Acting Up: The rough and the smooth

A victim of theft, acting yips and a serious case of club secretary ill-humour – the week could only get better... especially with Carnoustie looming at the weekend

It was the best of weeks, it was the worst of weeks. It started off as a bloody awful week for the actor when after the first night?s show I arrived at my car only to find it had been broken into. They?d smashed the passenger window and nabbed my sat-nav from the glove compartment (I know it shouldn?t have been in there). I?m not entirely convinced of the perpetrator?s intelligence as he?d tried, unsuccessfully, to prise open the boot with a crowbar. Why he didn?t just press the button marked boot is beyond me. I do, however, believe he knew the car belonged to an actor as he left my cheque book.

On top of this it seems I?ve been struck with a bad case of the Mongolian Mouth Mumbles. Every now and then I speak a line not in American-English, but Serbo-Croat. The only way I can describe this affliction is it?s the closest thing an actor gets to the yips. Once it happens you spend the rest of the show terrified it?s going to happen again. You start thinking about every line before you say it. When that happens you?re lost, the fear descends as do the cold sweats. You are physically and emotionally disintegrating in front of 1,500 people.

Acting is like golf. You have your ?swing thoughts? before you go on, but once you start it should be a continual subconscious motion. If, during your swing, you were thinking about every moving part of your body, you?d probably miss the ball. On stage I am missing the ball.

Sheffield, as you may have seen in the news, has been rather wet lately and the local courses have suffered. One particularly officious secretary told me that I could play his course only if I was prepared to wear a mask and flippers. I thought this was a terrific idea and might be quite fun, so, raiding the props room at the Crucible Theatre, I turned up at said course, changed into mask, flippers and snorkel, flung my clubs on my back and proceeded to the pro shop. Some people have no sense of humour. I?ve been banned from said club ? not for the mask and flippers, but for changing in the car park.

However the end of the week, to quote Peter Alliss, ?Promised much gold.? We?d been waiting for it since its predecessor?s conclusion. Who would win? Who would be the vanquished? A country gripped in anticipation. One question was above all in our minds; Was Dumbledore really dead?

Oh, and the 136th Open Championship was held at Carnoustie. The greatest tournament in the world, and didn?t it live up to its billing. We had matinee shows on the Friday and Saturday, which really got in the way of my viewing. more than once Billy Flynn was close to missing his entrance due to Sergio taking a little extra time over his putt. On the Saturday it was a wonder that Roxy was ever found innocent!

For the final thrilling day I was at home with the family. Just as the play-off was beginning it was time to take my nine-month-old daughter up the apples and pears to Bedfordshire. She gazed up at me with her beautiful blue imploring eyes, begging me to let her stay up to watch the denouement of the Championship. Who was I to refuse her?

In years to come, after her first LPGA Major title, she?ll turn to me and say ?Were you watching Dad, back in '07, when Padraig started the 20-year European domination of the Majors?? And I shall answer, ?Yes my darling, yes I was. And so were you.?

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