Thursday, 28 November 2013

Old university mates

I’ve been doing very little today. In fact, I’m sort of surprised that the day is nearly over and I’m feeling so tired. I’m watching a TV spy drama set in the 1970s. It feels like they’ve made no attempt whatsoever to make the fashions and hairstyles look realistic, particularly the young male lead, who looks like he’s just stepped out some kind of CID drama set in the present day.

I am also rather surprise to find my old university friend, Christian McKay in it. Christian acted in the first play I ever directed, in fact, he ended up in quite a number of the plays I directed as a student. We were in the same year, studying the same course. He was an astonishing pianist, but he used to talk in a cod Polish accent, and none of us understood why. I think he felt he was channelling some Eastern European pianist whom he admired.  He was a decent actor in a rather “old-school” sort of way, but was always a little eclipsed by Richard Coyle, whom everyone assumed would be the one that went on to do great things, which he has. Besides, Christian was the pianist; it was beyond our comprehension at the time that someone could be world class in two fields. When he went on to RADA, we all assumed that if he ever turned up on screen, he’d be playing a pianist in some way. You could have blown me down with a feather when he turned up, many years later, staring alongside Zak Efron, playing the title role in Me and Orson Welles. He was even nominated for a BAFTA for the role – and not many people can say that!

So, today has been about relaxing, really. I slept til 10 and fell asleep again until 11. My little jaunt to Hove and Worthing had been incredibly tiring. The second day of editing with Paul went very well, although the sopranos were a little more complicated than we’d assumed they’d be, but that was more a product of our thinking they’d be a stroll in the park, so we’d rather let our guards down. We ended up working til 9pm, and I got one of the last trains back to London, feeling like my ears had been gorged out with a rusty spoon. I’ve never needed a day off so badly, so a day off I took, which I spent doing things for me; hobby things, editing photographs for my albums, and making digital versions for Facebook. I think it’s always nice to take a step back at this sort of time of year to think about what sort of a year we’ve had. Looking back at photographs can be a really good way of working this out. I’d forgotten, for example, how nice the weather was in May, and that we had more than our fair share of decent summer days. Oh, for those summer days...


  1. I remember Chris Mackay from uni, don't recall the Polish accent though. Him and Richie Coyle used to do a pretty mean impression of you. Don't think they were fans ('couldn't direct an orgy in a brothel'). I saw Chris on stage here in New York, he didn't remember me from Adam, but was on good form. I think his accomplishments and yours are a pretty fair reflection of your potentials. He was always world class. And you weren't!

    1. To the coward who posted their comment anonymously:

      I think it's a terrible shame that you felt the need to vent in such a manner. I can't really understand why, or exactly what it was that provoked such a response from you. Benjamin said nothing negative about Mr Mackay in his blogpost, and when I read it, I felt that it conveyed admiration for Mr Mackay's achievements, so I can only assume that your need to go on the attack comes from a place somewhere deep within you, rather than as a direct result of what you have read on this page.

      You have my pity.

      How sad it is that you can be so embittered towards someone, that you will leap to the imagined defence of someone you cannot possibly have known well (or he would have remembered you some years later), clearly taking great delight in being as spiteful and malicious as possible.

      We all know that the internet is an open forum, and that people who post things on blogs should expect that not everything will be to the liking of their readers, and that as a result, some comments will be made that are not favourable in return. It strikes me, however, that the tone of your comment is in no way relevant or proportionate to the things that were said in the original blog post, which leads me to suspect that perhaps you have been carrying around some twenty-year personal vendetta (in which case, perhaps it's time to let go, and move on with your life), or that you are, in truth, the dictionary definition of a troll: someone who delights in malice and spite for the sake of provoking a reaction. Either way, how empty your life must be, if this is the way you choose to fill it.

      Possibly worse than the stench of your poison, though, is the fact that you don't even have the courage to put your name to your comment, which to my mind, lessens any credibility or validity that might otherwise have been drawn from it.

      I'm fascinated though, if you genuinely dislike Benjamin enough to want to make hurtful comments, why on earth do you waste your time being his "friend" on Facebook, or reading his blog posts at all? You are obviously someone known to him, but too scared of revealing your identity. I say again, coward!

      I wonder what your own achievements in life have been, that you feel able to look down on those of others so self-righteously… Clearly they haven't been in the field of good grammar - it's "He and Richie Coyle used to…" not "Him."

      In the interests of practising what I preach, I stand by everything that I have said here, and happily do it with a signature. I hope that you find peace within yourself, and a realisation that vitriol tastes bad to both parties, not just the recipient, and your life will be better without it.

      Nathan Taylor

  2. Gosh! What a lovely comment! Thanks for that.

  3. and yet anonymous you still read ben's blog and feel the need to deliver vitriol. . would love to see where your accomplishments figure in comparison to your peers

    i'm not talented but i do make a difference to people's lives

    tina b