The Watcher Cat

The Watcher Cat

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Treat for Thanksgiving

I'd often heard that Leo McKern had made his theatrical bones in Ibsen--Peer Gynt, of which it has been reported that "[i]n his own estimation the greatest event of his theatrical life was playing Peer Gynt at the Old Vic in 1962-63."

Well, I have never seen any record of that performance, though I have seen many of McKern's other performances--his superb turn in Ryan's Daughter, in which he plays the quintessential Robert Bolt figure, the traitor with a conscience, or his angry, dying engineer in Travelling North, and of course his ticket to immortality, Rumpole of the Bailey, which I have loved for 30 years now.

But not Ibsen. Missed that boat, alas.

Well, not completely, it turns out, thanks to BBC 2's Theatre Night. Not Peer Gynt--but The Master Builder from 1988, co-starring another favorite of mine, Miranda Richardson.

So here it is, Leo McKern interpreting the work of the playwright whose work he loved:


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