Stripped for actionBy Roy Martin
October 30, 2008
It’s a one-man show with a difference for actor Robert Bathurst at Windsor’s Theatre Royal this week and Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud next week.
In Alex he brings to life the well-known cartoon character from The Daily Telegraph.
To do so, he interacts with computerised animation figures in what he thinks may be a theatrical first.
And, for good measure, he also talks directly to the audience.
“It’s the strangest job I have ever done,” he says. “But when I was offered it I was immediately intrigued.”
Alex is a city hotshot whose career is threatened by the credit crunch – so the show could hardly be more topical.
Robert workshopped it with Alex’s creators Charles Peattie and Russell Taylor to make sure it was technically feasible.
“It’s a high-risk project which demands great precision both from myself and the technicians,” he says.
Alex first appeared in the pages of the London Daily News more than 20 years ago, before heading to The Independent and finally making his home in The Daily Telegraph, where he has been ever since.
But Robert says that the stage version is self-contained and familiarity with the strip is not necessary to enjoy it.
He has taken the play successfully to the Far East and, after the current tour, it will return to the West End for a second season.
Variety has reported that a film version, also starring Robert, is currently being developed.
Robert’s previous theatrical work includes plays by Chekhov and Ibsen and the political comedy Whipping It Up, in which he was teamed with Richard Wilson, currently starring in BBC1’s Merlin.
Robert himself is best known on the small screen for his role as David Marsden in the sitcom Cold Feet.