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Kenneth Branagh isn't the only one contemplating a performer's life onstage at the moment.

Kenneth Branagh isn’t the only one contemplating a performer’s life onstage at the moment.

Is it pure coincidence that many of the plays I’ve seen recently feature actors as characters? And, consequently, a range of views on the life of actors and the nature of acting, which got my quote-taking pen twitching. For any actors or FFOAs (friends or family of actors) reading, please tell me which most closely sums up your perspective.

The quotes below are care of the following four plays and playwrights. You can see them delivered yourself if you click the links and buy tickets for each before their runs finish.

  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Truman Capote, adapted by Richard Greenberg) – runs at Theatre Royal Haymarket until 17 September, then touring until 19 November 2016
  • Waiting for Waiting for Godot (by Dave Hanson) – runs at St James Studio until 24 September 2016
  • Unfaithful (by Owen McCafferty) – runs at Found111 until 8 October 2016
  • The Entertainer (by John Osborne) – runs at the Garrick Theatre until 12 November 2016

BreakfastAtTiffanys_GeorgiaMayFoote-PixieLott_sep16

Pixie Lott (right) plays Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s in the West End. Georgia May Foote takes over on tour from 19 September 2016

“I knew damn well I’d never be a movie star. My complexes aren’t inferior enough.”


Simon Day and James Marlowe in Waiting for Waiting for Godot

Simon Day and James Marlowe in Waiting for Waiting for Godot at St James Studio

“I do believe in GOD. Good Orderly Direction. I can sum up most of my beliefs with a good acronym.”

“An actor must learn to forget and then forgive himself for forgetting.”

“Acting is not that hard. You wear a costume someone else made, you stand where someone else tells you to. And then you say lines someone else wrote. What’s the big deal?”

“We are actors, sir! Professional artists! We live for creative purpose, not material wealth! The bravery of what we do for the world every day makes us heroes. For we are the men in the arena, our faces dirty with blood and grime! We fail sometimes and succeed others, but we always get back up and keep trying. That’s what makes us different from those people out there. Those people with the houses and refrigerators full of food….”

“What kind of people hang around waiting for a promise that doesn’t come?”

“Never argue a note. Acting is difficult. Actors never should be.”


Matthew Lewis (formerly Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter films) plays a gigolo in Unfaithful

Matthew Lewis (formerly Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter films) plays a gigolo in Unfaithful at Found111

“I’m an out of work actor who was told my talents were best applied to either modeling or porn movies.”


Kenneth Branagh stars as Archie Rice in The Entertainer

Kenneth Branagh stars as Archie Rice in The Entertainer at the Garrick Theatre

“Observation is the basis of all art.”

“I have a go, don’t I? I do.”

“Just one more performance.”

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