THE CAMBRIDGE NEWS, 7 September 2011—Actor Warren Clarke got a personal perspective on his latest role during a tour of the Churchill Archives Centre in Cambridge yesterday.
The Dalziel and Pascoe star is at Cambridge Arts Theatre this week, playing Winston Churchill in Three Days in May, a new political thriller about the critical period in May 1940 when Britain teetered on the brink of giving in to Hitler.
Yesterday, Clarke was joined by co-star Jeremy Clyde – who plays Lord Halifax – for a tour of the purpose-built archives centre at Churchill College, which houses around 3,000 boxes of Churchill’s letters and documents.
Treasures shown to the actors by the centre’s director, Allen Packwood, included original speeches, rare photos and papers from the War Cabinet.
Clarke told the News it was a challenge playing the man voted Greatest Briton: “It’s challenging because people know who he is.
“They have seen him, and can still see him in footage. They can hear and see him making speeches. It’s a challenge to get close to the man, but every role is a challenge and, if it’s not, you shouldn’t be doing it.
“I went for the voice, as close as I could get. I had to grab the audience immediately with that. If you don’t, they ask: where’s Churchill?”
>> Three Days in May is at the Arts Theatre until Saturday. For tickets, call (01223) 503333 or visit www.cambridgeartstheatre.com.
>> For more information on the Churchill Archives Centre, visit www.chu.cam.ac.uk/archives.
>> “Clarke has got it terrifyingly, mesmerisingly right” – read our verdict on Three Days in May at www.cambridge-news.co.uk.