Wolf Hall star Jonathan Pryce talks Cardinal Wolsey, the Everyman and Game of Thrones
Everyman actor says he would love to return to do another show at the theatre
Jonathan Pryce says it’s a pleasure to be back in Liverpool and he’s looking forward to a personal tour of the Everyman Theatre with its artistic director Gemma Bodinetz.
“The last time I was here it was before they knocked my old Everyman down,” he says, fondly. “So I can’t wait to see the new theatre. I’d love to come back and do another play here. Probably not this year, but next year I’d love to.”
The 67-year-old actor is in town for the BBC Showcase, where TV buyers from all over the world have been in the city looking to buy the best programmes to take back home. Its finale was a spectacular dinner at the Anglican cathedral, recreating the set of Wolf Hall.
“They have done a fantastic job in the cathedral,” he smiles. “It’s such a beautiful venue anyway, but with the Wolf Hall treatment it looks fabulous.”
Jonathan plays Cardinal Wolsey, and says that it was the script that drew him to Wolf Hall: “The writing drew me in, and the stillness of it. It’s slow, it’s political, it’s a real thriller and for me that was very appealing.
“The reaction has been a pleasant surprise. I saw the first two episodes before they went out and I enjoyed them, so I thought it would be well-received, but the level of the response has been a shock to us all.”
The story follows the complex machinations and back room dealings around Henry VIII’s tempestuous relationship with Anne Boleyn and the religious upheavals of the Protestant reformation.
Reports said that Jonathan had taken his inspiration from Alistair Campbell’s spin doctoring - was there any truth in that?
“No, well certainly I didn’t tell anyone that,” he chuckles.
“But I suppose when you look at any group of politicians from the Tudor age to the present day, there has always been that machination behind the scenes, the done deals and the clever manoeuvring. It’s all there.”
After the drama of Wolf hall Jonathan is atraight into more intrigue with the new series of Game of Thrones, in which he is introduced as The High Sparrow, a religious leader who gains many followers in King’s Landing by appealing to the poor and downtrodden.
“I can’t give too much away but there are some real surprises this season,” he says wryly. “Some surprise deaths too, but ten that’s Game of Thrones.”
Wolf Hall is available to order on DVD and Blu-ray from BBCShop.com. We have five copies to give away - to win, email the name of the last theatre show Jonathan was in at The Everyman Theatre to email@example.com by Friday February 27 with your contact details. Entries will be picked at random.
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Alastair Machray was appointed editor of The Liverpool Echo in 2005 and is also editor-in-chief of Trinity Mirror Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales. He is a former editor of The Daily Post (Wales and England) and editor-in-chief of the company\'s Welsh operations. Married dad-of-two and keen golfer Alastair is one of the longest-serving newspaper editors in the country. His titles have won numerous awards and spearheaded numerous successful campaigns.