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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

So Dame Patricia, I want to start by talking to you about your absolute passion. Because of course, you are known full movies on television, very much. But it seems to me that your absolute passion is still the stages that a fist agent. Well, say tourists the test really that's where you learn your job, if you think of quite a number of feted successful television actors that basic training has been in Santa and when it works that is nothing like it, the immediate exchange of an imaginative imagined experience with a live audience. There's nothing like it s- quite wonderful. Do you think it changes you as an actor if you if you were to come into your acting career and maybe? Primarily trained in front of a camera compare that to someone who has had a lot of stage training. Does it change the way that you approach the craft? Well, you require really a different technique for television of film, the new full Santa, you have to project in a theater, even though you may be playing an intimate scene. You've got to find out how it can hit the little man on the back row and yet preserve the truth of chill playing, and taking back a little bit first because I'd like to know how you came to be in a career on the stage, you grew up in Cheshire. And this would have been during the second World War. I imagined that at that time a career in the performing arts wouldn't have been shall we say the most obvious choice headed it'll come about. You. I don't know. I over say the kicking and screaming. I've face my destiny I grew up in a family, the loved there, and I lived in a wonderful town called Birkenhead, which had a quite marvelous musical the owed music wherever you would have a list of tons. And I mean, some of the great comedians, which I saw I saw some of the greats and they took thirty years to perfect their act and they were going around the country doing twice nightly may be, and then moving on testing themselves against a live audience. And so I used to as quite a small child here. My mother and father talking about the theater, they went to. And my mother took me to my first. Don't pro lab. O M. She took me to my first Gilbert, Sullivan and one just loved it all, but I have no intention whatsoever of going on the wicked stage. My intention was to teach this wonderful English language which I grew to love in composition. And then when I was at school, we used to learn great chunks of boat dri, some of which I can still remember. But I thought it was all part of education, you know, reading writing arithmetic history, geography, sing a song do a don's recite to poem player, part, all part of this wonderful discovery. But of course it's it. It's really the people who are your mentors who spot a seed of something in you and not as shit. And then you have to begin to take it seriously yourself that mentor that you speak of their I'm assuming you're referring to the academic Edmund college. Well eventually, but, I mean, my first mentor, always, my mother, not that she was in any way push shaved Seattle. Mom. I mean you didn't do that sort of thing when I came from, you know, and you were never told at I came from the, you had anything really special in case you got a swollen head. Did you feel as if you had something special though? I didn't think of it in that way, I was one of the very few people willing to give up my serves Delongchamps to study. The, the recitation of, of lyric poetry sonnet at pick Shakespeare improvise Asian. And so it was all going on behind my back. And then, of course, you know, my great one for recognizing the signs, I think the red trickle in life is spotting the opportunities and the great skill is choosing the right ones. Let's Volvo would slightly, because you eventually, of course, made your way to the stage at the West End, you made your London debut when you got up on stage at the West End full the first time, of course unmistakably this is now you'll career your own the stage. Did you feel as if you've made it never, you're never feel as you've made it made what I have considerable repertory experience. There were repertory companies all over the country, and that's where you begin and make mistakes. And observe the more experience players. The great tragedy now. Is that those attract companies no longer exist? You would be part of a group of people who were there for twelve months, two years, three years, and I had an open invitation to audition for the Liverpool playhouse and finally, took a deep breath and went down nor dishes. And, and I thought if I'm not offered a job as an unpaid assistant stage manager. Then that's the writing on the wall. That says it I'm not good enough, but I was off the job. And then I trained further at a drums, school is low Vicks air to school that it prestigious and then began to. Anna living. I always swore the device. Didn't earn a decent living within four years. I would pack to in. Well, thankfully, you didn't. And thank you hit this. Thank you. But tell me it's it is always tempting to look back at something, whether it's, it's fear or any sort of performing ARA and say, oh, it used to be so much better than it is today. But you of course, you do still go to the theater, very often, you're still playing roles in the theatre often I'm JoAnne, busman's holiday, very much like to see I'm always amazed that up there doing it. You know, when I see someone like McKellen, or David Suchet will Judi Dench, or I mean, this country is full of wonderful actors, I wanna talk about your leap to Broadway. You did that in nineteen sixty six with a play by Roja Milner, and it was titled, how's the world tree? Eating you now the review in the New York Times, it was by Walter it opened with this line. The new comedy at the music box is yet another British import and before it goes back to of its players should be captured and kept, so the theater review of the New York Times thought he should keep you on Broadway that you weren't allowed to go back to the West End, that's a fairly promising start isn't it? It was very exciting. It was very exciting play which began life at the hamster theatre club. A small theater up near Swiss cottage. And then it transferred to the Altes theater, then it transferred from the arts there to, to Wyndhams as small and very good American management, soit and took three of us across to Broadway. And so that was, my Deb, you he was feted generous to me while to Kerr. And he was very important critic, of course, New York Times. Absolutely you and yet with digits