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Playing Under the Piano: 'Comedy gold' Sunday Times

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781408716830

Price: £22

ON SALE: 13th October 2022

Genre: Biography & True Stories / Memoirs

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A Times and Sunday Times Book of the Year

‘Delicious and endearing’ Observer

‘Comedy gold’ Sunday Times

‘A riveting account of what it takes to be an actor’ Christina Patterson

‘A writer of considerable urbanity and wit’ Lynn Barber, Daily Telegraph

Hugh Bonneville is one of Britain’s most accomplished actors, familiar to audiences worldwide for his roles in Notting Hill, the Paddington films and Downton Abbey. What is it like working with Judi Dench and Julia Roberts, or playing Robert de Niro’s right leg, or not being Gary Oldman, twice?

A wickedly funny storyteller, Hugh also writers with poignancy about his father’s dementia and of his mother, whose life in the secret service only emerged after her death. Whether telling stories of working with divas, Dames or a bear with a penchant for marmalade, this is a richly entertaining account of his life as an actor.

What's Inside

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Really enjoyed this. Wonderfully funny and utterly charming - just like the man himself!
Jack Whitehall
Bonneville is entertaining, with a clear-eyed view of his trade... Reliving it all so far with light and shade, bite and bonhomie, as a memoirist Bonneville passes the audition with flying colours
Mail on Sunday
A great read
Graham Norton
Though a funny raconteur, Bonneville also writes poignantly about his father's dementia and of his mother, whose life in the secret service only emerged after her death
The Gloss
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll love Hugh even more
Woman & Home
Gloriously funny... Between the laugh-out-loud anecdotes are revealing stories of the less glamorous side of an actor's life, as well as poignant family memories
Jane Shilling, Daily Mail
An enormously entertaining memoir
Daily Mirror
Witty and moving
Country Living
A beautifully poised memoir, both insightful and - occasionally - laugh-out-loud funny, with the gift for comic timing he reveals on screen and a sharp eye for detail... warmly engrossing
Books of the Year, The Times
Bonneville's affable screen presence richly translated onto the page through anecdotes and adventures... there are many howling laughs in this frequently entertaining memoir
RTE Guide
Bonneville tells of his life with appealing modesty... he gives us plenty of backstage gossip
Reader's Digest
The tone of Hugh Bonneville's autobiography is very much like the man himself - warm, charming, funny and thoroughly embraceable... There is a refreshing lack of narcissism in a narrative poised between detached observation and amused self-reflection... An enormously entertaining memoir
Neil Norman, Daily Express
When other books have been forgotten, this one will be remembered. Hugh Bonneville's considerable talent for writing is on display page after page. Beautiful. Touching. And funny.
Gary Oldman
The Downton star proves himself to be a polished raconteur
Books of the Year, Daily Telegraph
Tremendously entertaining... if collapsing into laughter is what you need at the moment, then Playing Under the Piano could be the book for you... a delicious and endearing mode somewhere between utmost sincerity and utter bafflement
Rachel Cooke, Observer
A writer of considerable urbanity and wit. Gary Oldman says it is 'beautiful, touching and funny'. I agree.
Lynn Barber, Daily Telegraph
A collection of stories painting a brilliantly vivid picture of a career on stage and screen
Yorkshire Post
Comedy gold... I don't remember when I last read a book that gave me so many laughs... A riveting account of what it takes to be an actor
Christina Patterson, Sunday Times
By turns funny, touching, revealing - full of insights, delights and surprises. I couldn't have enjoyed it more
Gyles Brandreth
Playing Under the Piano made me hoot
Ben Macintyre, Books of the Year, The Times
Charming, joyous and entertaining, just like Hugh.
Griff Rhys Jones
A gorgeous book. Warm, friendly, funny and sometimes surprisingly emotional. Very like Hugh himself
Richard Curtis