As Luck Would Have It

As Luck Would Have It

by Derek Jacobi

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Overview

Star of stage, screen and television, and one of only two people to be awarded two Knighthoods, Sir Derek Jacobi is one of Britain’s most distinguished actors.‘If you want to be an actor, don’t. If you need to be an actor, do.’The world of theatre could not have been further from Derek’s childhood: an only child, born in Leytonstone, London. With his father a department store manager and his mother a secretary, his was very much a working class background. But nonetheless Derek always knew he was going to be an actor, and he remembers clearly the first time he was in costume – draping himself in his mother’s glorious wedding veil as he paraded up and down the Essex Road with his friends.A few short years later, at the age of seven, Derek made his acting debut, playing both lead roles in a local library production of The Prince and the Swineherd. By the age of 18 Derek was playing Hamlet (his most famed role) at the Edinburgh festival. He won a scholarship to Cambridge, where he studied and acted alongside other future acting greats including Ian McKellen. His talent was quickly recognised and in 1963 he was invited to become one of the first members of Laurence Olivier’s National Theatre.Often admired for his willingness to grapple with even the most dislikeable of characters, Derek Jacobi has worked continuously throughout his career, starring in roles ranging from the lead in I, Claudius to Hitler in Inside the Third Reich and Francis Bacon in the controversial Love Is The Devil. But it is his numerous Shakespearean roles that have gained him worldwide recognition.This book is, however, much more than a career record. Funny, warm and honest, Jacobi brings us his insider’s view on the world of acting. From a simple childhood in the East End to the height of fame on stage and screen, Derek recalls his journey in full: from the beginnings of his childhood dreams to the legendary productions, the renowned stars and the intimate off-stage moments.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780007553624
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/04/2014
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
File size: 31 MB
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About the Author

Born in Leytonstone, London in 1938, Derek Jacobi always wanted to be an actor. At the age of six, Derek made his acting debut, playing both lead roles in a local library production of The Prince and the Swineherd. He won a scholarship to Cambridge, where he studied and acted alongside other future greats including Ian McKellen. His talent was quickly recognised and in 1963 he was invited to become one of the founder members of Laurence Olivier’s National Theatre. Olivier’s protégé, Derek later, in turn, became mentor to Kenneth Branagh.Derek Jacobi has worked nonstop throughout his career, starring in roles including the lead in I, Claudius, the monk detective Cadfael, Hitler in Inside The Third Reich and Francis Bacon in the controversial Love Is The Devil. But it is his numerous Shakespearean roles that have gained him worldwide recognition. He is the only actor, apart from Sir Laurence Olivier, to have the honour of holding two knighthoods, Danish and English.

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Boy with the veil 1

Age I Infant, Mewling 5

1 The front room 7

2 Our war 15

3 The return of Alfred Jacobi 20

4 The Christmas Conned 'em 24

5 Mum 26

6 Dad 31

Age II Shining Morning Face 37

7 'With one little touch of her hand' 39

8 Confinement 42

9 East London boy 45

10 My teachers 49

11 Intimations of immortality 56

12 The lads of life 61

13 The passport prince 67

14 Cloud-capped towers 73

Age III Sighing Like Furnace 77

15 First term, first love 79

16 The Marlowe Society 91

17 Princes and puppets 98

18 'Honorificabilitudinitatibus' 104

19 Encounters with a colossus 108

20 The Brummie Beast 113

Age IV Seeking the Bubble Reputation 123

21 A shameful episode 125

22 'I thought Hamlet looked a bit down at the wedding' 131

23 Sir 136

24 Clay feet and other parts 146

25 Giving away Michael York 150

26 Leading in the dark 158

27 The Idiot 162

Age V And then the Justice 169

28 The intangible 'it' 171

29 From Kaiser to Emperor 176

30 'Hamlet, played by Derek "I, Claudius" Jacobi' 185

31 Enter Richard II 192

32 A marriage proposal 200

33 Terrible news 209

34 So we'll go no more a-roving 215

Age VI A World Too Wide 221

35 Ultimate nightmare 223

36 The RSC 228

37 Proboscis magnifica 234

38 The Jacobi Cadets 240

39 Two broken codes for the price of one 249

40 Life among the great and good 255

Age VII Strange Eventful History 265

41 My new family 267

42 The summons 271

43 Walks on the dark side 275

44 Russell Crowe's bum 285

45 Shakespeare's end-games 289

46 Aren't we all? 298

Afterword and acknowledgements 305

Picture credits 307

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