24 January 2011


                                                     What seest thou else
                    In the dark backward and abysm of time?
                                                          The Tempest, Act i, sc.ii

An expanded version of my poem about the infinite mysteries of the Universe, from Big Bang to Bubble Theory and Beyond:

17 January 2011


I am saddened to hear of Susannah York’s death. Her special radiance survives in her film performances, but just now I am remembering watching her from the wings one night in Stratford, being superlative as she spoke Gertrude’s speech, ‘There is a willow grows aslant a brook’ (Hamlet Act IV, sc.vii), describing Ophelia’s death to Laertes and the King. It is a justly famous purple passage, but all the more difficult to let it seem, as well as beautiful, poignant and dramatic, a natural progression in the story – the Queen describing a catastrophe she has just witnessed to Ophelia’s brother and her own husband.

Alex Jennings (Hamlet) and Susannah York (Gertrude), RSC, 1997.

That same year in Stratford, she played Mistress Ford to my Master Ford in The Merry Wives of Windsor.

I last worked with Susannah in 2007 when we found ourselves with that special actor’s warmth and affection that rekindles when looking back on old and perhaps difficult times. We did a public ‘rehearsed reading’ together of the musical Alvaro’s Balcony at Her Majesty’s Theatre; I think it was just one read-through, a cup of tea and then we had an invited audience. I was impressed, as we chatted between times, that she seemed to be working for important causes. Although she was not in the least ‘starry’; on the contrary, down to earth, rather inclined to be a little nervous but with the right kind of humility. She managed that day, with seeming ease, to pull out of the bag an authoritative and charismatic performance.

16 January 2011


                    A hundred thousand welcomes. I could weep
                    And I could laugh, I am light and heavy. Welcome.
                                                                Shakespeare, Coriolanus

For visitors to my website, old and new alike, I have created a brand new video prologue which I also share with you here:

My book, Slim Chances, is now in the final stages of production and, among other recent updates to Peth's Staging Post are details of events at which pre-release copies will be available in the spring.

Until very soon.

14 January 2011


Apologies for the uncharacteristic gap this week. Book deadlines have loomed (and been met) and plans for the National Theatre Platform on 23 March are afoot.

Hope to make up for my momentary silence this weekend.

Updates to my website will also appear very soon, including the latest news on the book's publication and related events.

Stay tuned.

My Best Wishes,

Edward Petherbridge

Meanwhile a sneak preview from Slim Chances. Can you spot my thirteen-year-old self?

My 4th-Form class, Grange Grammar, Bradford,
September 1949.
Click to enlarge photo.

01 January 2011


A very happy New Year to you all!