Actor Robert Powell is to talk about his life and career when he comes to Henley-on-Thames and The Kenton Theatre in February – and he’ll certainly have a lot to talk about.
I will always associate Powell with Sunday nights; the time of the week when the 1977 series Jesus of Nazareth, in which he took the starring role, was aired.
According to the Internet Movie Database, Powell had stiff competition for the part of Jesus as Al Pacino and Dustin Hoffman were both in the running for the part. But it was Salford-born Powell who prevailed.
Make up was added to accentuate Powell’s piercing blue eyes and, in an effort to create an other-worldly aura, director Franco Zeffirelli only shows the star blinking once during the six-hour series – blink and you’ll miss it!
The year 1977 was certainly a good year for Powell – as well as receiving universal acclaim for his charismatic performance of Jesus, he married his girlfriend Babs; a lady who was one of the main dancers in the Top of the Pops dance troupe, Pan’s People.
For those of us who watched Jesus of Nazareth at a young age, it is hard not to picture Powell when we think of what Jesus looked like. But Powell has succeeded in not becoming typecast; starring in an incredible variety of roles during his acting career. In 1975 he appeared in the film version of the Who’s rock opera, Tommy. The film was directed by the late, great Ken Russell who passed away recently – it will be fascinating to hear what Powell has to say about Russell…
It will also be great if he talks about the 1990s comedy television series The Detectives, in which he starred opposite close friend Jasper Carrott as a bumbling detective. Could it be that his character in the series, David Briggs, provided some inspiration for Inspector Barnaby’s succession of hapless sidekicks in Midsomer Murders?
More information: An Audience with Robert Powell at the Kenton Theatre, Henley-on-Thames: Sunday 12th February, 16:00. Tickets priced from £15