Rogues & Vagabonds

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013…

Quote • Donald Sinden on Great Acting

Production poster for An Evening with... Sir Donald Sinden (caricature by Clive Francis)

Production poster for
An Evening with… Sir Donald Sinden
(caricature by Clive Francis)

“Do you know what the best description is of great acting? It was given to me by the wonderful old actor Baliol Holloway… ‘Look, Don, you are playing at the Haymarket, aren’t you? That’s a theatre that is all gilt. Gilt round the boxes, gilt round the circle, gilt on the ceiling. When a great actor walks on the stage – it lights up.’ And I know what he means…when a great actor comes on, the theatre is filled with light. The gilt lights up.”

Sir Donald Sinden [1923-2014], The Stage, 24 January 2002.

Originally published on R&V 17-08-06

6 comments on “Quote • Donald Sinden on Great Acting

  1. olganm
    09/12/2014

    That’s so very true. Those electrifying moments of the great performances. Those silences…

  2. First Night Design
    09/12/2014

    This is the reason why, to me, the best theatre will always outrank the best film. Have a lovely weekend, Olga.

  3. elainecanham
    05/07/2015

    Yes I still remember the first time I went to the theatre (Judi Dench as Viola in Twelfth Night) I thought that it was going to be the most boring evening ever, and I spent it on the edge of my seat, being shushed by my parents when I shouted out, ‘Noooo, it’s not him!’. Fabulous, fabulous experience. Cinema is great, but that was life-changing.

  4. First Night Design
    05/08/2015

    I saw that very production! My abiding memory is of the blissful, and sadly late, Elizabeth Spriggs as Maria. It was only after seeing it that I realised what my parents had been going on about when it came to Shakespeare. We were doing Twelfth Night for O-level so it was a much-needed experience. Life-changing indeed.

  5. elainecanham
    05/09/2015

    Did you? I saw it at Stratford. Wouldn’t it be strange if we had been there at the same time!

  6. First Night Design
    05/09/2015

    I was thinking that too! But we saw it in London at, I think, the Aldwych. It’s a small world and I love it that it was a life-changing experience for both of us.

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This entry was posted on 09/12/2014 by in Quotes, Theatre and tagged , , , .
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