Pieces of me

My life in seven ob­jects, by Si­mon Cal­low, ac­tor, di­rec­tor and writer

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - Pieces Of Me -

Si­mon Cal­low, 66, is an ac­tor, theatre di­rec­tor and writer. He has ap­peared in Four Wed­dings and a Funeral and A Room with a View, and writ­ten bi­ogra­phies of Or­son Welles and Charles Laughton. He is also an am­bas­sador for Hexagon Apart­ments. He lives in Cam­den, north Lon­don, with his part­ner, Se­bas­tian Fox. In­ter view by Char­lotte Lyt­ton. Pho­to­graphs by Andy Lo Pò 1 En­grav­ing This is by my great-great-grand­fa­ther Henry Otto Fleiss, who came from Düs­sel­dorf to Eng­land in the mid-1860s to be­come art mas­ter at Marl­bor­ough Col­lege. My grand­mother used to drink a toast to her grand­par­ents ev­ery night and left the en­grav­ing to me – it’s full of mean­ing. 2 Mask Charles Laughton is my hero. He had the most ex­pres­sive fea­tures of any ac­tor, and his per­for­mance in The Hunch­back of Notre Dame, for which this mask was made, was re­mark­able. 3 Horse carv­ing This 17th­cen­tury Chi­nese horse came my way when I did Equus, a play about the power of horses. I’m a great fan of them and rode as a lit­tle boy when I lived in the coun­try. 4 Bud­dha I di­rected my frst opera in Lucerne, Switzer­land, where I saw this lit­tle bro­ken Bud­dha in a junk shop. I bought it and stuck it to­gether. It seems to ra­di­ate a feel­ing of good­ness. 5 Books I ad­mired Christo­pher Ish­er­wood in­tensely when I was young. There will never be a greater mo­ment than when I found out he had been read­ing a book of mine for a sec­ond time when he died. I found these signed books in a char­ity shop in Not­ting Hill; the pile cost 50p. 6 Ring I was a dresser for a play star­ring the great theatre ac­tor Micheál MacLi­ammóir in 1968, and later wrote about him in my book Be­ing an Ac­tor. An­other ac­tor in his com­pany thought it was very ac­cu­rate and gave me MacLi­ammóir’s ring. It ft per­fectly – like Cin­derella’s shoe. 7 Por­trait of Dick­ens I’ve spent a lot of my life think­ing of, writ­ing about and play­ing Dick­ens. It’s touch­ing to be re­minded of his amaz­ing con­tri­bu­tion to hu­man life.

I’ve spent a lot of my life think­ing of, writ­ing about and play­ing Dick­ens

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