…Peter Ustinov… one of the greatest storytellers I’ve ever seen…

…I am convinced that true storytelling is an art… over the years, I’ve been privileged to witness many wonderful proponents of it… from the legendary Angus Macintyre in Mull in the Scottish Hebrides, whose wit and humanity captured the droll highlander’s knack of poking fun at any form of fabricated establishment… to pals in pubs and clubs around the planet whose ability to keep others laughing made for many an entertaining evening… to people like Billy Connolly, Peter Cook, Dave Allen, Ronnie Corbett,  and even further back, David Kossoff… all glorious exponents of spinning tales… but the best I’ve ever been privileged to listen to was the Master of them all… Peter Ustinov

…whatever other glorious talents the man possessed, none came close to his ability to conjure images in the minds of his audiences… over 25 years ago, he gave a one-man stage performance in Hong Kong where I lived and WURKED at the time as a Trainee Master of the Financial Universe… Peter held the stage, alone, for more than two hours… his uncanny knack of sounding like the characters in the stories he told was extraordinary… in one he adapted a slight, shibbolethic  whistle when pronouncing the letter ‘S’ which had the place in raptures… but the highlight for me that evening was the episode he told, supposedly true, and there’s no reason to disbelieve it, of when he was a children’s Ambassador for UNICEF… he was visiting a children’s home somewhere in Africa… he shared a story with the children about birds… he held the invisible birds in his outstretched hands and invited the  children to help him send them flying up into the sky… as he did so on stage, he simulated the action of throwing the birds up in the air and watching them wheel and soar… everyone in the theatre did exactly  what the children had done… we followed the flight of these invisible birds, winging around the rafters of the theatre… I was certainly spellbound by the man’s ability to draw all of us into the story… and stored that wee memory into my own reservoir of how I’d like to be able to tell my own stories… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!




Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

17 responses to “…Peter Ustinov… one of the greatest storytellers I’ve ever seen…

  1. There has never been anyone quite like Ustinov.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Never forget that Peter was also a consumate actor. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. He was a genius raconteur. I still miss him. He co-wrote one of my favourite war films with Eric Ambler, The Way Ahead. I watch it regularly and it never fails to make me laugh and cry. Lovely post, Seumas.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love The Way Ahead and his role as the cafe proprietor. I think his father worked for SOE during WW2. But my favourite film role for him was Hot Millions with Maggie Smith. I must look on YouTube for some stuff by him.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on Have We Had Help? and commented:
    That man on Peter Ustinov…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve always loved Peter Ustinov. I especially loved his humorous stories. What a talented man. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I completely agree! Funnily enough, we were talking about him only this week – I still think his version of Hercule Poirot was the best. As well as the fussiness and vanity, he also captured the HUMANITY and COMPASSION of Christie’s character that I think is lacking in David Suchet’s playing.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Pingback: Sunday Post – 7th May 2017 | Brainfluff

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