Tuesday, 22 January 2013

In praise of … Ken Stott

In praise of … Ken Stott
In the West End at the moment you can see Stott playing Uncle Vanya as it should be done

How to play Uncle Vanya? The question is harder than it appears. Chekhov's play is assuredly a masterpiece; his title role, however, is defined more by what he is not than what he is. Middle-aged, his life has been spent keeping up the estate of a distant, ungrateful relative. The story that unfolds is of how this "educated, intelligent" man becomes painfully aware of life's other possibilities – and how they have fallen out of his grasp. A study in frustration, then, and many actors play the role as querulous, unprepossessing. But in the West End at the moment, you can see Ken Stott do it as it should be done: bursting with rage, but also a gallows humour. From DJ Eddie McKenna to Inspector Rebus, Stott's ability as an actor has not been matched with commensurate levels of fame. And yet, whether in Yasmin Reza's Art or as Tony Hancock, he habitually mines deeper into characters than others at his level are willing to go. A grafter, a superb grafter.

Editorial: The Guardian, Sunday 20 January 2013
Source: The Guardian

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