Sunday 17 November 2019


It's been a while since I've posted an acting post. It's time to change that.

In 2007, I took part in the New Factory of the Eccentric Actor's production of AK-27. The play concerned the 1927 visit to Mexico by Russian revolutionary, Alexandra Kollontai. Hence the name. Kollontai was only the third woman to serve as a diplomat in modern times. She was made Chargé d'affaires, a diplomat who runs an embassy but is not a formal ambassador, to Mexico. Alexandra was payed by Penny Dimond, who had made something of a career of playing her in a number of plays sets at different stages throughout her life.

Here's the flyer:

I played her son, Mikhail Alekseevich Domontovich, known throughout as Mischa. Due to the nature of her work, she was a largely absent figure during his childhood and he was raised mostly by his grandparents. Later, during the First World War, she used her position to help him avoid conscription. In 1927, Mischa was aged 33, while I was a sprightly 26.

This was the first New Factory production that I took part in at the Torriano Meeting House. Previously, I had only known it as a rehearsal space. It's a small venue which New Factory shows manage to cram with people testing the fire regulations to their limits. During one of these 'standing room only' performances I was waiting outside for my entrance through the front door, when Jeremy Corbyn showed up to see a huddle of people trying to watch the show through the window. Someone offered to get him in, but he refused to jump the queue. It was a brief conversation, but I was very impressed with his demeanour and principled reaction.

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