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Home :: Archive :: 2010 :: June ::
Sir Patrick Stewart

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0216  Thursday, 3 June 2010

From:         Hardy M. Cook < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Date:         Thursday, June 3, 2010     
Subject:      Sir Patrick Stewart

As I am sure most of you have heard, Patrick Stewart was knighted by the Queen on Wednesday, June 2. At the ceremony, he paid tribute to the English teacher who first encouraged him to perform and expressed amazement at being named a theatrical knight, joining the company of his childhood heroes Sir Laurence Olivier, Sir John Gielgud, and Sir Alec Guinness.

My Patrick Stewart story: 

Four years ago, I believe it was, my younger daughter, Rebecca, and I saw Patrick Stewart in Stratford in _The Tempest_ as Prospero in one of the least satisfying RSC production I have ever watched.

[This eco-Tempest was not to my taste (but it certainly was not as __________ (Fill in with appropriate adjective)* as the Hew Haw** Kornfield Kountry _Winter Tales_ of many years earlier. *appalling, awful, atrocious, abysmal, terrible, dreadful, horrendous, horrific - I could go on but still not find an adjective that would accurately describe how terribly wrong this Appalachian Tale was. **Hew Haw was an American television show of the late 1960s and early 1970s, featuring country music and "cornpone" humor, see http://dixiedining.wordpress.com/2008/06/06/cornpone-humor/ and http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1106574/4046570

A couple of days later, Becca and I were in London to see _Titus Andronicus_ . At the interval, we were standing by the gate and Patrick Stewart rushed past and accidentally kicked Rebecca in the foot. He stopped and offered a rapid sorry, heading off to his destination. 

When I later told the story to a Shakespearean who had been in attendance with us at the Memorial Theatre, the response was "She should have kicked him back."

Here are some of the Internet accounts of Sir Patrick's knighting.

*****
The Independent:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/news/sir-patrick-stewart-joins-childhood-heroes-1990020.html

Sir Patrick Stewart joins childhood heroes
By Emma Bamford

The actor Sir Patrick Stewart said he was "astonished" to ?nd himself in the company of his childhood heroes Sir Laurence Olivier, Sir John Gielgud and Sir Alec Guinness in becoming a theatrical knight as he attended Buckingham Palace yesterday.

The Queen is said to be a fan of the star, who has enjoyed a 50-year career in ?lm, television and the theatre, including 16 years with the Royal Shakespeare Company, 178 episodes of Star Trek and three X-Men movies. Sir Patrick said: "The knights of the theatre represented to me not only the pinnacle of the profession but the esteem in which the profession was held. And now to ?nd myself, to my astonishment, in that company is the grandest thing that has professionally happened to me. . . . "

*****
BBC News
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment_and_arts/10217872.stm
Star Trek star Patrick Stewart knighted at Palace
Wednesday, 2 June 2010 

Sir Patrick called his knighthood "an unlooked-for honour" Actor Sir Patrick Stewart paid tribute to a former teacher as he was knighted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace. 

The 69-year-old said he owed "literally everything" to the English teacher who first encouraged him to perform. 

"Although many people in my life have had great influence on me, without this man none of it would have happened," he said following Wednesday's investiture.

The classically-trained actor is best known for his roles in Star Trek: The Next Generation and the X-Men films.

He was recently seen on the London stage appearing alongside fellow actor knight Sir Ian McKellen in Waiting for Godot.

Sir Patrick said his knighthood - announced in the New Year Honours List - had been "an unlooked-for honour".

"But as I grew up as a child, falling in love with the theatre and Shakespeare, my heroes were Sir Laurence Olivier [and] Sir John Gielgud," he continued.

"The knights of the theatre represented to me not only the pinnacle of the profession but the esteem in which the profession was held. 

Sir Patrick is best known for his roles in Star Trek and X-Men "To find myself, to my astonishment, in that company is the grandest thing that has professionally happened to me."

The Yorkshire-born star said he would be celebrating his knighthood with Cecil Dormand, the teacher who first encouraged him to consider acting as a profession.
"He was the one that put a copy of Shakespeare in my hand [and] said, 'Now get up on your feet and perform'." 

[ . . . ]

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