Theatre Of Blood (1973) Rare Original Still – Vincent Price + Ian Hendry + Dennis Price + Robert Morely + Robert Coote

Picture above: (from l-r) Robert Morley, Vincent Price, Dennis Price, Robert Coote and Ian Hendry

Whilst the horror genre was not one of Ian’s favourites, the script and cast was just too good for him to pass-up this opportunity.

He also had some famous friends in the classic film – Theatre of Blood – and some great lines; perhaps the most memorable one being:

“…only Lionheart would have the temerity to re-write Shakespeare…..”

Theatre of Blood 1973 Ian Hendry Vincent Price Duel

Picture: Still from the classic fencing duel scene between Vincent Price and Ian Hendry

The stellar British cast included Vincent Price, Diana Rigg, Harry Andrews, Robert Coote, Michael Hordern, George Maxwell, Robert Morley, Jack Hawkins, Arthur Lowe, Dennis Price, Eric Sykes, Diana Dors Joan Hickson and [*gasps for breathe!] Madeline Smith

cast theatre of blood 1973 ian hendry

Picture: The cast take a break from filming at Kensal Green Cemetry, London – Theatre of Blood (1973)

Theatre of Blood – Plot

Edward Kendall Sheridan Lionheart (Vincent Price) had thought he was the greatest Shakespearean actor of his day. Abetted by his daughter Edwina (Diana Rigg), Lionheart sets about murdering, one by one, a group of critics who had both ridiculed his acting throughout his career and declined to award him their “Critic’s Circle Award for Best Actor”, which Lionheart felt was merited by his final season of performances in various Shakespearean plays; humiliated in the aftermath of the awards ceremony, he attempts suicide and is presumed dead. Unbeknownst to the critics and the police, Lionheart survives the suicide attempt and is adopted into a community of meths-drinking vagrants who do his bidding.

The manner of Lionheart’s revenge on each critic is inspired by deaths of characters in the plays of Lionheart’s last season of Shakespeare. In most cases the critic is first duped by Lionheart’s acting initially to “play the part” before Lionheart’s murderous intentions are revealed, followed by a forced recantation and an ironic, humiliating and grotesque dispatch of the critic.

See also: Theatre of Blood – Wikipedia (1973)

theatre of blood vincent price autograph 1973 Fencing

Picture: Wonderful signed close-up of Vincent Price (as Edward Lionheart)

The following are some anecdotes, first shared by Gabriel Hershman on the excellent So Many Movies So Litte Time Facebook Group:

  • Harry Andrews acted with Ian five times. He and Robert Coote would listen to cricket scores in between filming at Kensal Green Cemetery in the summer of ’72.
  • Ian was at Arthur Lowe’s memorial service in 1982. Maddy Smith helped me with the book. Ian loved working with Price, calling him “a true professional”.
  • Renee Asherson, who appears at the beginning, lived to be 99, she died last year. Diana Dors died the same year as Ian, 1984. She was a great actress.
  • Gabriel always wanted to be a theatre critic after seeing Devlin’s (Ian’s) penthouse apartment . Sadly Jeffrey Archer lives there now, or so he is led to believe!

theatre of blood 1973 ian hendry

Picture: Funeral in Theatre of Blood – filmed at Kensal Green Cemetery, London

Until next time,

Neil Hendry
Editor, Official Website of Ian Hendry

Further Reading

A detailed account of the life and work of Ian Hendry in the new biography:

Read:  ‘Send in the Clowns – The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry’ by Gabriel Hershman

Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry

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