Self-portrait

Self-portrait

21 November 2011

A GENTLEMAN'S GENTLEMAN

Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is:
What if my leaves are falling like its own!
The tumult of thy mighty harmonies
Will take from both a deep, autumnal tone,
Sweet though in sadness.

Shelley,  ‘Ode to the West Wind’ (1820)


Season of mists ...

and mellow fruitfulness. Photos by EP


SUNDAY, 20th NOVEMBER

It has saddened me on this perfect autumn day to hear from Harriet Walter that Richard Morant, who of course played Bunter in our Dorothy L. Sayers Mysteries, has died at the age of sixty-six.

Actors make so many transient, relatively intimate working relationships with one another and, so often, move on. I had only come into chance contact with him once since those days and, as usually happens, we took up the reins of our good humour and comradeship as if we had just finished a scene together.

The first time Richard and I worked together was in a BBC TV 
production of The Merchant of Venice. I played Lorenzo and he Solanio.

I do not recall from 1986 that we discussed the relationship of officer and batman in the trenches as it developed into man-about-town and gentleman’s gentleman, amateur sleuth and technical assistant. The books had given us chapter and verse and we seemed to come to an understanding, a modus vivendi by some process of osmosis. We developed a supreme tact between us. I remember something about Richard that seemed reliable, benign, with always the twinkle of a possible smile.

Here is just a handful of our scenes together. In the one in which I am tying my bow tie, I remember we made up most of our dialogue.

4 comments:

  1. Such a sad post.How much we miss someone we never really knew.He brought joy.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am sorry to hear of his passing...I so enjoyed the series, and have jumped at watching anything involving you, Miss Walter or Mr. Morant.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am really sorry to hear about his passing... The Dorothy L Sayers mysteries are one of my favourites of all time and I rewatch it on a regular basis, always very enjoyable to see.

    I think you three together were the best cast for the leading roles, as you captured both Bunter, Lord Peter and Harriet Vane to perfection in a very natural way. I will always be most grateful for that, since the series brought me so much joy.

    Therefore is this really sad news indeed and Richard Morant is always going to be remembered for his brilliant acting and for bringing Bunter to life in the best possible way.

    Best regards from Sweden

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for sharing the sad news. He was a wonderful, gracious and generous actor. The only one of the Wimsey series trio I never saw on stage, to my regret. I had just rewatched 'Strong Poison' last night, before learning of his death. I reveled in how he brought Bunter to life.

    Regards from the US

    ReplyDelete