Inner Light,” one of the all-time great Star Trek episodes and definitely Stewart’s greatest moment on that series. If you haven’t seen it, seek it out – I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

  14. bill says:


    I defer to your memory of I CLAUDIUS…mine’s terrible. I wouldn’t dream of diminishing Mr. Stewart by the word ‘tiny’ (perhaps it’s a fairer description of my brain capacity). There were SO many great actors in there. Your post reminds me that I need to watch the whole series again.

  15. red says:

    Bill – man, remember the “event” that was I Claudius?? I have such a vivid memory of that time – and what a big deal it was. Kinda like Roots – another big deal. And I was just a kid, but I totally remember my parents, their friends, the freakin’ bus driver, the dude at the drive-thru window … everyone was talking about I Claudius!! I haven’t seen it in years either.

  16. bill says:

    sheila, sadly I was totally clueless to what the fuss was about (a PBS house ours was not…we were the Barnaby Jones house).

    I only saw it YEARS later all growed up and it blew me away. I mean, murder, treachery, poison, sex, insanity (what’s not to like?) and I remember at the end of it I was like, “Wait! No! It can’t end! I need MORE crazy psycho Roman family drama!”

  17. red says:

    I think all we watched was PBS in my family! Network television was vaguely frightening and needed to be monitored closely. I wasn’t allowed to watch three’s Company, for example. network television was scary, and full of sex and scariness. hahahaha Meanwhile, PBS wasshowing I Claudius which is FAR more violent and sexy than anything on network television!!

    I’m putting it on Netflex now – it’s been more than 20 years since I last saw it.

  18. bill says:

    ha! yes, highbrow PBS with its drunken bacchannals and nude orgies. Enough to make Chrissy Snow blush!

    Good idea! Off to Netflix myself!

  19. nightfly says:

    I Clavdivs! So much fun. And don’t eat the figs.

    I remember seeing Patrick Stewart in a televised production of Hamlet as Claudius, opposite Claire Bloom as Queen Gertrude, with Derek Jacobi in the title role. “My offense is rank – it smells to heaven!” He was very good in that.

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