Letter from Morris Perry

Mad Dog > Production > Actors, Producers and Crew


The following letter, from Mad Dog actor Morris Perry to Lynne Sweetman is reproduced here with thanks to them both and the Survivors Newsletter.

Morris Perry
as Fenton

Survivors I remember enjoying it (on the whole). I hadn't worked with the director before and he was amiable. Dennis Lill [who played the part of Charles] was easy to get on with. I had something interesting and difficult to do. The hotel was cosy.

I have a memory of ambling across a field with Dennis Lill (both on horseback) and getting cold. The field was surrounded by drystone walls. The riding was painless little was asked of me it was just a chat on horseback. I'm not too keen on horses: they're heavy and unpredictable. I think the days were overcast, the weather at least autumnal. So it was good to get back to the hotel where I remember low rafters and real blazing fires.

I think I remember Bernie Kay [who played the part of Sanders] setting his horse at a drystone wall and she wasn't a very keen jumper. There was a younger actor, good with horses, and he was capable or running five miles before work in the morning. I jogged a bit at that time too. For some reason I remember a five barred gate and a rough road with deep ruts. I think all this was in Derbyshire.

[Episode director] Tristan de Vere Cole (is it really spelt like that?) who I remember thinking might have gone to Dartington well off and well read and not hidebound took an interest in the rabies. There's a passage in The Story of San Michele he asked me to read. But the rabid don't write much and I didn't find much help to what if feels like. In the end, you're pretty much alone and you just have a shot at it. We were in an isolated building and there was a yard at the back with a drystone wall.

The building can't have been that ramshackle. In it the make up girls produced the froth for foaming at the mouth. Quite a heavy make up too as the character had knocked himself about. Dennis took a photo in colour which I still have somewhere. Several things were tried. I think there was cold custard. But in the end it was mostly white of egg. For foaming at the mouth.

At the time I hadn't seen any episodes of the series. I watched some later and it appealed to me. It's a rich theme humanity released from its usual restraints in a melancholy English landscape.

I haven't done much telly lately: I seemed to be into priests and judges for a bit but that's dried up. I did my second King Lear recently at the Tabard. Currently, I'm doing a butler in An Ideal Husband at The Old Vic. I've been working on Shakespeare's sonnets for the last 5 or 6 years for myself.

Morris Perry


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Page last updated:
03 February 2003