A rare treat was in store for visitors to the New Theatre on Tuesday evening, when one of Wales’s greatest actors, Philip Madoc, presented an evening of reading and reminiscences to an appreciative audience.
Beginning with a captivating recital to the opening of Under Milk Wood, Philip went on to relate stories to the audience of the great Dylan Thomas and how he and other Welsh writers such as the great Gwyn Thomas had inspired him over the decades.
From Philip’s earliest performances, appearing in a London Revue entitled Dylan on stage, when a group of Bob Dylan fans accidentally gate crashed the performance he recounted stories of working with greats such as Sophia Loren and Harry Secombe. He also told of adventures trekking across the world and how an Indian tribe had formed a fan club for him after he had delivered a convincing portrayal of an Indian chief in the BBC production of Last of The Mohicans. There was also the touching tale of filming the Life and Times of David Lloyd George, when he actually met Lloyd George’s daughter who remarked on his likeness to her own papa, no higher accolade could any actor possibly receive! Finally, as the evening drew to a close, after a brief question and answer session, he told the audience of how he had played Lear recently at the 4000th performance in The Globe Theatre. However, as a footnote he thinks he is more likely to be remembered in a singular comic scene as The U-Boat captain in the Dad’s Army episode "The Deadly Attachment". "I suspect my tombstone will have the words "Don’t tell Him Pike" emblazoned on it" he said. And as this Welsh living legend left the stage to rapturous applause, one got the impression he wouldn’t mind one single bit!