certainly even now but certainly back then as well. What was it like they're making the lead into Broadway because you were coming from a coach like the West End which has its own very rich, traditions, and Britain has its own? Very, very well functioning, thriving theater industry, then to make the leap into Broadway. One imagines that it must have been a very different. Coach did you feel as if you perhaps, the Dame Patricia Rutledge touching down on Broadway inside a spaceship getting off onto the strange new planet. Well, there was so much to take in, but it was so exciting but at the heart of it all. You do your job. I mean you don't alter performance because you're in New York, you tell the story and adhere to the character or characters in this case, the with three different characters I played as you were. When you first started to explore the play I enjoyed it very much. Did you find that there's a substantial difference between the styles of acting a lotta people say, look on the American stage people act this way things, more exaggerated? It's all very, very different. Whereas the certainly the rhythm of performance seems to be different here in London. You can have a few pregnant pauses along the way you can allow the audience to pick up on what's being said, simply through a polls in a sentence, someway whereas in American humor, in American writing that might not be quite the same, did you pick up on those subtle differences, as well? I think with regard. Comedy. The American audience is required to be spelled out rather, I think we're subtler really and sometimes an American audience will not grasp the idoney of a character or a situation, but the wonderful thing about American audiences is the warmth of anticipation when they come into a theater, they're determined that they're going to have a good experience and they're going to enjoy the evening, and that you can almost taste it. I completely agree with that you are, of course, most closely associated with television acting, and there is you'll most famous role highs Bukeye, but that didn't come until. The nineteen nineties. I just wanna talk about your initial foray into television because initially you weren't attached to any long-term series for quite a long time. It was only that long term commitment that came later in your career. What was it about television that drew you to that form of craft I can only imagine that at that point back in the early days of, of your career, the idea of a theater actor acting on television Mata, being quite different. A lot of theater actors didn't really take such a kind of you to the medium of television. It's good writing on response to good writing television. Of course, began to give a -tunities wider opportunities to actors who'd spent the major part of their careers in theater. It was a medium. That you have to address. I did take Paul quite early on in some episodes of Coronation Street, and Olen knew was that I didn't want to get caught up in that forever. With something about the, the process of acting in a soap opera that made you think not quite right as other adventures to have more interesting really. But it was nice to be asked, and I did three episodes, then departed. I'm not fortunate enough to of ever taken a role in a soap opera. I mean, there's still time in my career, maybe I'll get to that point at some point, but my understanding is that acting in a soap opera. The metabolism full soap opera acting is actually quite fierce. And we often sort of looked down upon the soap opera but the craft and the effort involved in, in making production lack of soot, Parise act quite enormous and the discipline, you know, you have to shape you'll life round the requirements of rehearsal and presentation, but I didn't want to get stuck forever at goes for keeping up appearances as well. Talk to me about Victoria, would I because before highs in the UK, there was kitty and your your participation in Victoria wood as seen on TV that series. Twenty-one who knows you first and foremost as hyacinth bouquet. They might be surprised at just how we could say abrupt maybe blunt. But how Roches a character kitty was. How does he test? Desk. She was good test. She was great ask up -solutely, but somehow Cutie being expressed by Dame, Patricia Rutledge. She doesn't come across as grotesque. She does to me. I can't show. Yes. I was terrified of that. They were forty minute monologues. By this ridiculous woman who'd become an overnight celebrity because she'd walk the penance in slingbacks or something in the interest of mental health, very dangerous stuff. But I remember I was terrified because they went out live, I was testing new comic material in front of a live audience for the first time. I mean on the whole, you know, where the major laughs should come, but the always surprises, and Victoria used to find me hiding in the wardrobe barrier. You know, reluctant to go out to the studio and she'd say, come on, they're all waiting for you. So, but. Very skillful written stuff. I mean, I think with that kind of comedy, and with the famous lady. We're going to talk about spos-. I think you paint with post colors, they are larger the knife. And so you've got to take that risk really risk. It's what it's about risk. Speaking of risk a lot of people who can watch those models kitties monologues. They're easily accessible people can relive them, but a lot of people weren't understand to appreciate that. They were done live. There was a lot of risk involved just the making. This was miserable. I was glad she didn't write and emo- for me. I think I begged not to really. Oh, you make make quite nervous looking back. I'm thinking about it all. Nevertheless, there is something much more intimate about television isn't there because at the theater people have really made an evening to come out and watch you coming into your environment theater. Whereas with television your being invited into their way are coming into the city in Rome's invading their homes, which is why people off from. St. think they can be very familiar with you. Tell me about the segue from kitty into hyacinth. It does seem like a bit of a natural progression. When we talk about it. I didn't think of it like that at all. I done some of the wonderful Alan Bennett monologues, which he had written for me. And I remember when Victoria approach me about playing the kitty row. And she sent me some scripts, and I got in touch with Allen and said that died been offered. The he said, is it funny? Are they funny? And I said, yes, I think they are in strange kind of way. And he said, well, do them then..