I have seen Jared Harris terrible. In a dire theatre production ten years ago of Les Liaisons Dangereuses — where, as it happens, he met his second wife, Emilia Fox — the actor not only rendered the seducer Valmont sexless, but rendered him thus in the voice of John Mortimer. I have also seen him acting well. His Lane Pryce, the English advertising executive hoping to make it among the Mad Men of Madison Avenue, may have talked in a strangely unconvincing accent, but who was not shocked, and moved, when he hanged himself?
Now, however, I have seen Harris being utterly magnificent. He plays George VI in Netflix’s extraordinary forthcoming serial, The Crown, a £100 million dramatisation of the Queen’s reign, written by The Audience’s Peter Morgan and starring Claire Foy as Elizabeth II.
I wonder where Jamie Harris is in all of this. Morgan and Jamie were in my year at Downside, Jared the year (?) above.
Perhaps that thing about social groupings formed at exclusive schools has something to it? Although we’ve still got to explain my absence from any such of course (the explanation being that there was a decent amount of mutual hatred going on there).