Forty years after he first originated the role in the West End, veteran actor Roy Dotrice, recently awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list, is to revive his performance as John Aubrey in Brief Lives at Richmond theatre in March as part of a short UK tour.
Dotrice first played the role in Patrick Garland’s one-man play at Hampstead Theatre Club in 1967. Following a Broadway run it opened at the West End’s Criterion theatre in 1968. Now Dotrice recreates his performance as reclusive antiquarian Aubrey, who takes audiences on a nostalgic journey through history, relating a series of anecdotes about everyone from Cromwell to Shakespeare, Raleigh to Elizabeth I.
Dotrice was last on the London stage in 2006, appearing alongside Patricia Routledge in Hugh Whitemore’s The Best Of Friends at Richmond and Hampstead. In addition to Brief Lives his extensive West End credits include Great Expectations, The Passion Of Dracula, Suez, Mother Adam and Oliver!, while on Broadway he starred in Mister Lincoln, A Life, Kingdoms, Hay Fever, The Homecoming and Eugene O’Neill’s A Moon For The Misbegotten in 2000, for which he won a Tony Award. His film and UK television credits include Amadeus, The Cutting Edge, The Scarlet Letter, Life Begins and The Caretaker.
This new stage production of Brief Lives is expected to open in the West End following a five-venue UK tour which ends at Richmond from 25-29 March.