The Great Pemberton (Darren Smith)
Darren Smith - Wandering Player & Fool.
I was born by Caesarean section at 18:52 on Friday August 27th 1971 in a seaside hospital on the South East coast of England. Hospital procedures being what they were back then I was kept in isolation for sixteen hours before being placed in my mother’s arms - this may or may not be narratively significant but I added it in because I think it sounds dramatic.
I decided to become an actor at the age of five having been given my first ever acting role, in a school harvest festival production of The Judgement of Solomon. I played the title role of the King. I was hopeless at sports, had absolutely no coordination, was partially sighted and wore national health spectacles - with an eye patch. So I found the whole sitting on a throne, wearing a crown and appearing wise and kingly gave me a much needed sense of self-worth and a first taste of the roar of the greasepaint.
In the often cruel world that is the playground caste system my credentials were finally established - “Darren does acting, he’s alright“.
I have been sporting various wigs, false noses, humps and dodgy accents ever since, despite the best efforts of my Acting masters to reign me in at the legendary Drama Centre London where I trained during 1994 - 1997.
I made my professional acting debut in 1998 at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, London. My first professional role there as Portia’s manservant in The Merchant of Venice did not require me to carry a spear but I did carry a flaming torch. I has the honour of playing an assortment of character parts in that 1998 season. Then followed three years of touring and London productions. During this time I totally failed to get on the television - even on long running police drama The Bill. Every actor I knew had been on The Bill!
I went back home to Ramsgate to find work. First lucky break - as a toilet attendant for Kent County Council Social Services but after just three weeks I was fast tracked to the heady heights of Stationary Department Manager. With great power comes great responsibility and as the Tippex Tsar and purveyor Post-It Notes I had my second taste of great kingly power and influence over my fellows; I tried to use it wisely.
In 2003 I fell in love with a beautiful German girl, Franziska, and together we left the UK to live in Berlin for 11 years. Here in Germany, I have, among other things, collected beer glasses dressed as a monk at medieval banquets, learned landscape gardening, done four years of children’s theatre playing variously: a tree, a turtle smuggler and a 13 year old boy with a pet spider called Boris; directed audiobooks, voiced computer games and cartoons, dubbed German television news and films. I have published my own horror story magazine and sold it around the world. I created, with horror writer Guenther Primig, Berlin’s first Halloween theatre - The Theatre of Shadows. During this time I also fathered, with the beautiful Franziska, a most beautiful son, who is very well coordinated, excels at sports and wants to become a professional football player.
I am bringing home to the UK a dream and a passion project - The Stuffed Crocodile, my horse drawn story wagon full of weird and wonderful things, to share a hundred fantastical tales of fairies, ghosts and mythical monsters from all over the world.
I would like to share my adventure with you. Daily live and recorded webcasts will enable you to take a virtual seat alongside me and my dog Leika, in our wagon of wonders.
I hope you will join me for some magical tales and perhaps the journey of a lifetime!
Posted on December 7th, 2014