Review: An Evening with Sylvester Stallone - London Palladium ✭✭✭✭

An Evening with Sylvester Stallone 
Interviewed by Jonathan Ross
Photo courtesy of Jonathan Brady/PA
London Palladium

Review by Duncan Brown

Saturday 11th January 2014: I really wasn't sure what to expect when asked to review An Evening with Sylvester Stallone but was certainly not disappointed. A packed Palladium rose to its feet as one, as the Rocky theme pounded out, cameras following Mr Stallone onto the stage to wild applause from a very excited audience who were most definitely here to see & celebrate their hero.

What followed was 60 minutes of conversation with Jonathan Ross, who's enthusiasm and research put him at ease and whose intelligent questioning drew out the best from Mr Stallone.

He has more substance than his on-screen persona would suggest, graceful both physically and in his manner, giving us charming snippets of show biz gossip with generosity and humour.

It was particularly interesting hearing about his journey into the film business from a difficult childhood in Hell's Kitchen and his escapism into action/ adventure films which he would watch repeatedly as an usher and then act out at home to getting the acting bug during his time at a Swiss acting school (the only place that would take him!) in Death of a Salesman.

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Brady/PA
His description of the writing of Rocky was fascinating, telling of his life as a struggling actor and the need to fill his time with other activities. Initially he was offered increasing amounts of money for his script but without himself as the lead so held out until they said yes and the rest, as they say, is history.

In fact Stallone is only the third person in Hollywood history, after Charlie Chaplin and Orson Welles, to receive two Academy Awards nominations for the same film, for Best Original Screenplay & Best Actor.

He describes his writing as "maths with words, requiring unbelievable discipline".

After his initial success he now looks back at interviews he gave and wishes he could "go back & punch myself in the face!"

However he now seems a man at ease with himself, still looking forward to new challenges as both actor & writer.

When the floor was opened to the audience literally dozens of people were clamouring to ask questions, some sycophantic, some self-promoting but others with real insight & affection.

The evening ended (far too soon) with Mr Stallone, very fittingly, being inducted into the Palladium Hall of Fame as the audience rose again to its feet

A great ending to a great evening, and in the words of Boy George, tweeting afterwards, a show that "was both charming and an education. A true star!"

4stars ✭✭✭✭