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Simon Callow, 71, revealed exclusively to Express.co.uk that for many actors this year had been a “disaster”, after theatres have remained closed for long periods of time. The Four Weddings And A Funeral star admitted that “very few actors” had been able to work, which had created a “terrifying” time both for performers.
In a fragile state
Speaking out on news of a further lockdown in London, Simon said: “It’s terrible, it’s a disaster.
“But a lot of theatres are opening [their doors virtually] and we should be encouraging of that, that gives hope.
“We are in a very fragile state. Very few actors have worked, audiences have been denied theatre for such a long time now.
“It’s rather terrifying, financially and economically,” he added.
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Fortunately, Simon has been able to work and has remained busy with career commitments throughout the year.
He continued: “I have been very lucky, a number of great opportunities came my way and I made a little television programme for the BBC and a film in which I was more or less the only actor.
“I did a week in Chichester last week again that was a very cleverly devised programme, it was socially distanced.
“Also I write, and I have been able to write a lot during this time, and it’s been a fretful time.”
The star confessed it was difficult creating plays for theatre performances that are now devoid of a live audience.
He added: “Even if you are as lucky as I have been, the whole habit of your profession is to be devising work that’s to engage with audiences and on the whole that has not been possible.”
Simon is currently starring in We Need A Little Christmas in aid of Shelter and Crisis At Christmas, which was recorded in Covent Garden.
The show is being streamed online until New Year’s Day.
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Simon said of the production: “We needed something that was cheerful and something that can raise a bit of dosh for charities that have…actors are in terrible trouble at the moment.
“We haven’t worked for a year; it’s all been very scary.
“Tom Hopkins [the producer] had this wonderful idea of recording a whole lot of us in St Paul’s Church, which is the actors’ church, coming along and filming short extracts which make up a whole programme, with an incredible liveliness.”
Looking back on one of the highlights of his career starring in Richard Curtis’s Four Weddings And A Funeral, Simon described the experience as “wonderful”.
He shared that the entire cast “never doubted” that the movie would be a huge box office success.
Simon said: “It was a wonderful script and it was a wonderful cast, and a wonderful director. When you get all those elements right, and there’s chemistry between all the creators of the film, the chances are something rather wonderful will come out of it and it did you know.
“Something that is quite interesting is, it was 1995 [when the film was made], so it is a quarter of a century old. It doesn’t age at all because it is actually kind of a fairy story. It is a bit of a Neverland.”
We Need A Little Christmas is available to stream now here https://www.stream.theatre/home
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