Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Acting? It's like Being in the Trenches

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Acting? It's like Being in the Trenches

Article excerpt


Tom's boy finds it tough as a luvvie AS I set off to Dulwich to interview Ed Stoppard, son of Sir Tom, I assumed life must have been a breeze for the offspring not only of the Oscar-winning playwright, author of Shakespeare In Love and Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead, but of the highflying agony aunt Dr Miriam Stoppard.

But as I chat to Ed later (over an instant coffee in a chaotic kitchen that bears sticky traces of a two-and-a-half-year-old, Ed's daughter, Esme), I discover a famous name can be a bit of a noose around your neck. "Can I ever be free of the nagging doubt that my name didn't get me a part?" he asks.

"Would I have made it on my own? I would like to think so, and I think I have overcompensated in the past not to trade on my name..." I get the impression life hasn't always been easy for the intense, intelligent (Stowe followed by a degree in French at Edinburgh) young man about to make his mark on the West End stage in that most demanding of roles: Hamlet. "I'm terrified," he says.

"It's a bit like being a soldier in the First World War. I've just survived three months at Ypres, which was going on tour with this production but now I don't really want to go to the Somme." His American wife Amie, a portrait photographer, has just been packed off for a short break, and Ed, who says "my parents weren't stay-at-homes", is relishing being in sole charge of Esme.

"I didn't resent my parents for sending me to boarding school; in many ways it was good for me," he adds. …

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