Book Review: ‘Madly, Deeply: The Diaries of Alan Rickman’
Alan Rickman, who died last week at the age of 90, wrote the first book to focus on his life and times as a working actor in Britain in the 1960s and 70s. It’s called Madly, Deeply: The Diaries of an Actor and in it he provides an intimate story of his early years behind the boards, with a little bit of his life in the limelight too.
The book’s editor, Alan Jones, writes that Rickman’s is ‘a record of the struggle to be a man of the theatre against the temptation of fame, the constant battle to remain true to his beliefs and the pressure of his contemporaries’.
Rickman described The Diaries of an Actor as ‘a deeply moving and candid testament to his life and the way in which he shaped it’, a view I entirely agree with.
I saw Alan Rickman in Doctor Who’s Christmas episode in 1978. I’d only read the Doctor’s backstory and his companion, Rose Tyler, had just left for her new life, leaving this new Doctor to look after a terrified Rose on Doctor Who’s Christmas Day.
Doctor Who’s Christmas episode was written by Christopher Barry and directed by Robert Holmes. It was the first episode of Doctor Who to feature an appearance by one of the cast as a full-time companion and the first to be broadcast on BBC One.
It’s been 20 years since I last saw the episode and, as a result, I’ve lost any emotional attachment to it. Rickman’s diaries are something I’d have to see again to feel that emotional attachment.
‘What inspired you, in writing this book, to write about your time as a working actor?’
Well, there’s an element of autobiography in the diary, so my time in theatre is the backdrop, so to speak, to my life as a working actor. I’ve had