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LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A JOB I'D LOVE TO HAVE


HE is among the most sought-after actors of the moment, the time-travelling lord of the Tardis who makes grown women swoon and little boys reach for their sonic screwdriver.

Getting close to Bathgate-born David Tennant would be a dream come true for his star-struck fans.Yet for top-flight theatre designer Katrina Lindsay, measuring up the Time Lord for his next Shakespeare role is just part of another day at the office. And if that's not enough to drive his fans wild with envy, she even gets to tinker with his tights and mull over his inside leg measurement.

"Oh, he's quite the old pro with all that," she chuckles, revealing that the charismatic Dr Who star is as laid-back off-screen when it comes to tricky costume fittings as he is on screen taking on Dalek Sec and crushing the Cybermen. "He's really very down to earth, no diva behaviour – none at all."

Katrina is having to yell over the racket of hammering and thumping in the background, as builders go about creating the epic set for the next Royal Shakespeare Company production, Love's Labour's Lost, starring the Dr Who leading man. She's somewhere in London – a long way from Colinton village, where she was raised – phone glued to her ear while she watches over the noisy process of construction and settles down to perfect her designs for those all-important costumes.

So, on behalf of female fans the nation over, it was only fair to ask whether this time around, she just might be willing to dress the heart-throb actor in something a little, ahem, less 'restrictive' than the Elizabethan ruffs and doublet traditionally found in a Shakespeare play ...

"A thong!" she gasps, "you want him in a thong! Well, I really don't think so. It's Shakespeare! Nice try, but honestly, that wouldn't quite be right.

"No, he'll be dressed fairly traditionally. I'm sorry!"

Never mind. At the moment, Tennant could roll up for his next Shakespeare part – he plays Berowne, one of the King of Navarre's lords in the quirky comic drama – in a black plastic bag with a tin bucket over his head, and his legions of devoted fans would still think the universe revolves around him. To prove it, he's just been declared best actor at a glittering television awards ceremony staged by two entertainment magazines – Dr Who picked up the best-loved drama – and has wowed typically stuffy critics with his RSC stage performance of Hamlet.

He's even setting the internet alight with excited chatroom talk of him signing up to star in a cinema version of the BBC sci-fi favourite.

So surely no-one can be that perfect? And isn't there the remotest chance he might throw the occasional luvvie strop?

Former George Watson's girl Katrina insists Tennant is one of luvvieland's good guys. "He's done a lot at the Royal Shakespeare Company, so he knows what he's doing," she stresses. "Besides, we're all too busy getting on with what we have to do for anyone to throw a tantrum."

Certainly Katrina, 40, seems immersed in the job currently at hand – pulling together the lavish costumes for the third play in the RSC summer season at its 1000-seat Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, one of its most successful seasons ever thanks to a certain West Lothian-born actor.

The production begins in just three weeks' time, and there's nothing like a rapidly approaching deadline to focus the talented designer's mind on what needs to be done.

"It's pretty hectic," she agrees. "The design process usually takes around four weeks, then come the rehearsals – so it all becomes pretty intense and there are a lot of long hours. And things always come up that have to be fixed or changed."
I don't think I'll be able to get the vision of David in a thong out of my head for quite awhile!

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