Monday, 12 March 2018

Playmate

When I was a toddler aged two or thereabouts, my father, who is an actor, was peforming in a play outside of London. He invited my mother to come for the final night, and (loath to leave me with unscrupulous grandparents who would doubtless over-feed me) she took me along with her. She saw the play, and then accompanied my father to the cast party to celebrate a successful run. Again, I accompanied her.

One of Dad's co-stars was a little-known actor who had a small daughter almost exactly the same age as me. They set us up in the same room with various toys scattered around the place. My memory's usually quite good - my first memory comes from the age of one and a half - but those I have of this occasion are hazy. I expect I was quite tired at the time, but I do recall playing at something under a table.

I also sort of remember the daughter. I wasn't really playing with her - more alongside her - and I imagine we were too young to have held a conversation. But when I stretch my memory back, I can identify vague features. I remember her being blonde, and having a relatively long nose. That's about it, but then, I was two - the fact that I can remember it at all is an achievement in itself.

Dad never acted with this man again, although they did occasionally contact each other (but haven't done so for decades, so I hear). I never saw his daughter again, although our lives ran parallel for a while. We were both heavily invested in school productions, and we both decided to pursue acting in later life, with our respective fathers' blessing. The main difference being, of course, that she is doing a little better than I am.

I am very pleased for my childhood playmate.

Her father's name - Dad's co-star - was Will Knightley. Her name is Keira.

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