Tag Archives: Alfred Molina,

Alfred Molina, a Shining Star of the First Magnitude in “Red”.

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Alfred Molina as Mark Rothko

Arriving at the Wynhams Theatre in London slightly early to see Alfred Molina in “Red”, I went into the theatre bar and sat there waiting for them to open the Dress Circle, half hour before the performance was due to  commence.                       

I was one of the first to take my seat in the centre of row E. I always try to sit in the Dress Circle because of the overall visual effect one gets of the play or musical that one is seeing at the time. You can see the piece as a whole. The curtain was already up and the set was an artist’s studio. In fact, it was the studio of Mark Rothko, the subject of the play “Red”. So I took a photo.

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Look very closely at the man sitting in a chair which is near the front of the stage with his hand on his head at the right of the picture.


A close-up of the man sitting in the chair.

After a while looking at the set I saw that there was a man with his back to the audience sitting in a chair to the right of the front of the stage, not moving just staring at the red canvas in front of him. ‘My God!’ It was Alfred Molina! ‘No it couldn’t possibly be!’, I thought. How could he sit there for half an hour before the play even started? Most probably it was his understudy or a stage double who looked like him and when the play was about to start he would just get up and go behind the canvas and switch with the Star.

But I was wrong! It was Alfred Molina! Studying his painting, he sat there for half an hour and the play hadn’t even started! There’s dedication for you, there’s acting! He was becoming Mark Rothko before your eyes.

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Alfred Molina & Alfred Enoch

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Alfred Enoch seeing the painting for the first time.

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Molina and Enoch start to paint the canvas, a brilliant work of choreography.                                  

I can only describe the brilliant painting of the canvas by Alfred Molina and Alfred Enoch as a well-choreographed ballet. It was just amazing the way they worked together and around one another, at the same time. Splashing paint onto the canvas, until they reached the right color that Rothko was happy with. It was absolute perfection!

When the play started and Alfred Enoch came on stage, who, by the way, also gave a brilliant performance, I could hear every single word they said! ‘Good God!’, I thought.  I wasn’t going deaf! I was now just watching and listening to fabulous acting. They could project. You could hear every word!!!                                                      Doesn’t say much for some of the other actors I had seen recently!


Whatever I had paid for my ticket, it was worth double. This was acting the way it should be. It was a pleasure and an honor to be able to see a master of his craft. Alfred Molina, I take my hat off to you! (If I were to wear a hat!)  You deserve every accolade that is bestowed upon you. Long may you reign! Along with Helen Mirren!

By the way, don’t just take my word for it, here are a few notices:

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The Financial Times.

 “Red”, Wyndham’s Theatre, London — Brilliantly performed

Alfred Molina is outstanding as Mark Rothko in this magnificently staged drama about the artist.


Daily Mail.

This is a just a pre-production review by Baz Bamigboye of the “Daily Mail” Show Business Column that has to be included.

Alfred the Great!

Alfred Molina’s painting the town “Red” all over again: Actor to return to London for ‘unfinished business’ as award-winning play opens in West End

By Baz Bamigboye for the Daily Mail

Alfred Molina is seeing “Red”, again. The British actor will be returning to London on what he and director Michael Grandage call ‘unfinished business’ — to see John Logan’s award-winning play “Red” open in the West End.

Grandage said many folks never had a chance to catch it in London eight years ago when, starring Molina and Eddie Redmayne, it had a limited run at the Donmar Warehouse.

The play tells the story of painter Mark Rothko and Ken, a young man who turns up one morning to help mix paints, stretch the canvases and help around the studio.

‘We’ve never done a West End run. It’s like a little part of the journey that’s always felt incomplete,’ said Molina who, as Rothko, took “Red” to Broadway and Los Angeles. ‘There’s something special about going back to a role you originated.’

Grandage, who directed the Donmar show, will once again be at the helm (and the Michael Grandage Company producing) when it runs at Wyndham’s Theatre from May 4 until July 28. 

Molina recalled how Grandage and his team infused the Donmar with the smell of turpentine and pigment. ‘As audiences walked in, they were in a different environment,’ he said.

