Game of Thrones star ‘honoured’ to be Battle Festival patron

Anton Lesser
Anton Lesser

The Game of Thrones actor who is the newest patron of Battle Festival said it is an honour to be a part of it.

Anton Lesser, who also starred in the BBC’s Wolf Hall and is a regular for the Royal Shakespeare Company, was announced as a patron last month.

“It’s a fantastic honour for me but I don’t really know what being a patron comprises,” he said.

“I think when they said to me, ‘do you want to be a patron?’, I thought, ‘I wonder what I have to do’.

“But they assured me that it was just a matter of allowing them to use my name in vain and for what it’s worth I’m just thrilled to be associated with it.”

Lesser performed in last year’s festival and was asked to get involved this year on the back of it.

“On the basis of last year they asked if I could come back and I said I would love to if I can fit it in and we’ve managed to carve out this weekend where I’m either not doing Game of Thrones or something else,” he said.

“They’ve been brave because they had to wait to put the announcement out for quite a while because I wouldn’t have liked to have committed and then have to turn it down at the last minute but it’s worked out fine.”

The actor visited Claverham Community College hear young people perform with professional musicians on Friday (October 9).

On Saturday, Lesser performed in Shakespeare in Battle, and in Love..., weaving the plays Love’s Labour’s Lost with Henry V together with classical music.

He said he wants to help them grow in any way he can, partly through his Game of Thrones fame, which he said could be valuable.

“It’s limited because I’m a practitioner not really an organiser and I know nothing about organising festivals, but if I can lend a perspective from a performer’s point of view in any capacity then of course I’ll do that,” he said.

“If people watch Game of Thrones and think, ‘oh yeah I know him’, but wouldn’t think of coming to something like this, they might think, ‘maybe I’ll go and have a look, if it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for me’.”

Lesser is one of three patrons of Battle Festival, along with Keane member Tim Rice-Oxley and music director Sir Andrew Davis.

He said he hoped to catch as much of this year’s extravaganza as he could but was rushing to Brussels for another film on Sunday, but the actor said he hopes he can be a part of it again next year.

“It would be lovely to be asked and I’m really up for it so we’ll just wait and see what happens,” he said.

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