"To all Ken Friends,
I'm sorry that it's taken me a while to respond to a birthday present that
I never assume will arrive, never take for granted, and am continually
astonished by. As usual, the imagination, and the AMOUNT were equally
There was a particularly personal quality to this gift in each of its
dimensions. The arrival of the Ken Friends at "Ivanov" was a real marker of
that rare experience, and as I slowly unfurled wrapping paper on December
10th, I found myself seeing many of the smiling faces of the Friends who
were able to make the trip to London on that night (or nights) at Wyndhams.
I remember the occasion with great fondness.
Amongst the many interesting questions that I was asked that evening were
various ones related to the impact on one's own life of playing a depressed
character. One of my protections and insurances was quite simple. I read
poetry, in my dressing room each evening, and much perused across the whole
of the run, were poets whose work would provide an antidote or contrast to
the world of our troubled protagonist. So to find the range of poets known,
unknown, and Ken Friendian, in the magnificent tome was an absolute joy.
Thank you for all of these very personal outpourings, direct and indirect,
and thank you for the immense contribution to the fund at RADA which I know
makes my parents hearts swell with pride, as it does mine.
May I wish you all a happy New Year, full of health and happiness for you
and yours, in these trying times. I am so grateful and proud to be your