Noël Coward’s Look After Lulu! ‘About as necessary as a Peach Melba at the North Pole’

look-after-lulu-new-theatre-posterIt seemed like the ideal combination, a Noël Coward play, fresh from Broadway, the internationally acclaimed actress, Vivien Leigh and the equally acclaimed British stage actor, Anthony Quayle. But it was not to be.

Noël Coward’s stage farce, Look After Lulu! is based on the French comedy, Occupe-toi d’Amélie by Georges Feydeau. Set in Paris during 1908, the story centres around an attractive young prostitute whose lover takes the curious decision to entrust her to a friend, while he goes into the army. His so-called-friend, soon takes advantage of the situation and attempts to trick her into a mock wedding. Continue reading “Noël Coward’s Look After Lulu! ‘About as necessary as a Peach Melba at the North Pole’”

Sparrows Can’t Sing, first English language film to be released in US with subtitles

sparrers-cant-sing-cover-01Roy Kinnear’s stage career took a significant step forward when he appeared in Joan Littlewoood’s acclaimed production of Sparrers Can’t Sing, written by Stephen Lewis.

The story features cockney sailor Charlie who comes home from a long voyage to find his house has been raised and his wife Maggie has gone missing. It turns out that she’s living with bus driver Bert and has a new baby, whose parentage is somewhat in doubt. Charlie’s friends won’t tell him where Maggie is because he’s well-known to have a foul temper. But he finally finds her and, after a fierce row with Bert, they’re reconciled. Continue reading “Sparrows Can’t Sing, first English language film to be released in US with subtitles”

Roy Kinnear, the ever popular comic actor who lit up every production he was in

Roy Kinnear 02

Between the 1950s and the end of the 1980s the lovable comic actor, Roy Kinnear was barely off our screens. Whether appearing in the BBC’s The Dick Emery Show or the ITV sitcom, Cowboys, Roy was a regular on British television. His outstanding popularity also led to a wealth of supporting actor roles on stage and in countless international feature films. Tragically, Roy was taken from us at an early age following an accident while filming The Return of the Musketeers in Spain in 1989. Continue reading “Roy Kinnear, the ever popular comic actor who lit up every production he was in”

Anthony Quayle, the supporting actor who led from the front

chin-chin-programme-03c-aq-portrait-tuWhen I think back and try to work out a personal short list of the greatest British films of the twentieth century and the directors and performers that made them special there’s quite a few names that keep cropping up. Lewis Gilbert, David Lean, Peter O’Toole, Richard Burton, the list is almost endless. But if I had to pick one, someone who was an all-rounder, someone who has written, directed and performed on stage, on both the big and small screens, someone who became the backbone of British film and theatre, then there would be few who could claim to have the same résumé as the late Sir Anthony Quayle. Continue reading “Anthony Quayle, the supporting actor who led from the front”