Wait ’til you see the Duke of Buckingham….!


Robert Newton as Long John Silver

Here’s an old theatre anecdote:-

“….There’s a luvvies’ tale known to every old thesp, about the Shakespearean giant and inveterate boozer Robert Newton, who rolled on stage one night, inebriated as a stoat.

As the pickled ham spluttered, drooled and slurred through Richard III, a woman in the front row accused him: ‘You’re drunk!’

An indignant Newton turned on her. ‘Madam,’ he growled, ‘if you think I’m p****d, wait till you see the Duke of Buckingham!’….” 😂

All I can say is that the performance must have been quite something. I didn’t know Newton had played the Bard’s Richard, and have been unable to find an illustration of him in the role. But it has to be said that there is only one role we usually think of where Newton is concerned, and that’s Long John Silver! There cannot be anyone among us who has never heard the immortal “Oh, arrrr, Jim Lad!”

Another version of the anecdote can be found here.



1 comment

  1. I remember the Peter O’Toole/Richard Harris version of the anecdote which I probably gleaned from the Johnny Carson show. (Yes, my parents let me stay up late to watch it with them.) Thanks for the memory.


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