Steve Furst


Steve Furst played Hymie Kossof in Chicken Soup With Barley at Royal Court Theatre Downstairs

Birthday?
3rd September

Place of birth?
Belfast

Did you go to training school, if so which one?
I did a drama theatre and television degree at what is now known as University of Winchester.

Briefly tell us how you became involved with Chicken Soup With Barley
The time honoured tradition of auditioning for the director.

Briefly tell us about the character of Hymie Kossof you play in Chicken Soup With Barley
Hymie is the brother of the play's main character Sarah. He is a glass half empty sort of a man who, like many in the play, becomes dissollusioned with the communist cause.

Your first stage performance?
I was in a production of 40 Years On by Alan Bennett when I was 12 for the Hampstead Garden Suburb Amateur Dramatic Society.

Career highlight to date?
Well there are many and they are varied - having my own TV series on the BBC and getting to duet and work with people like Terry Wogan, Lionel Blair - people I grew up admiring.

What roles would you most like to play?
I would love to turn my hand at playing someone genuinely scary and unhinged. I always seem to play rather sympathetic characters.

What's the best advice you've ever received?
Don't believe the hype - wise words courtesy of Public Enemy.

What has been your most embarrassing moment on stage/tv?
Doing a 2 hander play last year at the King's Head and having a very drunken woman shouting at us trying to debate the play was excruciating. My years as a comic came into play.

What is the most annoying part about your job?
The long unsociable hours. But its a TINY price to pay.

If you had not become a performer, what might you have done instead?
Been a music producer. I am obsessed with how music is made and how it sounds.

Favourite after-show haunts
I have been a member of The Groucho Club for well over a decade. It is too much like my second home. The staff are friends and I love it.

Who are your favourite actors/actresses/
I have just worked with Stephen Graham (This is England) and I think he's extraordinary. Rylance in Jerusalem was otherworldly. And, I have to say that working and watching Sam Spiro and Danny Webb has been an education - their reviews are entirely justified.

If you could meet anyone in the world dead or alive who would it be and what would you say to them?
Sammy davis Jr to say thank you for the inspiration. And Peter Sellers to ask him why he didn't leave his kids anything in his will. I love Sellers' work but that was unforgivable.

What was the last book you read, and name some of your favourite authors?
I am quite a non-fiction reader - the last is Robert Fisk's blistering The Great War For Civilisation about the last 30 years of the Middle East. I do have a weakness for JP Donleavy, and had begun to re-read A Tale of Two Cities - can't beat Dickens!

What was the last film you saw, and name some of your favourite movies?
Pina about Pina Bausch the coreographer - beautiful. I love early Woody Allen, Marx Brothers, Taxi Driver new print was glorious. I am also something of a Bond fanatic - On Her Majesty's being a favourite.

Favourite TV programs?
Recently Shadowline was exceptional, so too This Is England. I adore American comedy like Curb, Seinfeld, 30 Rock, Arrested Development.

Favourite holiday destinations?
I have a house in France that I love. Haven't had an exotic holiday for well over a decade!!

Do you have any hobbies?
Music - listening - playing. Cycling.

Do you have any superstitions?
None. I loathe superstition. It screws completely unnecessarily with people's minds. Appalling waste of time and energy.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you take with you?
Guitar, piano, my box of wigs.

What are your future plans?
To keep working between stage, TV, film and cabaret equally. Variety is what keeps me sane!!! And spending time with my children.

Looking for the best seats...