It was a while after I heard about Liz Taylor’s death that I remembered the time I met her and how it was splashed across the pages of the tabloids.Â I’m not sure, but it might have even been on the front page of one of them.Â If so it must have been a slow news day.What happened was that I was in a theatre company that was putting on A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Old Vic and our director somehow persuaded Liz Taylor to pay us a visit.Â Â She was in Little Foxes in the West End at the time so she didn’t actually see us perform but came along after her play finished to see us after ours finished.
I can’t really remember much about that night, possibly because I had a bloody great prosthetic ass’s head on.Â No doubt somebody thought it would make a great photo opportunity.Â The worrying thing is that a week or so later somebody said that they recognised me from the paper(!)
What I do remember is thinking how old she looked.Â Having dug out the newspaper cuttings, which I was a little surprised to find I hadn’t chucked out in the great purge of 2010 when we moved, I looked at them and think she doesn’t look too bad at all.Â Of course, at the time she was more than twice my age.Â Now I’m looking at photos of somebody only a couple of years older than I am now.Â It’s all a matter of perspective really.
I didn’t come out of it too well really.Â While the prop might have helped make the photo more appealing to the editors of the Sun and Mirror it meant that the only time I get my photo in the national press (I hope) I am totally obscured.Â You only have my word for it that it is me under those big floppy ears.Â It also meant that got the rough end of the inevitable “beauty and the beast” headlines and captions.Â Â The text wasn’t too flattering either:
From The Sun
Liz chatted to the cast of a Midsummer Night’s Dream… including an actor who made an ass of himself in the role of Bottom
The Sun also said that the theatre company was called London’s National Youth Theatre, which it wasn’t, so typical attention to detail and truth from that paper.
Anyway, a bit of a detour down memory lane this evening.Â A shame it was prompted by somebody’s death.