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Arts Campaign: My greatest night out - Simon Callow Actor

I was lucky enough to be part of the ILEA schools parties thing, and they took us to the Old Vic and the National Theatre in the days when they were doing the Royal Hunt of the Sun. It was one of the most extraordinary performances I have seen. It's a play about the invasion of Peru and the subjugation of the Incas by the Spanish, and it was a most thrilling, physical thing; they had a great big gold sun, and Robert Stephens, then young and lithe, was playing the sun god king. I had never seen anything like it. I was overwhelmed and astonished, and started going to everything I possibly could at the National. I eventually wrote Laurence Olivier a letter, and he wrote back saying, 'If you like it so much, come and work here.' So when I was 18, I went to work in the box office.

Interview by Rachelle Thackray