IN 1984, VETERAN BRITISH ACTORS Sir Anthony Quayle and Roy Kinnear recorded radio interviews in which they offered their hard-won advice about the acting profession. However, technical issues meant those conversations were thought to be lost. Now, over thirty years later, painstaking restoration work allows us to see how well Sir Anthony’s and Roy’s advice has stood the test of time. They’re joined in this new documentary by graduates from the National Youth Theatre and leading TV executives to explore the challenges that face today’s emerging actors.

Anthony Quayle

STAGE DIRECTION features exclusive, previously unbroadcast radio interviews with Sir Anthony Quayle and Roy Kinnear that were recorded at London’s Albery Theatre in 1984. The two of them were appearing in The Clandestine Marriage, which was the inaugural production of Sir Anthony’s newly formed Compass Theatre Company.

Roy Kinnear

During the interviews, they reflect on their experiences getting established in the industry and offer practical advice to those thinking of following them into what continues to be one of the world’s most precarious professions.

The documentary combines this seasoned guidance with the personal experiences of today’s emerging actors and practical advice from senior TV executives. The result is a contemporary viewpoint on the many challenges that actors face and the characteristics they’ll need to develop if they’re going to make it in this rapidly changing industry.

Jenny Quayle with Producer, Richard Edwards

Jenny Quayle, Sir Anthony’s daughter, offers unique insights into her father’s and Roy’s careers and their attitudes towards their craft.

Lauren Lyle (Outlander) and Luke Pierre (National Theatre Young Chekhov season), recent graduates from the National Youth Theatre’s highly regarded REP Company, discuss their experiences and offer their own advice.

Rebecca Hodgson (Head of Drama) and Peter Hunt (Head of Casting) from Lime Pictures, which produces Hollyoaks (Channel 4) and Free Rein (Netflix), provide an industry context that shows – despite a vastly changed technology landscape – Sir Anthony’s and Roy’s advice is just as meaningful today as it was at the time.

STAGE DIRECTION also revisits the Noel Coward Theatre, formerly the Albery Theatre, where the interviews were originally recorded. Delfont Mackintosh Theatres gave extensive access to the venue, with Cameron Mackintosh’s archivist Rosy Runciman offering an introduction to the theatre’s impressive history.

STAGE DIRECTION has a strong educational standpoint and is aimed at anyone wanting to break into the acting profession, as well as those who have a passion for film or theatre history.

Actors, irrespective of their age, will be captivated by Sir Anthony’s and Roy’s experiences. They’ll also find the contemporary advice inspiring: it reveals that, despite the digital revolution opening up more opportunities every day, the fundamentals of establishing yourself in the industry remain fairly constant.

Lovers of theatre and cinema history will enjoy the film’s authoritative insights and the exclusive contributions from the National Youth Theatre graduates, Lime Pictures and Delfont Mackintosh Theatres.

Documentary, 25 minutes