Callow was told by master performer Michael MacLiammoir that he was ""a born writer, perhaps, but not a born actor.'' He went on to become not only a most versatile actor, but with this book becomes an accomplished commentator on the theater. What makes Callow's memoir of the familiar uncertainties of an actor's life pleasurable is this actor's eccentricity. He revels in spinning tales of failed shows, arrogant directors, Oscar Wilde reincarnations such as MacLiammoir, who became Callow's first mentor, and the craziness of the profession. Stardom doesn't seem to be a preoccupation with him, and the adventure of creating unique characterizations, such as his Orlando in As You Like It, is perhaps his reward, especially when he astonished London with his portrayal of Mozart in the original staging of Amadeus. Callow is opinionated and an outspoken protector of the performer's right to interpret character, but he finds today's actors at the mercy of ambitious directors: the director ``has interposed himself between actor and writer, claiming that they cannot speak each other's language.'' Actors and non-actors alike will find this witty, knowledgeable book delightful. Photos. (March 31)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1986 Release date: 03/01/1986 Genre: Nonfiction
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