SIR JONATHAN MILLER
I’m in the theatre and in opera entirely by accident. I never intended to do it. I never intended to be in the theatre – it was an unsolicited invitation which came when I was working in the Casualty Department doing my first surgical job. I had done bits and pieces of comic performances when I was at Cambridge and came to London twice with the Footlights and someone who had known Dudley Moore and Alan Bennett in Oxford and had known my wife at Bedales and had heard about me came. He was the person from Porlock: do you remember that, there was this wonderful person from Porlock who arrived and interrupted the writing of [Coleridge’s] ‘Kubla Khan’? Well, this is exactly what happened. I was en route to becoming a neurologist. That was my interest: I went into medicine in order to be a neurologist. I was interested in the nature of voluntary movement and its deficits as a result of brain damage. And as you can see in the course of what I’m going to say this has had a profound effect on what I do in the theatre. I maintain that what I was trained to do is to keep my eyes open and find out what people actually do – how they walk around, how they talk, how they move their hands when they talk, and so on and so forth – in ways which I shall amplify under pressure from questions.
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