Inspiration from Julian Sands in theatre & poetry

Julian Sands
Julian Sands

After two sold-out performances actor and director Julian Sands returns to Kino Teatr in St Leonards with drama and poetry.

An Audience With Julian Sands will be held on Sunday January 7 at 3pm and Friday January 12 at 7.30pm. Part One will be The Standard Bearer and Part Two is Keats, Shelley, Ghosts And Lovers.

Sands is well known as a star of stage, playing Tony Blair in David Hare’s Stuff Happens, and screen, from A Room With A View to The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo. He recently toured internationally with A Celebration Of Harold Pinter, directed by John Malkovich, which he brought to St Leonards previously.

He commented: “I am returning to the Kino Teatr because it was such a pleasure sharing my enthusiasm for Harold Pinter with the engaged and responsive audience l encountered there.”

He “stumbled” into the Kino originally some 18 months ago and thought it had “good energy, good bones and lots of charm.” A conversation with owner Olga Mamonova resulted in his performance there last January.

He added: “This led to my suggesting the Kino could be a good venue for The Standard Bearer by Stephen Wyatt, a play l first directed in Los Angeles with the excellent Neil Dickson - an actor whose compelling sensitive work l had seen on stage as well as on film - playing the only character, an actor looking for purpose and redemption in his life through many years on the boards with Shakespeare. Neil plays the role with such grace and beauty, humanity and energy, it has always been a revelatory thrill to watch him. It is a tender, philosophical and inspiring piece which l think the Kino audience will respond to. The play is not long, but feels as epic as it is intimate, so it allows time for me to share a programme of poetry l have been giving in Rome - Keats, Shelley, Ghosts and Lovers. Last year l was asked to write the preface for a new anthology published by the Keats Shelley House in Rome, a place l first visited in the 1970’s. I played Shelley in Ken Russell’s 1986 film Gothic. In agreeing to write the preface l also did a series of readings at the House where Keats died as well as in the cemetery where they are both buried, and then l was asked to play Piero De Medici in a Netflix Series filmed in Rome. Every week l would do a series of readings of mostly Keats and Shelley but introducing other poets too, from the contemporary Isobel Dixon to 1st Cent B.C. Catullus in a new translation by Daisy Dunn. It is a joy and profoundly fullfilling to perform or to read in an intimate space with a gathering of intelligent, interested listeners and the Kino lends its self to such a communal experience, very different from a movie set or a large auditorium, where the direct connection with an audience can be more elusive. This is not to say l don’t love movie sets and big audiences - they can be thrilling, exciting and energising - but ultimately l like to hear the individuality of an audience member’s breathing, to see the individual quality of their eyes; it makes for a deeper and mutually affirming connection, l think.” Tickets £20 from kino-teatr.co.uk.