As Jews prepare to recount the escape from Egypt over the Seder night, the Olivier award-winning actor reflects on his personal connection to the Ukrainian conflict
This Friday sees the beginning of Passover. It’s the liberation story of the Jewish people: the journey from slavery to freedom. I’m sitting in my dressing room – the “Isherwood room”, named after the writer whose Berlin Stories gave birth to our production of Cabaret – with 10 extraordinarily liberated people. There are more pierced nipples and “wearable erotic accessories” in here than this sheltered man from Muswell Hill could shake a stick at. So, I keep my painfully heteronormative stick to myself.
A few seats away sits my friend Matt who plays Hans in the show, a specialist in obscure sexual practices: art and life have never been more attuned. He’s wearing lederhosen and glitter, polishing some sort of leather harness. “What’s that for?” I ask. “I’m going to a club after this evening’s show, where I’m strapped on to a swing and penetrated throughout the night.” “Wow,” I say. “How extraordinary.” “Not really, mate. For me it’s just like shaking hands.”