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Photos of Lenny Henry Masterclass


In September Lenny Henry, actor, writer and comedian gave actors masterclass at the Duchess Theatre in London. Paulette Randall a British theatre director interviewed Lenny and this was followed up by a Q&A session with the audince.

During the Masterclass Lenny Henry said despite all his recent stage work, he still loves acting on TV and plans to do a drama in the future. He said: “For a while the public got confused about me and I started to lose the vibe.” He explained he loves being a comic but started to lose the vibe on TV because he did not what it was anymore. “When I was a kid it was because I made my friends laugh but I did not know where it was leading, I did not know where it was leading to.”

He explained he was developing a TV drama at the moment. He went on to say that he wants to do more theatre but needs to do more TV now. He admited that after he won New Faces he let other people get involved in writing his jokes. He said, “I had to go on a TV show called New Faces and it was the winner’s winner’s final. I had already won it twice. I was going to do the show myself but they got some guy who wrote for Mike Yarwood and it was not that good and I came fourth. When I read what Mike Yarwood’s writer had written I did not think it was funny. We had paid all this money and I did not want to upset him. I went on stage and it was rubbish. I did not learn though as that was the beginning of me mis-trusting my gut and working with comedy writers all the time.”

He went on to say that he went to the BBC and worked with writers as that is what he thought you did. “I lost confidence and I became an interpreter of other people’s material. Generally the shows I think are good are the ones where the performers write.”

Last year he performed at the National Theatre in William Shakespeare’s ‘The Comedy of Errors’ as Antipholus of Syracuse (the handsome twin). Lenny is best known from his award winning television shows including Three of a Kind, The Lenny Henry Show, Chef, Tiswas and Lenny Henry In Pieces which won the Golden rose of Montreux in 2001. Lenny is a trustee of Comic Relief, whose Red Nose Day charity blockbuster last year raised over £74 million pounds. Hoorah! He is currently performing as Troy Maxson in Fence’ at the Duchess Theatre.

Paulette Randall who interviewed Lenny was chair of the board of Clean Break Theatre Company in 2006-07, is former artistic director of the Talawa Theatre Company and was the associate director for the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics.


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Paulette Randall and Lenny Henry
©2013 Stuart Allen. All Rights Reserved.

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Lenny Henry
©2013 Stuart Allen. All Rights Reserved.

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Lenny Henry
©2013 Stuart Allen. All Rights Reserved.

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Lenny Henry
©2013 Stuart Allen. All Rights Reserved.

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Paulette Randall and Lenny Henry
©2013 Stuart Allen. All Rights Reserved.

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Lenny Henry
©2013 Stuart Allen. All Rights Reserved.


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Paulette Randall and Lenny Henry
©2013 Stuart Allen. All Rights Reserved.

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Lenny Henry
©2013 Stuart Allen. All Rights Reserved.

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Paulette Randall and Lenny Henry
©2013 Stuart Allen. All Rights Reserved.

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Lenny Henry
©2013 Stuart Allen. All Rights Reserved.