Thursday, 1 July 2010

Claire Bloom @ Masterclass

It was great to have the chance to hear Claire Bloom talk about her work at today's Masterclass at Theatre Royal Haymarket. Atypically, the event took the form of a conversation between Bloom and Geoffrey Colman, who stressed the difficulty of squeezing a discussion of Bloom's career into an hour and a half. Despite the occasional descent into gush, and no time for audience questions, Colman did a pretty good job. There were less direct insights into acting than are usual at these events; asked about the differences between stage and screen performance, Bloom cheekily quoted Diana Dors's comment that "in the theatre you overact; on film you underact!". But Bloom - looking radiant and about two decades younger than her 79 years - offered some fascinating reminsences on her early Shakespearean roles (she was described as "the Juliet of our age" by Kenneth Tynan), her star-making performance with Chaplin in Limelight, her collaborations with the likes of Olivier, Gielgud, Burton, Tony Richardson and Tennessee Williams, and the central role that acting has played in her life. The conversation was illustrated with some choice clips from Bloom's films (including Limelight (1952), Richard III (1955), Look Back in Anger (1958) and The Spy Who Came In From the Cold (1965), inspiring Bloom to muse on changes in performance style over the years. An enjoyable afternoon.


  1. never liked claire bloom.........
    though her movie death in the movie DAYLIGHT was a cracker

  2. Funnily enough, she didn't mention that one, John...