Rudman takes his encore in print
thing was a huge hit,” Rudman laughs. He went on to enjoy massive success as head of the Cottesloe Theatre at the National, but his career hit the buffers for a while when he took on the job of artistic director at the Chichester Festival Theatre.
“I was arrogant and optimistic — a bad combination. It was also far too much work to do. I had no administrative help and I was trying to direct three plays and produce 10 more. It was beyond me.” It was at this time that his marriage to Kendall broke down, although they have since revived their relationship. He says that his time in theatre has been hugely enjoyable and on the whole a lot more straightforward than you would imagine. He has also been gifted a huge reservoir of stories through encounters with legendary figures like Samuel Beckett, Neil Simon, John Cleese and Rex Harrison.
Having said that, when he originally produced a draft of his book, one editor was less than impressed. “He said to me: ‘Life must be more than just a series of anecdotes.’ To which my answer was: ‘Are you sure?’” ‘I Joke Too Much’ is published by Capercaillie Books, £12.99
Warren Mitchell and Stephen Greif in Death of a Salesman at the National in 1979