Shropshire Star

Peter Rhodes on “deprived” criminals, sad humour and the untimely passing of a fine actor

I was sorry to hear the actor Adrian Schiller had died suddenly, aged just 60.

Adrian Schiller – a great interview

He was a great subject when I interviewed him at Stratford in 1998. He was getting rave reviews for turning the minor role of Trinculo, the jester in The Tempest, into a comedy triumph. Schiller even managed to wring a laugh out of a line complaining about the weather. “Why do we laugh at it?” he mused solemnly during our chat. “I suppose it’s because unhappy people are funny.”

He admitted he was not a naturally funny person but was fascinated by the mechanics of a joke; why does one line, pause or gesture provoke laughter when another doesn't? .It was a privilege to hear an actor talking about the nuts and bolts of his craft. After all these years I recall the interview, and his performance, with joy.