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The years might have taken Kelly‘s breath away. but they‘ve been kind to him in other respects. ‘Of doing the whole three. Still Life was always the one that terrified me.‘ he

recalls. "Throughout rehearsals. I‘d never been

on stage before. From 12 I'd been on television. so I'd always had this thing in my mind that real actors did it on stage. I had this horrible fear that as soon as I committed myself to any stage production. I was about to be rumbled. And we started off with Still Life in which I played 2‘) and 3—1. Well I was 22 at the time. so my knowledge and experience of these people was negligible. The strange thing is a year later. even after however many good reviews we‘d had. I thoroughly enjoyed doing Slab Boys. I really enjoyed doing (‘uttitt A Rag. and every night we got to do Still Life I would tense because I never felt I was tip to it. And part of what attracted me to coming back having worked on stage over ten years was to see if the play still frightened me as much. And at the read through. I thought it‘s actually quite easy. I didn‘t get frightened. I was nervous obviously about re-creating something I’d done ten years ago. but ifI was actually to get the


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script delivered to me now and read it. I would

have an idea of the handle. I would go. I sort of

know how I’m going to do that. I found it really liberating.‘

While neither actor is coming up with a radical revision of his role. the production will

‘It becomes quite ugly, because sometimes the scabs they’re picking are quite sore.’

be distinguished by director Caroline Paterson's insertion of scenes from The Slab Boys at key moments in the play. "I‘he idea of putting in the inserts does add an incredible poignancy.‘ says Kelly. 'You constantly go back to these guys who really did believe that the world was theirs for the taking. No matter how crushed they were in that slab room. they had an astonishing overbearing optimism which isn‘t there in the latter play. That‘s why I think the insertion of them will make the whole

thingjust as funny. but slightly darker and a bit

more moving. With Still Life they‘re just left with each other and they resort to the only weapon they‘ve got which is their rapier wit. It becomes quite ugly. because sometimes the scabs they‘re picking are quite sore.‘

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Ten years on. the energy and thrill of Byrne’s writing has not paled and. two weeks before the show goes on. there is already a sense that this production could turn out as special as the original. ‘It happened with Wholly Healthy Glasgow as well.‘ says Kelly about the play that put lain Heggie on the map. ‘I remember saying to the director. Richard Wilson. during rehearsals when the script was being changed daily. I said this is going to go wild. It was just one of those odd feelings you get. Whatever you think of the play. you think this is going to generate something. And that feeling was certainly there when we did this.‘

‘That feeling is there with this as well.‘ a Gray. 'There‘s a spirit in the company that develops. It improves the work somehow.‘

‘Is that cos I‘m not here yet‘." quizzes Kelly still finishing his stint in Aladdin.

‘It's cos we‘re cutting all your bits.‘ confirms Gray. ‘lt‘s so generous of Kelly to come in and do those four lines.’


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