(Mark Brown’s article appeared in the Guardian, 5/29.)
“When you get white hair people patronise you, treat you as if you are a congenital idiot, start calling you we,” rails the 82-year-old actor Dudley Sutton before sipping his Red Bull and making a start on a packet of digestives.
Soon he will be on set for rehearsals which involve him taking his shirt off, removing his dentures, cutting his toenails – all the things we don’t really want to see old men doing. “It is the natural way of life but the modern world would prefer we were all airbrushed and we stayed pleasant to look at,” says director Lu Kemp.
Kemp has been commissioned by the adventurous art group Artangel to create a piece which explores the problems and issues men face when they get old. The result is Have Your Circumstances Changed? a piece named after the officious letter people receive from the TV licensing authorities.