Performing Arts: HE AIN'T A LUVVIE He's My Brother; Sera Evans Has Just Spent Seven Months in Germany Teaching English, While Her Olivier Award-Winning Brother Daniel, Rehearsed for Yet Another High-Profile Shakespearean Role. as Soon as Sera Returned Home She Caught Up with Her Rhondda-Born Sibling at Rehearsals. Here She Writes about How She Loves Watching Him Take Centre Stage
Byline: Sera Evans
SUCH was my relief at touching down at Birmingham airport last week that tears filled my eyes. Although I was pleased to be on British terra firma once again, I was forced to wait before I could cross the border into my beloved Wales.
Having spent a gruelling seven months in Germany, constantly diseased by homesickness, the last thing I wanted to do was make an annoying detour to Warwickshire.
However, the Rhondda was forced to wait just a little longer for my arrival, for Stratford-upon-Avon was my first port of call - not because I had a dreary obligation to a prior engagement but because I was in major need of a culture update and a good old gossip, which I knew would gladly be provided by my brother Daniel who allowed me to sit through a technical rehearsal of his new play, Shakespeare's Measure for Measure.
It seemed like an age since we were last chatting and giggling in each other's company, so I was eager to sit him down over a cup of decaf Earl Grey.
Much has happened in his life since I last saw him and I was desperate to catch up.
While I was pining away for Mam and Dad and my boyfriend in Germany, teaching 11-year-old Germans the words to Puff the Magic Dragon as part of my degree course, whilst chuckling to myself at their being oblivious to the drug-related innuendo, Daniel had rehearsed and opened The Tempest at The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, flown to New York to perform in a workshop of a new musical intended for Broadway (about which he is very cagey!), and opened and finished an entire run of The Tempest's transfer to London's Old Vic Theatre.
And all the while he was rehearsing this forthcoming Royal Shakespeare Company Production, Measure for Measure.
Also, last December, Daniel could be seen on BBC1 and BBC2 in Daniel Deronda and Tomorrow, La Scala! respectively.
In the former he played a consumptive Jew, for which he was required to have regular appointments with a nutritionist in order to lose two stone healthily.
For his role as the musical director in Cardiff-born Francesca Joseph's Tomorrow, La Scala! he was forced to brush up on his piano-playing skills in order to be able to play Sondheim's notoriously difficult score at the drop of a hat.
See what I mean about busy? On a fleeting visit to London in March this year, a friend of mine expressed a last-minute desire to go and see Daniel as Ariel in The Tempest.
On arrival, 10 minutes before the curtain was due to go up, I called Daniel to see if he could arrange some back-row, leftover seats.
My friend was gobsmacked (and so was I, although I think I made a good job of hiding it) as we took our seats slap bang in the middle of the stalls, directly in front of Lulu, with Kevin Spacey to the left of us, and Will Young (much to my not-so-well-hidden delight) to the right.
I spluttered `Dahhhhrling, this happens, like, ALL the time!' to my hysterical, amazed and eternally grateful friend.
The real magic for me, however, was not being surrounded by celebrities, but seeing my brother dancing on to the stage, projecting his Welsh accent and beautifully familiar voice into every deep dark corner of the auditorium, standing proud and wonderful next to Sir Derek Jacobi, who played Prospero.
As happens every time I watch him perform, I have to keep reminding myself like a stuck record, ``that's my brother'', and that's when the lump in my throat becomes painful and my heart begins to race.
For Daniel, performing The Tempest was a seminal experience, mainly because of the fact that he starred alongside Derek Jacobi.
He said to me, ``Sir Ian McKellen came to see the show and we went out for supper afterwards. I was sandwiched between two knights of the realm. I couldn't believe it!
``The next day Ian himself told me that there's no one in the country who speaks Shakespeare as quickly and as clearly as Derek. …