Simon Callow talks to Paul Blezard
Orson Welles: One-Man Band
Sunday 16 October 2016
Blenheim Palace, The OrangeryVenue
Acclaimed actor and writer Simon Callow talks about his fascination with biography and his fellow human beings and in particular with the life of one man, the film-maker Orson Welles.
Callow describes Welles as one of ‘the most completely, improbably, extravagant human beings who have ever lived’. And he has devoted three volumes of biography to provide a comprehensive and penetrating insight into the man considered by many to be the greatest ever film-maker. The third volume, One-Man Band, was published recently. It opens with Welles’s self-exile from America and his realisation that he could only function as an independent film-maker. Callow looks at Welles’s film-making efforts including Othello, Mr Arkadin and Chimes at Midnight, and chronicles his forays into television, stage, theatre, radio and even ballet. He describes what it was like to be around Welles and what is was like to be him.
Callow is an actor, director and writer. He has appeared in films such as Amadeus, A Room with a View and Four Weddings and a Funeral; is renowned for his various portrayals of Charles Dickens, from his own one-man show to episodes of Dr Who; and is equally at home as a director, including of the stage premiere of Willy Russell’s Shirley Valentine. He has written extensively about acting, Dickens, Charles Laughton, and his own life.