Monday, 16 May 2022

What it’s like to be an actor

What it’s like to be an actor

ACTOR Simon Williams is a constant in our lives; there has hardly been a time in the last 50 years when he hasn’t been on stage, TV or film, writes Mike Rowbottom.

Now he’s opening up his life to the rest of us — the triumphs, disasters and, of course, frequent naughtiness of being an actor — with Didn’t I use to be Simon Williams?

The Nettlebed actor promises indiscretions as he recounts his times on stage and set. He has performed with countless stars, from Peter Sellers to Dame Judi Dench, and he has stories to tell about most of them. Right now he’s the slippery Justin Elliott in The Archers.

And his conclusion? Don’t be an actor!

“The central theme of the presentation is as a sort of careers advisory session if you like,” says Simon, “I’ll be enumerating all the reasons not to go into the theatre.

“It’s meant to be funny but at the heart of it is the fact that it’s a really hard profession and sometimes we ask why we do it… until we realise that it’s the only thing we want to do.

“The title of the show is meant to be ironic but it does help to define how things are for actors.”

The first show will be
90 minutes of chat and questions and some members of the audience will get to have afternoon tea and cake with Simon afterwards.

He says: “I’ve done a fair amount of public speaking on cruise ships, including the QE2, after-dinner speeches and ladies’ lunches — it’s just an excuse to talk about myself.

“This is really a pilot to see how it will work and if I can turn it into a regular thing at other theatres.”

Some of the proceeds from the show will go to the Ways and Means Trust, which runs the Greenshoots nursery in Peppard for people with learning
difficulties.

Didn’t I use to be Simon Williams? is at the Corn Exchange, Wallingford, next Saturday, February 19. For tickets call (01491) 825000 or visit www.cornexchange.
org.uk

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