The one that got away?

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The one that got away?

Postby biddenden_sue on March 13th, 2010, 10:24 am

Well, Mr Baker, we all know about the roles that you accepted, but has there ever been one that you turned down, or weren't available for, and then regretted missing out on?

If so, what was that role, and why did it slip through your fingers?
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Re: The one that got away?

Postby Tom Baker on March 15th, 2010, 12:09 pm

Dear Biddenden Sue!

I was offered the male role in Educating Rita as a holiday replacement for the man who created the part. I believe his name was Mark Kingston. Any way, I nipped along to the Piccadilly Theatre to check it out and I did not fancy the part at all. I thought the actress playing Rita was excellent. Fast forward a couple of years and I was in the West End in Hedda Gabler with Susanna York and not having a good time. As usual, most of the people in it have since died, including the director, Donald McWinney. Anyway between shows on Wednesday, in rolled Mike Ockrent, a very highly regarded international director. He was about to set up the tour of EDUCATING RITA for the Royal Shakespeare Company. And he persuaded me to do the part I had not cared for two years earlier. It was one of the happiest things I ever did. The part of Rita was played by Kate Fitzgerald who was perfect. But if I had taken the first offer I might have had a different career. On the other hand I would have missed the genius of Kate who inspired me. Ah, well, there you go. Mike Ockrent has since died.

Good question, Sue.

Best wishes from Tom
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