LEGENDARY stage and screen actor Alan Rickman, who died today aged 69, had strong bonds with Scotland that spanned several decades.
As well as choosing the East Neuk of Fife as the location for his directorial debut in the early 90’s, Rickman’s first major stage role was in Edinburgh.
Rickman, who became famous for his roles in Harry Potter and Die Hard, first acted in Edinburgh in 1976, in a double bill at the Assembly Rooms.
He played Friar Peter in Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, and Wittipol in the playwright John Barnes’ adaptation of Ben Jonson’s play The Devil is an Ass.
Newly out of drama school when he won the part, he would later describe Jonson’s play as his first major acting role.
In 2004, he spoke about how the Edinburgh Festival had delivered some of the seminal experiences of his working life.
It just defines the word theatre when you come to the Festival, I’ve had amazing times hereAlan Rickman
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“I’ve had some of the most profound theatrical experiences of my life up here. Scotland is inextricably tied up with my life,” he said.
“It just defines the word theatre when you come to the Festival, I’ve had amazing times here.”
As well as his work on stage in Edinburgh, Rickman also chose Scotland as the scene for The Winter Guest, his well-received directorial debut in 1997.
Set upon the shores of a picturesque Scottish seaside town, the story was filmed at Elie and Pittenweem in the East Neuk of Fife.
Rickman became a regular attendee at the Edinburgh Festival and in 1991, appeared in The Tango at the End of Winter at the King’s Theatre.
More recently, in February last year, he made a special appearance at the Glasgow Film Festival for the premiere of the period drama A Little Chaos, in which he appeared with Kate Winslet.