By Madeline O’Connor
IN the same week that Peter O’Toole appears in a new series of Royal Mail British film stamps, details for a memorial for the late Irish acting great at the Old Vic this weekend have been unveiled.
The informal memorial for Peter O’Toole, who died in December last year and who was treasured by his industry peers and the public, will be held at The Old Vic, London – a theatre O’Toole considered his spiritual home and that witnessed some of his greatest stage performances, on Sunday, May 18 at 12 noon.
The celebration of Peter’s life and work will be inspired by the spirit of the man himself: a bit irreverent and the tone very personal for attendees and contributors alike.
Led by Barry Cryer, it will include contributions from a glittering array of stars from the film, theatre, music and sporting world, sharing their personal recollections of this treasured and much missed person, and performing extracts, readings and songs that Peter loved.
The occasion will also mark the launch of The Peter O’Toole Prize – an annual prize given to two young actors from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, including a professional contract at Bristol Old Vic Theatre where Peter launched his career. Donations can be made via the Bristol Old Vic website at the following link: bristololdvic.org.uk/otooleprize.
Also, in accordance with Peter’s personal wishes, a limited number of seats will be released to the public. These can be obtained by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org and will be offered on a first come first serve basis.
Meanwhile, Lawrence of Arabia, in which O’Toole played the British WW1 officer, is one of six movies depicted in the Great British Film Special Stamp issue, which celebrates the most significant movies made in Britain post-WW2.
The actor played the lead role and agreed to appear within the Royal Mail collection shortly before his death last year.
The iconic film took seven Oscars, four BAFTAS and five Golden Globes, and saw.
The other stamps in the collection are A Matter of Life and Death (1946), 2001: Space Odyssey (1968), Chariots of Fire (1981), Secrets & Lies (1996) and Bend It Like Beckham (2002).
Royal Mail’s Andrew Hammond said: “This stamp issue takes in landmark films, epics and influential movies that evoke the distinctiveness and quality of British film and story-telling across key genres.
“We hope they are enjoyed by anyone who has a love of Great British filmmaking at its very best.”
The stamps can be bought at www.royalmail.com/greatbritishfilm, by calling 08457 641 641 and in Post Offices across the UK.