One RSC production in which Antony Sher appeared that was omitted from Michael Coveney’s obituary (is the 1993 revival of Tom Stoppard’s play Travesties. John Wood’s performance as Henry Carr, in the original production some two decades earlier, made such an impression that I had assumed that Sher’s performance would be inferior. It is a testament to Sher’s virtuoso performance that I was completely won over by it.
As a student at a large sixth form college in Essex, the first “serious” theatre I was ever taken to see was a production of Richard III at the Barbican in the mid-1980s. A few months later, my wonderful form tutor gave me a pair of tickets to take a friend to see Torch Song Trilogy.
The performances of Antony Sher in both plays had an incredible impact on this working-class correspondent; they fired my love of literature, which I studied at university and have loved teaching for the last 30 years.
I heard of this great actor’s death with real sadness, but also with a genuine warmth for the impact that actors like him can have on those of us lucky enough to be given such opportunities.