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‘Oh, yeah, I’m a total moron.’ Sadly, Ferdy Kingsley, 26, is, in this regard, a disappointment.Firstly, though he does have some bad boy traits — beard and occasional musician among them — he is far too polite to warrant a real bad boy label, messaging me again ahead of our meeting to advise me to wrap up warm (‘the rehearsal space is freezing kiss kiss’). This is a man who turned down a place at Cambridge (to read English at Clare) and his CV is flagrantly highbrow.
They said from the beginning how lonely, how poverty-stricken it can be.
I’d be lying if I said that my background hadn’t got me into a few rooms that I might not otherwise have got into, obviously.
It was first staged in 1682, when its conspiratorial premise found real-life parallels in the post-civil war anti-Catholic hysteria that surrounded the reign of Charles II; audiences were whipped up into a frenzy over the so-called exclusion crisis, through which the Whigs sought to remove the King’s Catholic brother from the order of succession.
In its new incarnation, the play has been adapted by ‘adventure-theatre’ company the Spectators’ Guild (run by veterans from the immersive theatre and cinema groups Punchdrunk and Secret Cinema), and will be a lavish, involving affair, where audiences travel on the Thames Clipper to the Cutty Sark to take part in a Venetian carnival and afterwards to West Greenwich, where 17th-century Venice will be recreated at an extraordinary former ship engine factory — complete with Rialto Bridge. Kingsley is the misanthrope Pierre, an antihero who plots with his best friend Jaffier against the tyrannical Venetian state.
Ferdinand does feels connected to his Gujarati heritage and to the name Bhanji, he says, but also to his own surname ‘since without it I wouldn’t exist.
Dad made it up at a time when it was incredibly hard for someone with a foreign name to get work.
It is a wonderful time to be a young British actor, we agree.
Just look at the success across the pond of the likes of Cooper, Cumberbatch, Eddie Redmayne and Tom Hiddleston.
He’s been in a few films too — his first was The Last Legion, in which he played a younger version of his father (he did audition, he insists) and more recently he has appeared alongside Martin Sheen in the hugely successful TV film The Whale and in Vincent Van Gogh: Painted with Words with Benedict Cumberbatch (he’s been dating Louise Brealey, aka Sherlock’s Molly for a year or so).
Later this year he’ll be in Dracula Untold alongside Dominic Cooper.
He has seen the film Gandhi four or maybe five times, he reckons (‘Er, yep, it’s pretty good’), and although his parents divorced when he was four — Alison and the kids lived in Stratford-upon-Avon and Ben nearby in Oxfordshire — they saw each other often.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating