Don Warrington gives back in Trinidad and Tobago
Don Warrington (left) leads an acting workshop in Trinidad and Tobago
Award-winning actor Don Warrington tells us about his recent trip to Trinidad and Tobago where he led acting workshops and presented the film of his recent King Lear.
Acclaimed actor Don Warrington says it was “very enjoyable” going back to Trinidad and Tobago and working with young actors there.
Warrington was born in Trinidad in 1951 and moved to Newcastle Upon Tyne as a young boy. He has been back to the island over the decades but usually in a more personal capacity. “Every time I come back to Trinidad I come privately to see my family - this time I was coming back in a professional capacity, so it was very different. It was really good.”
During his visit, supported by the British Council and in conjunction with the Trinidad+Tobago Film Festival, Warrington gave two workshops, one for semi-professional actors and one for student actors. “I wanted to give them another approach to things, to say, 'let’s take this idea for a walk,' and see where we end up," he explains of his teaching methods.
He praises the young actors for being “very open, very willing, and very fresh in their approach."
Warrington adds, “For me the experience was very nice because they were open to suggestions. I come with a different experience from them, I work in a different way to them. It presents an interesting exchange of cultural ideas.”
Don can currently be seen in the BBC’s Death in Paradise and is well-known to audiences for his role in 1970s British sitcom, Rising Damp.
He was also presenting King Lear, the filmed version of the Talawa and Royal Exchange theatre production, in association with Birmingham Repertory Theatre, funded by digital commissioning body The Space, with support from the British Council. The event is part of Shakespeare Lives and aimed to showcase this powerful production to international audiences.
“Audiences responded very, very warmly to it. They found it very accessible,” he said of the local response to the filmed theatre production.
He says he himself had a “learning experience” doing King Lear. “You go on a big journey when you take on King Lear. It was challenging".
The actor says Shakespeare still feels relevant in this 400th anniversary year because he is “talking about universal truths and they don’t change…those truths remain, that’s fundamental to living and breathing…Anyone, anywhere can find something in his plays that they can identify with.”
Read more about Shakespeare Lives at shakespearelives.org.