Chosen Words

Thursday 15 July 2021 | 2.00pm

Tickets | £12.50

Chosen Words

Thursday 15 July 2021 | 2.00pm

Tickets | £12.50

Book Tickets

Actors Alison Skilbeck and Tim Hardy entertain with choice pieces from favourite authors, plus dotty tales of the unexpected from their life in the theatre.

Chosen Words

Actors and husband-and-wife couple Tim Hardy (The Trials of Galileo, A Substitute for Life) and Alison Skilbeck (Mrs Roosevelt Flies to London, The Power Behind the Crone, Are There More of You?) will be here with their funny, moving and inspiring show ‘Chosen Words’.

Alison and Tim have both enjoyed, and continue to enjoy, long and distinguished careers acting on stage, tv, film and radio. As well as performing, both Alison and Tim are Associate Directors at RADA.

Chosen Words is a celebration of some of Alison and Tim’s favourite poetry, plays and prose, including works by Alan Ayckbourn, Alan Bennett, Carol Ann Duffy, U.A. Fanthorpe, William Shakespeare, Mark Twain, and that other well known writer Anon. Alison and Tim will also share theatrical anecdotes about some of what really goes on behind the curtains.

Following the interval there will be an opportunity to hear more stories about life in the theatre and to chat – all at a safe social distance. 

This is a show not to miss if you want to witness the written word brought to life by two accomplished actors, and to hear some backstage gossip. There will be something for everyone.

Alison and Tim and the authors are most generously waiving all fees for this fundraiser for The Swallow Theatre.

Extracts from Alan Ayckbourn plays read by kind permission of the author.
Use of Alan Bennett extracts by kind permission of United Agents LLP on behalf of Alan Bennett ©Forelake Ltd.
Poems by Carol Ann Duffy read by kind permission of the author.
Poems by U.A. Fanthorpe read by kind permission of Dr R Bailey.

Performance Duration : Approximately 60 minutes, then an interval followed by more anecdotes, a chance to ask questions and chat.

Banner Photographs Alison Skilbeck photograph by Ric BaconRic Bacon Photography
Tim Hardy photograph by Kim HardyKim Hardy Photography.

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This open air performance will be presented in our covered outdoor performance space. Find out more about our outdoor performance space and our covid policy.

Meet Alison and Tim

Alison Skilbeck

Alison started acting at Oxford University where she read Spanish and French. Her long and busy stage career began with five years in Scarborough, at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, where she starred in premieres of six of Sir Alan Ayckbourn’s plays,  and took her to London’s West End, and theatres all over the UK. Favourite plays include Just Between Ourselves (by Alan Ayckbourn), Time and The Conways, The Seagull, Habeas Corpus, A Doll’s House, Abigail’s PartyPassion Play, Arms and The Man, and Tartuffe. She has toured Dryden in Spain, Vaclav Havel in Hong Kong, and Shakespeare all over the USA, for Actors from the London Stage.

She has written and performed three acclaimed one-woman shows: Are There More Of You?, Mrs Roosevelt Flies to London, and The Power Behind the Crone, a celebration of Shakespeare’s older women. She has now written two more, both set during the time of Covid.

On television she has been seen in Sherlock Holmes, The Beiderbecke Affair, Soldier Soldier, Dr Who, Lovejoy, Midsomer Murders, Head Over Heels and Call The Midwife, while films include The Hiding Place and Phantom of the Opera.

Archers fans may remember her as Polly Perks, until the character was killed off!

During 2020 Alison starred in Agatha Christie’s semi-autobiographical drama The Lie on BBC Radio 4, and took over from Charlotte Green to read all the quotations in the latest series of Quote Unquote also on BBC Radio 4. Recent projects include Caitlin Shannon’s acclaimed web series Wimpole Street, and the cult podcast Wooden Overcoats, about to have a 4th series.

Photograph taken by Kim HardyKim Hardy Photography.

Tim Hardy

After training at RADA Tim went straight to the RSC in Peter Brook’s famed Marat Sade, in London and on Broadway. His stage work has included the West End: Simon Gray’s Melon, Lysistrata, the musical Judy (where he and Alison met) and Fiddler on the Roof directed by Jerome Robbins, while in repertory, plays have included Macbeth, Mephisto,  Ayckbourn’s The Norman Conquests, and world premieres of Catch 22, adapted by Joseph Heller, and Arnold Wesker’s Shylock.  He has played many real life characters: Jesus (in Coventry Cathedral and for US TV), Constantin Cavafy, Picasso, Galileo, Thomas Hardy, and soon Freud in Love, Genius, and a Walk, at Theatre Technis, London. He, like Alison, has also toured the USA in Shakespeare with the same company, and returned to direct at American universities.

For Music Theatre London he sang all the lead bass roles in modern versions of La Cenerentola, Don Giovanni, and The Magic Flute, which were lauded in Vienna and Amsterdam as well as the UK.

His television credits include The Trials of Oscar Wilde, the Canterbury Tales, Casualty 1909, longish stints in Emmerdale and Eastenders, and Midsomer Murders. Films include The Duellists and Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.

He has narrated over 300 documentaries for the History and Discovery Channels.

Photograph taken by Kim HardyKim Hardy Photography.

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