Page 3 Profile: David Suchet, actor

 

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The Independent Online

She looks familiar…

Look closely. Beaming back from under that fetching hat are the eyes of David Suchet – aka television’s Hercule Poirot from 1989 to 2013.

Oo-er missus!

You’ve never seen a man in a dress before? Losing Poirot’s distinctive waxed moustache, and gaining a new wardrobe, Suchet is all set to play the indomitable Lady Bracknell in a new West End production of The Importance Of Being Earnest.

The importance being?

Oscar Wilde’s play is one of the most famous in British theatre. A biting satire of a Victorian London life of tiresome social obligation, it stars Lady Bracknell as the embodiment of respectable, upper-class society. And it is she who utters its most famous line: “A haaaandbag?!” Judi Dench, Edith Evans, Penelope Keith and Geoffrey Rush have all breathed life into the role.

A fine tradition.

Yes, but Suchet has insisted that – unlike Rush and Brian Bedford who has also donned Lady Bracknell’s petticoat - he’ll being playing it “straight”. “Please god that I don’t become a pantomime dame - that would ruin the play,” he said. “I’m going to explore my feminine side, though she is quite a masculine character. She will be one hundred per cent woman.”

So no falsetto?

Precisely. “I will use my upper register,” he added. “The wit expressed has got to get the audience – not the way I sound.’

Wardrobe must have had their work cut out…

Costume designer Peter McIntosh said a special pair of women’s shoes were made to fit Suchet’s clodhoppers.

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