Sketch: Ron Cook in The Ruling Class at Trafalgar Studios

Ron Cook

The versatile English actor Ron Cook has been a stalwart of theatre, film and television since the 1970’s. He may not be a household name but will be instantly recognisable to global audiences in all three mediums. Ron has appeared in  most of the popular British TV shows, including DOCTOR WHO, BERGERAC, MIDSOMMER MURDERS, THE SINGING DETECTIVE and can be currently seen as Mr Crabb the accountant in the ITV series MR SELFRIDGE. He has actually played Napoleon Bonaparte twice, in a guest appearance in SHARPE and in the feature film QUILLS – one of Ron’s 54 movies, which also includes THE COOK (appropriately), THE THIEF, HIS WIFE & HER LOVER, SECRETS & LIES and TOPSY-TURVY. A highlight of Ron’s extensive theatre work was an Olivier Award Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role in JUNO AND THE PAYCOCK at the Donmar Warehouse. He can now be seen on the London stage as Sir Charles Gurney in the first revival of Peter Barnes’s social satire THE RULING CLASS at the Trafalgar Studios, where he signed this sketch.

Sketch: James McAvoy in The Ruling Class at Trafalgar Studios

James McAvoy The Ruling Class

BAFTA wining actor James McAvoy returns to London’s Trafalgar Studios in the madcap revival of Peter Barne’s zany 1968 black comedy The Ruling Class, directed by Jamie Lloyd. It closes the second season of ‘Trafalgar Transformed’ at the Whitehall venue.

It’s an attack on the establishment in all its forms – aristocracy, public school, the church, the military. James plays Jack, the 14th Earl of Gurney and the dodgy offspring of a toff who inherits a peerage when his father topped himself while playing a sex-hanging game in a tutu.

Jack is a paranoid schizophrenic who believes he is Jesus Christ after an epiphany at a public urinal in East Acton.

“How do you know you are God?” he is asked.

“Simple” he replies. “When I pray to him, I find I am talking to myself.”

However, the mock messiah’s family scheme against him so he has to prove some sanity to keep the inheritance, fitting in with his peers to become the “right sort of mad”.

The Guardian’s Susannah Clapp describes James’ performance as “eel-like protean, with a mephistophelean charm” (note to readers, Mephistopheles was a demon in German folklore). “He’s just fascinating, brilliantly weird,” said Time Out.

The Ruling Class runs until 11 April 2015.