Interview: Tom Rosenthal
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If fans of Tom Rosenthal wonder whether his on-screen comedy translates to his daily life, wonder no longer. A wide grin is plastered across the young man’s face, making witty jokes as he enters and takes his seat in front of us as if he was born to entertain.
Image Credit: Shaun WebbAs Rosenthal takes to the stage alongside many of Britain’s young comedic starlets for Simon Callow’s direction of Christopher Hampton’s original classic The Philanthropist, the comedy icon stresses that the play – although highly comedic – has wider appeal. “I think at this moment in time we all feel a little bit lost politically. There’s been all this talk in the media about an out of touch elite bubble, and his is a play poking fun at that. "Even though it was written in the 70s, it feels amongst a background of political turmoil, which our play also is. It just says a lot of stuff that’s quite interesting about our time, whilst also having – in my opinion – some good jokes and a funny comedic performance.” A well as casting alongside talents such as Charlotte Ritchie, Lily Cole and Matt Berry, Rosenthal will star alongside former on-screen partner Simon Bird as best friend Donald. Best remembered for their double act on Friday Night Dinner, it’s certainly a partnership that Rosenthal hopes can blossom on stage in The Philanthropist. “We’ve been playing best friends in this and I guess in Friday Night Dinner, we’re brothers, so it’s a slightly different relationship but it’s not a million miles away because we’re brothers that get on pretty well. "The director, Simon Callow, has kind of forced us, made us try and make our relationship as like our real-life relationship as possible, which is kind of hard because a lot of the text is quite wordy and can be slightly alienating for someone who is as ineloquent as me in real life.
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