“There are long, looooong Cabinet scenes in there,” he says of 37 Days, which chronicles the will-they-won’t-they diplomacy that preceded the First World War.
The BBC crunches the deliberations into three hours of docu-drama, which will air over three consecutive nights, so the Cabinet scenes are not as long as they might have been.
A local weekly paper in the part of Wales I escape to ran a prominent story about the screening of the Old Vic’s brilliant Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.
Yet many rural areas have no communal screens, and cinemas continue to close.
So BBC2’s smart decision to order a made-for-television version of the astonishing, near-to-the knuckle fantasy King Charles III, broadcast yesterday (May 10), offers an innovative approach for playwrights and casts.
But it’s all a far cry from The Musketeers: “See if you can count to five before a cut.
Those things actually make me feel slightly weird.”Perhaps it’s because the stakes are so high, but the agonising of the Cabinet in 37 Days makes for gripping drama.
“I didn’t think it was boring for a minute,” the 67-year-old actor enthuses over an espresso.
“What happens is you go, ‘I know what he’s thinking’.
It was easily beaten on the night by the animal stars and keepers of Channel 4’s The Secret Life of the Zoo, based in Chester.
In fairness, the producers tried hard to make the Olivier ceremony accessible, but the basic problem is that, alas, only a tiny fraction of people ever get to see West End plays and musicals, due to price, location and size of venues. And actors being awarded prizes can make for pretty tedious viewing – even if you are lucky enough to know the productions in competition, or love the stars being honoured.
Tim Pigott-Smith as King Charles Tim Pigott-Smith reprises the title role, having also played Charles in the original theatre production, which was written in poetic blank verse.
The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge opened in November 1936.
To learn more about Amazon Sponsored Products, click here.