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Michael Siberry

Michael Siberry Michael Siberry was acting in As You Like It at the Bath Theatre Royal the other week (written in September 2003), and I went along, but didn't get to meet him.

His mother is Joan nee Parsons, who now lives in Tasmania. His uncle is Peter Parsons who lives in the south west, near Ilminster. Peter and Joan, with their younger sister Ann, who died, came to stay with us (Martin, Emily, David, Dorothy, Robert) in Delgany, Co Wicklow, soon after the war. They are my first cousins.

Michael has had a successful acting career, including the role of the Captain in The Sound of Music on Broadway. This production of As You Like It was directed by Peter Hall, with daughter Rebecca Hall in the man role of Rosalind. Michael was Touchstone. I thought the whole production was excellent, though the Independent thought it routine. Their critic did, however, pick out Rebecca Hall and Michael as the good parts:

Rosalind, the fast-talking, cross-dressing heroine, is played by a fresh new arrival on the theatrical scene, Rebecca Hall. Now, before cynics everywhere begin to tut, and aspiring young actresses whose fathers aren't grands hommes of the theatre heave embittered sighs, it should be pointed out that although Ms Hall is indeed Sir Peter's daughter, she earns her place on stage by giving one of the more exciting and memorable performances in this anodyne consommé.

Admittedly, she has a tendency to inject a little too much contemporary drawl into her delivery, but she does engage completely with the lines and thus draw in the audience. She shares with Michael Siberry (as the jester Touchstone) and Philip Voss (playing the melancholic Jaques) the ability to make Shakespeare sound fresh and new, as though the characters were actually making these words up on the spot rather than merely reciting them from the printed page.

This is in stark contrast to the formalised delivery favoured by other actors... Whole review here.

See also the BBC review of this production with a nice photo of Michael.

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