Patrick portrays politician with a past
May 31, 2002
But although Dublin audiences were quick to make a connection between the fictitious Johnny Sylvester in Sebastian Barry’s Hinterland and real-life statesman Charles Haughey, Patrick says that the play should be regarded as a metaphor for the political life and not an actual account of it.
He told me: “It’s a demanding part – rather like climbing a mountain.”
But Patrick is not the man to shirk a challenge and he has previously tackled two one-man plays.
Born in Pangbourne of Irish parents he went to school in Caversham and regards his first ‘performance’ as being a beauty queen’s page in a local pageant celebrating the 1951 Festival of Britain.
He decided to give acting a try after studying psychology at Edinburgh University and thinks the turning point in his career came with Minder, when he played one of the policemen vainly trying to snare the devious Arthur Daley, played by George Cole.
He also had several roles in Dennis Potter’s classic TV drama series The Singing Detective.
His films include two with the Hollywood actress Geena Davis, the action thriller The Long Kiss Goodnight and the pirate caper Cutthroat Island – “she’s very smart” he said admiringly.
He regards himself as sufficiently Irish to root for the Emerald Isle at rugby matches and still likes to pop down to Pangbourne from London for a relaxing day in the country.
Hinterland is a co-production between the National Theatre, Dublin’s Abbey Theatre and Out Of Joint.
Performances at Oxford are from Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm (Friday at 8pm) with a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm.
P Tickets from £8.50 are bookable on (01865) 305305.