Kingdom comes

Evening Standard | 18 Dec 1992

If you haven’t heard of him, you should have. The Kinnocks, John Updike, Ben Elton, Eric Clapton, Luke Rittner, Molly Parkin and Anne Robinson are fans. And he performed this week for Prince Charles. ‘Good evening culture vultures,’ he said to HRH and company, in his best Dylan Thomas voice. Meet Bob Kingdom, whose solo tour de force, Dylan Thomas Return Journey, is directed by Anthony Hopkins. ‘Tony said to me ‘Don’t try to please the audience, they don’t want that’.’ For years Hopkins wanted to play Thomas and identified closely with the role. ‘He’s healthily obsessed as well.’ Kingdom, 48, is a reformed alcoholic. ‘I got drunk and fell under a train in Cardiff once,’ he says. That was 25 years ago. ‘I also got sick of waking up and not knowing where I was.’ Kingdom becomes Thomas when he plays the notorious romantic hellraiser during one of his recitals (at the Lyric Studio until 2 January). Thomas died of chronic alcohol poisoning when he was just 39.

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