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Author Archives: Neal Foster

Benedict Cumberbatch

I have been filled with horror at the experience Benedict Cumberbatch is going through in Hamlet. The reason someone filming you is so disturbing is not just because of the little red lights waving around the theatre but because of the fundamental disconnection it creates between you and the person filming you. Acting is a conversation [...]
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A new play

One of the things I love about theatre is that no matter what experience you bring to a production, there comes that moment when you bring it in front of an audience and you have absolutely no idea how they are going to react.  Particularly a new comedy. We have always been mad enough to [...]
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I was struck by this comment from Robin Whitefield, the original creator of the Cadbury’s crème egg, when his expressing disappointment at the chocolate being used in the new confectionery: “I’ve always thought that if you’re making something for the enjoyment of other people, you should make it so you can’t make it any better”. [...]
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The Birmingham Stage Company is on the move!

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE BSC Following the most successful show in its history with HORRIBLE CHRISTMAS and after twenty-three years at the theatre, the Birmingham Stage Company is taking its final bow from The Old Rep where it has been the resident professional company since 1992. The company’s new home in the city will be [...]
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Christopher Jefferies

I posted his blog while waiting to hear news about my teacher Christopher Jefferies who is the subject of a TV drama tonight in which I was invited to appear. If you don’t blink, you’ll see me playing the lawyer representing The Sun! It seems timely to post it again:   Watching the media’s treatment of [...]
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Horrible present day

On Sunday we were performing Horrible Histories in the West End, when a cold thought crossed my mind. Holding a severed head in my hand, I was busy explaining to a delighted and horrified audience that two thousand years ago the ancient Celts stuck severed heads onto the gates of their hill forts, when my [...]
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I have long held the view that child abuse is much more common than acknowledged.  The scale of the problem was brought home to me a decade ago by a Newsnight report that devoted its entire programme to a woman who was frightened her estranged father was going to abuse his new grandson.  She retold [...]
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Diane Abbott

I long ago lost faith in Diane Abbott but her reprimand of Ed Miliband in yesterday’s Guardian was her finest hour. When a Labour leader starts questioning the numbers of West Africans in Thurrock to ingratiate himself with the locals, then we really know this country is heading into dangerous and disturbing territory. If you [...]
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Yesterday I had the maddest thirty minutes of my entire mad life. I was auditioning for character roles in a major video game in which I was asked to portray various emperors, princes, goblins and monsters. I spent these thirty minutes of my life screaming, shouting orders and growling at the very top of my voice. The [...]
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I’ve been reading Primo Levi’s extraordinary account of his 11 months at Auschwitz and was struck by his opening preface: “Many people – many nations – can find themselves holding, more or less wittingly, that ‘every stranger is an enemy’. For the most part this conviction lies deep down like some latent infection; it betrays [...]
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