Harriet Walter & Guy Paul: Words Laid Bare | London

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WordTheatre Presents

Harriet Walter & Guy Paul: Words Laid Bare

The Short Stories of Brian Doyle

Thursday, October 12th

at 7:00pm

Live At Zédel in London

20 Sherwood St, Soho, London W1F 7ED, UK

+44 20 7734 4888



One of England’s finest actresses, Harriet Walter and her dashing American husband, Guy Paul, will delight you with the shortest short stories by Brian Doyle, one of America’s finest writers, whose words spill forth in jazzy loose fun free patterns and swirls. Accompanied by Dorian Ford on piano.

They will be joined by Danny Sapani (Harlots, Penny Dreadful, Trance) and Emma Hamilton (Fearless, Mr. Selfridge, The Tudors).


“Rarely have I seen two actors perform with greater delicacy, lightness of touch, and mutual consideration: they are simply a joy to watch.”

-Laura Barnett, Author

“Ford [is] a highly versatile and individual talent .”

–Ian Mann

“Your writing tells us that the little things are not little. You combined prose and poem (and prayer, you said) to bear witness to the miracles around us.

You strummed the English language like a guitar, plucked it like a harp, banged it like a drum. For example: “Such extraordinary ordinary succinct ancient naked stunning perfect simple ferocious love.” Nine adjectives for love may seem excessive, but maybe not.

 In May 2017 you died of a brain tumor. You were sixty years old. You said that your writing is not about you but about us. “Please,” you implored, “reach for each other. Drop the masks. Don’t be cool.”

–From “The Salt Seas Of The Heart: A Tribute To Brian Doyle” by Carol Ann Fitzgerald, Sun Magazine



At the end of last year Harriet Walter starred in the all-female Shakespeare Trilogy at the Donmar, Kings Cross, playing Brutus, Henry IV and Prospero, sometimes all three in a day. She reprised the role of Prospero in New York. With the same director, Phyllida Lloyd, she played Elizabeth I in Schiller’s Mary Stuart, winning the Evening Standard award for Best Actress and a Tony Award nomination when the play transferred to Broadway where she met her husband, and partner in this show, Guy Paul.

Harriet and Guy also played in a 2-hander Boa written especially for them and produced for the Trafalgar Studios and they also teamed up in Greg Doran’s production of Death of a Salesman starring Antony Sher for the RSC at Stratford and the West End.

Notable TV appearances include the The Crown (Clemmie Churchill), Law and Order: UK, Downton Abbey, London Spy and Harriet Vane in Lord Peter Wimsey. Her US TV credits include The Assets and Black Sails (season 4). Harriet’s film appearances include The Sense of an Ending, Mindhorn, Denial, Star Wars: the Force Awakens, Suite Française, Man Up, The Wedding Video, Young Victoria, Babel, Onegin, The Governess, Sense and Sensibility and Louis Malle’s Milou en Mai.

She is the author of 4 books: Brutus and Other Heroines, Other People’s Shoes, Macbeth (Faber “Actors on Shakespeare” series) and the photographic book Facing It.

She was awarded a CBE in 2000 and a Damehood in 2011.


Guy Paul can be seen on film in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Fifth Estate and Hyde Park on Hudson. He’s also known for his performances on Broadway, performing in everything from Twelve Angry Men to Private Lives, and The King and I to Mary Stuart with Harriet Walter. Paul and Walter appeared most recently in the film, The Sense of an Ending. They also appeared together on stage in Death of a Salesman at the RSC and in the West End, and in a play written for them, Boa at Trafalgar Studios. Paul can be seen on TV in the next season of Father Brown and is currently filming the upcoming Showtime series, Patrick Melrose, starring Benedict Cumberbatch. You can catch Paul on iPlayer in BBC radio’s A Portrait of a Gentleman.


Danny Sapani was born in November 1970 to Ghanaian parents who had moved to the UK in the late 60s and set up home in Hackney, East London. He is one of six children and attended a boys comp, formerly a Jewish Grammer school with such inspiring alumni as Harold Pinter, Stephen Berkoff and Arnold Wesker.

Danny went on to train at Central School of Speech and Drama, which led to his working with the likes of Declan Donellan (Cheek by Jowl), Sam Mendes, Max Stafford-Clark (Out of Joint), Dominic Cooke (The Royal Court), Mark Rylance and Nick Hytner (The National) playing such roles as Othello, Marc Anthony, Macbeth and Iorek Byornison.Danny’s career has combined these theatrical classics with modern plays and compelling dramas on radio, TV and film. 


Emma Hamilton most recently appeared in Fearless for ITV/Amazon. She is also known for Mr Selfridge, The Tudors, The Musketeers, Hyde & Seek and the title role in the Australian telemovie Mary: The Making of a Princess. In 2015 she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the Australian Academy Awards (AACTA) for her breakthrough role in the feature film Last Cab to Darwin. Other films include Whole Lotta Sole and The Cold Light of Day. Emma’s theatre credits include playing Queen Isabella in Richard II for the Royal Shakespeare Company, the title role in Hedda Gabler for the Royal & Derngate Theatre and Laura Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie for the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester.


Dorian Ford started playing jazz in his early teens when he began regular attendance at a weekly workshop led by trumpeter, composer, broadcaster and music writer Ian Carr.

Playing alongside many musicians who went on to form the backbone of the London jazz renaissance of the 1980’s, he won ascholarship to Berklee College of Music where he received the prestigious Chick Corea Jazz Masters Award. Piano studies were with Donald Brown, a regular in Art Blakey’s band at the time.


Brian Doyle (1956-2017) was a prolific, prize-winning Irish-American writer of essays, stories, and the prose poems he called “proems.” Doyle published over two dozen books and earned many honors including the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature.

“I sometimes think there is no writer as addicted to music and swing and rhythm and cadence in prose as me; I really do want to push prose as close to music as I can and play with tone and timber in my work… Most of all I want to write like people talk and think, in jazzy loose fun free patterns and swirls…”

–Brian Doyle


General Admission: £20

Dinner & Show: £44


This performance is a benefit for WITS: WordTheatre In The Schools.