Back­stage pass

MUR­DER IN THE WEST END: Cast in The Mouse­trap, York­shire ac­tor Wil­liam Ilk­ley tells Nick Ahad why he de­cided to keep a pho­to­graphic record of his year on the Lon­don stage.

Yorkshire Post - YP Magazine - - Front Page -

HE Year of the King by Antony Sher is per­haps the great­est ex­am­ple of an ac­tor keep­ing a di­ary of the chal­lenge of tak­ing on a role in the theatre.

Sher, cast as King Richard III, recorded the ef­forts of play­ing the part at the RSC in 1984 in a di­ary, later pub­lish­ing it.

While Ma­jor Met­calf in The Mouse­trap might not pose the same moun­tain to climb as far as roles go, in terms of Bri­tish the­atri­cal history, it is an im­por­tant part of the canon. When he was of­fered the part in the West End pro­duc­tion, York­shire-born ac­tor Wil­liam Ilk­ley, known round these parts as “Bill Ilk­ley”, de­cided he would keep his own record.

“I was talk­ing to my wife about it and said ‘should I keep a di­ary as a per­ma­nent record?’. She thought it was a good idea, but then the re­al­ity of sit­ting and writ­ing some­thing ev­ery day for a year hit me’,” says Ilk­ley. “One of us came up with the idea of a pho­to­graphic jour­nal. The con­tract was for 328 days, so I thought it was per­fect – I could take a pho­to­graph ev­ery day and call it My Year in The Mouse­trap.”

This be­ing 2015, the ob­vi­ous place for Ilk­ley to share his record was so­cial media. For him, that meant Face­book.

“I started to post the photos ev­ery day and peo­ple loved see­ing them – they seemed to par­tic­u­larly en­joy any­thing to do with back­stage, what we do with our down time, pic­tures off­stage and in the wings..”

York­shire au­di­ences will recog­nise Ilk­ley from his many roles on stages here, from one of the epony­mous Bounc­ers in God­ber’s mas­ter­piece to roles in Coro­na­tion Street and even Doc­tor Who. He’s been an ac­tor for a while and has, dur­ing his ca­reer, ven­tured south to take roles in the West End, but the role of Ma­jor Met­calf is his first long stint in one of the world’s most fa­mous the­atri­cal neigh­bour­hoods.

IN FROM THE COLD: Bill Ilk­ley as Ma­jor Met­calf gets a dust­ing of snow back­stage be­fore step­ping out from the wings. The ac­tor posted a pic­ture ev­ery day dur­ing his run in the pro­duc­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.