October 28, 2020

1999-03-29 – Indiana Gazette

1999 03 29 Indiana_Gazette_Mon__Mar_29__1999_

Roger Daltry: from roCker
f0 Shakespearean actor

LONDON (AP) —— Roger Daltry,
late of The Who. is busting out Of the
rock idol mold arid singing 18th cen-
tury baroque music in ”The Beg-
gar's Opera."

He's also playing twins in Shake-
speare's “Comedy of Errors," and
planning to direct a movie about two

of London's most infamous gang
bosses.

The Who, he said, are on “open-
ended sabbatical" after their fare-
well concert in the United States last
year, ending a 20—year rock

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“The Who as they used to be are
finished forever. We just don't want
to do that any more." he said in an
interview during rehearsals for
"Comedy of Errors" in a drafty
British Broadcasting Corp. hall nut
far from his old stamping ground in
West London's Shepherd’s Bush dis-
trict.

Both he arid Pete Townshend are

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pushing 40 and fearful of "the horror
of becoming a parody of ourselves"
by being middle—aged rockers.

The raw-voiced Daltry, Who still
has the punk-arrogant swagger of
the Cockney' rebel he once was, has
starred in several movies — the
blind, deaf and dumb pinball wizard
in “Tommy." a real—life London
bank robber in “McVicar” and in
"Lisztumania."

But none. he said. really stretched
him. Jonathan Miller changed all
that by asking him to play Macheath
in a BBC-‘I‘V production of "The
Beggar‘s Opera,” which was
screened in England last month.

“I was really surprised when he

phoned and said he wanted me."
Daltry said. “I don't like opera and
I’d never even heard of this one. But
I told Jonathan that if I could sing it
I‘d do it."

“We made Macheath a real. low-
life villain for whom women have
this fatal fascination and I think it
worked," he said.

The reviews were nearly all favor-
able. The Times of London sniffed
that Daltry's “much-heralded
Macheath turned out to be mainly
swagger and girl-groping. He hit his
songs with a blunt instrument."

But The Daily Express. echoing
praise for Daltry's classical debut.
said he "made the character crac-
kie."

Now Daltry’s playing the Dromios
twins in ”A Comedy of Errors" after
passing an ‘audition, the first he's
ever had to do.

“It’s exhausting being three peo-
ple." he quipped. "The two

characters are very different, but.

I'm loving it.

“I'd never have thought of doing it
if I hadn’t been asked. I hated
Shakespeare at school. "

Daltry hasn’t abandoned pop mu-
sic. He's got a solo album called
“Parting Should Be Painless"
scheduled for release in J anuary.

But his big project is to direct a
movie about the Kray Twins. two
thugs from London's tough East
End who crashed their way out of
the slums to become the crime czars
of the capital in the 19608.

The twins. now 50. were jailed for
life in 1969, with a recommendation
they serve at least 30 years, for the
murder of an underworld rival.

Their speciality was erucifying
their enemies with six-inch nails and

lopping off their toes with bolt-
cutters.

"I don't want to do a gangster
movie." Daltry said. “I've done my
gangster movie with ‘McVicar.'
This one is more a study of the rela-
tionship between twins. Twins are a
fascinating subject, so much unex-
plained territory. particularly the
Krays who became everyone’s bo-
geymen.

"One was a paranoid schizophren-
ic and a homosexual," he said. “The
other got married. his wife commit-
ted suicide and then went mad him-
self and committed murder: I want

to explore the effect that one had on
the other."

Daltry visited Ronnie Kray in the
Broadmoor asylum for the criminal-
iy insane and is pushing to see the
other Kray, Reggie, who is ineligible
for parole in the top security wing of
Parkhurst prison on the Isle of

g Wight.

—5QHC’

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