He remembered his co-star Redmayne meeting a woman on the Tube who showed him her handbag . . . with a red paint mark on it. ‘It must have come off when we were sloshing all the paint about on stage. He apologized and offered to clean it and she said: “No — it’s my memory of a great night in the theatre!”’  (She said it all in that one sentence. ‘A great night in the Theatre’)

Grandage said many folks never had a chance to catch it in London eight years ago when, starring Molina and Eddie Redmayne, it had just a limited run at the Donmar Warehouse.

Grandage approached him to tell him the play would, finally, be getting a West End season. ‘Eddie said: “Wouldn’t it be lovely to do?! But I’m getting closer to Rothko (in age) now.”’                                                    Molina, 64, has carved out a thriving TV and film career in the U.S., but said he often dreams of the West End. He’s happy to be coming back to London, but admitted to feeling ‘a little scared’ at the prospect of treading the boards again.

‘I’ve always loved the theatre, but I’ve made my living working in television and film, and my forays into theatre are infrequent. I sometimes worry that the theatrical establishment is looking rather askance. Like: “What’s this old soldier trying to prove?”’

Molina was speaking from Los Angeles, where he was packing up the home he shared for 25 years with his wife, Jill Gascoine — the author and actress who made her name in such popular television dramas as The Onedin Line and The Gentle Touch.

Molina’s moving to another property, but his beloved wife is in a home. ‘She’s in an extremely advanced stage of Alzheimer’s. We’ve all kind of basically said our goodbyes,’ he added, softly.

‘The prognosis is always the same. She’s in a home here in LA and being very well looked after. She doesn’t recognise anyone or speak any more. She’s pretty much trapped in this very sad illness.’

Let alone is Alfred Molina a Great Actor, he also has a Great Heart.

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How Wrong Can a Person Be!

Since publishing the article The “Battling Broads” Myth or True?  on August 22nd, 2012, there has been a continuation to the story of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in the 2017 TV mini series “FEUD”.

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A new mini series has been produced called “FEUD” starring Susan Sarandon as Bette Davis and Jessica Lange as Joan Crawford. Both are brilliant in their portrayals.

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The real life ladies and the emulations of Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange.

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This goes to disprove my assumption that their FEUD was just a publicity stunt. I was WRONG! But one can’t be right all the time. I was just going from the news I could gather about their film “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane” and the stills from the said film. My research went no further back than that. I had no idea of the history of these two stars from their beginnings in Hollywood.

Well now, I don’t have to bother! The researchers of “FEUD” have done it for me.

I have to eat my words (within reason). Davis and Crawford, were both very hard nuts to crack.

With Bette Davis, what was on her lung was on her tongue, she took no bullshit from anyone. So you knew exactly where you stood with her. If she liked you, O.K, but if she didn’t! ‘Run for the hills!!!

Crawford on the other hand was even more dangerous and evil. Her behavior was more snakelike. She was devious and by the time she had finished with you, and used you, and abused you, she then threw you out. If you were lucky, you didn’t finish up with a knife in your back!

I have nothing but praise for this mini series and the work that went into the research into the history, backgrounds and relationship of these two stars, which went back to almost the beginning of their careers. This I didn’t do. Just goes to show you that they really did hate one another.

The research is quite amazing and must have taken months or even years to plan and organize, and the portrayals by Susan Sarandon as Bette Davis and Jessica Lange as Joan Crawford are quite brilliant! “FEUD” is a must for every film buff.


This is a recreation of their original pose.


The casting as a whole is superb. I have but two complaints. The character of Olivia De Havilland as played by Catherine Zeta Jones, a very talented actress in her own right, was not a bit like Olivia De Havilland as I remember her. Joan Blondell, meanwhile, was played by the superb and charismatic actress Kathy Bates, but they made her look as much like Joan Blondell as Lassie! Not their fault at all! Just put it down to very bad casting or very, very, very bad make-up!!! 

Outstanding, among the supporting players is:

JACKIE HOFFMAN AS Momacita. What a brilliant piece of acting, for which I believe she was nominated for an Emmy for best supporting actress in a mini series. Unfortunately lost out to another actress, to which she said, “DAMN IT!”, and I don’t blame her!

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Jackie Hoffman

Also outstanding is:

ALFRED MOLINA as Robert Aldrich. But more about ALFRED MOLINA later, when I saw him in “RED” at the Wyndhams Theatre in London.


                              Alfred Molina                      as                   Robert Aldrich                

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