Every theatre goer has one. A list of actors we most want to see on stage and for one reason or another this hasn’t happened. In fact, one of the big pleasures of seeing A View from The Bridge at the Young Vic was to see Mark Strong return to the theatre. Even if the production wasn’t the monumental, searing experience that it is, seeing Mark Strong on live performance would still justify all the excitement in the world. As I have crossed one actor off the list, I hope the remaining will reconsider their long absence and return to the stage sooner rather than later (and on this side of the Atlantic please).
Strictly in alphabetical order:
Michael Fassbender: He is among the most celebrated film actors in recent years but Fassbender’s stage work is negligible. He only has four theatre credits in 12 years, the first one age 17, playing Cinderella’s ugly sister in a pub theatre production of a play called “Fairytales Fairytales 123”; the last theatre credit is in 2006 at the Edinburgh Fringe. He could be like Daniel Day Lewis, one of the best film actors of all time but without significant stage work but I hope this won’t be the case. He ‘s been hanging around with James McAvoy, maybe he ‘ll get inspired or dared into doing stage work.
Colin Firth: Including Firth on the list is a bit of a cheat, as I have actually seen him perform live (of sorts). At the 2009 Harold Pinter tribute at the National, he took to the stage to do a brief extract from The Caretaker, and among a cast that included Michael Sheen, Jude Law, Jeremy Irons, Lindsay Duncan, Penelope Wilton and many more, he is the one I remember the most. A couple of years ago, the papers mentioned him doing Betrayal with Kristin Scott Thomas. In the end, the production went ahead with other actors as the male leads, but maybe another stage production is not far behind.
Eddie Marsan: It doesn’t matter whether he is doing Mike Leigh films or playing Liev Schreiber’s brother in Ray Donovan, he is always the most truthful and compelling actor in the scene. He has worked at the National theatre, he has directed for the stage but his last theatre performance was in 2001 at the Savoy theatre with the play Antarctica. He is not the biggest star on this list, but, if hard pressed, I could be more excited about him than anyone else.
Gary Oldman: He was one of the regulars at the Royal Court and the Royal Shakespeare Company in the 1980s but since his film career took off he hasn’t done any theatre. (It’s been surprisingly difficult to verify his last stage credit. It seems to be Cary Churchill’s Serious Money at the Royal Court in March 1987). Seeing him on screen, it’s impossible to underestimate how great a talent he is. There has been a rumour he might play Claudius for Benedict Cumberbatch’s Hamlet. I doubt it will happen, but one can live in hope.
UPDATE: Revstan creates her own list, anyone else wants to add any names?