Friday, October 15, 2010

'EVERYMAN' London & Chester dates


THE PHOENIX ARTIST CLUB, 1 Phoenix St., Charing Cross Rd., London WC2H 8BU
8pm Wednesday 3rd - Thurs 4th November 2010

(Press Release 15.10.10)

‘EVERYMAN: The Story Of Patrick McGoohan – The Prisoner’ is a new play from Brian Gorman's theatre company, TRANSMISSION UNLIMITED, detailing the life of the theatre, television, and film star (who sadly died last year), and is to be staged in London next month at the famous Phoenix Artist Club on Charing Cross Road. The play will then be performed in Chester at The Forum Studio Theatre, Hamilton Place on 13th January next year (the anniversary of McGoohan's death in 2009).

Gorman, who also plays McGoohan and his character 'Number Six', performed a special rehearsed reading of 'Everyman' earlier this year in Manchester, at The Lass O'Gowrie pub, and played to a full house. The reading garnered a glowing review from Brian Watson for The Unmutual website (a major 'Prisoner' fan group):

"Brian achieved what no Number Two managed, that was to deconstruct the personality of the man and propose a very credible "what it's all about" of McGoohan's life and work.
The script of EVERYMAN is a joy: at turns witty, informative, dramatic, and wonderfully paced throughout. The author knows his subject thoroughly, tells the tale well and, while he refers to influences that surface later in The Prisoner, he never descends to quote-dropping for gratuitous effect."

Gorman believes that a theatrical tribute to the star of such cult tv favourites as ‘DANGER MAN’ and ‘THE PRISONER’ is long overdue:

"McGoohan was a brilliant actor. In common with the great Orson Welles, who he cited as a major influence, he was also a fiercely uncompromising individual who took real artistic chances, and divided the critics."

PATRICK McGOOHAN was born in New York, but spent less than a year there before his family relocated to their native Ireland. Several years later, they moved to England, where McGoohan caught the acting bug in Sheffield, and worked his way up to leading roles at the local professional repertory theatre. He was the first choice to play James Bond in 1962, but turned down the role of a lifetime due to his distaste for the depiction of gratuitous violence and casual sex. While Bond was smashing cinema box office records, McGoohan became an international television star as secret agent John Drake in ‘Danger Man’; who rarely used a gun and politely declined the numerous advances of beautiful women. After several hugely successful years, McGoohan tired of playing Drake, and persuaded legendary producer Lew Grade to back his new project, ‘The Prisoner’, and allow him full creative control. The series made McGoohan the highest paid actor on British tv when he played an un-named secret agent who attempts to resign his job, only to be kidnapped and imprisoned in a mysterious village from which there seems no escape. Everybody in The Village is assigned a number, and McGoohan is referred to as Number Six, but refuses to conform; spending each of the series’ seventeen episodes attempting to outwit his captors. The show became a massive cult hit with its flamboyant action, imaginative stories, and surreal style, and was recently remade for ITV with Sir Ian McKellen starring as the enigmatic and menacing ‘Number Two’. McGoohan also starred in a variety of successful films including ‘Silver Streak’, ‘Ice Station Zebra’, and Mel Gibson’s oscar-winning ‘Braveheart’. He won two Emmy awards for acting in the ‘Columbo’ tv series, and was even immortalised in an episode of ‘The Simpsons’.

BRIAN GORMAN is from Wigan, and is a writer, artist, and actor. He has designed posters and brochure illustrations for The Chester Gateway Theatre, and had work published in The Liverpool Daily Post, The Big Issue, and Green World (the magazine of The Green Party). His artwork has also been seen on television (ITV1’s ‘Martina Cole’s Lady Killers’), and he is currently working on a professional commission to produce a series of graphic novels on Manchester bands. As an actor he has played leading roles in corporate and educational dramas, music videos, and has just played the notorious mass murderer Thomas Hamilton in an upcoming television reconstruction of the 1996 Dunblane massacre. He has also played the main villain, Viktor Toxikoff, in award-winning director Chris Stone’s James Bond inspired music video ‘The Rebel’, for the band The Amateurs. Gorman also has an arts review blog at first studied acting at Wigan College of Technology in the 1980s, and was fascinated to later discover that Sir Ian McKellen had grown up just yards from the college theatre:

"I wrote to Sir Ian several years ago when he agreed to allow me to use his likeness in my comic book, ‘Borderliners’ (as did another hero of mine, The Saint himself - Sir Roger Moore). He sent me a wonderful three page hand-written letter telling me about how he’d enjoyed his childhood in Wigan, and had even played on the same stage as I had. It’s a fascinating coincidence that he has recently starred in the remake of ‘The Prisoner’, and now here I am playing Patrick McGoohan! "

Onboard as the production’s official adviser is ROBERT FAIRCLOUGH. Robert is a freelance writer, designer and producer. His work on ‘The Prisoner’ includes the book ‘The Prisoner: The Official Companion to the Classic TV Series’, editing two volumes of ‘The Original Scripts’ for the classic series and graphic design work on the recent AMC remake. He is a broadcaster who has featured on BBC radio and ITV, written for the British Film Institute and 'SFX' magazine and produced documentaries for 2 Entertain's range of ‘Doctor Who’ DVDs.

RICHARD HULSE directs for TRANSMISSION UNLIMITED, and also plays the part of McGoohan's/Number Six's nemesis 'Number Two'. Gorman and Hulse first met almost twenty years ago whilst studying for English degrees, and have collaborated on several theatrical and film projects.

There is a word of warning from Brian Gorman for anyone expecting a straight-forward story of McGoohan’s life:

"In keeping with McGoohan’s surreal work on ‘The Prisoner’, we will be playing around with time, as well as the character itself. ‘Patrick McGoohan’ will be a mix of the real man, and ‘Number Six’, and the whole piece will be presented in the style of an episode of ‘The Prisoner’."

Another Prisoner fan, STEPHEN FRY, has sent Brian his personal best wishes for the production.

Entry is just £6, and tickets for the London production will be on sale very soon. Tickets at the same price for The Forum Studio Theatre, Chester are now on sale; telephone 01244 341296, or book online at

Reservations can be made by emailing More details can be seen on the production’s Facebook page ‘JOHN DRAKE’.

Brian Gorman can be contacted at
or on 07510 591444.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


The very lovely Ms Francoise Pascal has been in touch to inform me of a rescheduling of the charity lunch in memory of comedy legends Barry Evans and Vince Powell. Here's what the lady had to say:

Barry Evans and Vince Powell Commemorative Lunch

We have been advised by many of you that you have prior Halloween commitments on the 31st October 2010. Because of this we have made arrangements to re-schedule the Lunch to: 6th February 2011

The lunch is in aid of Barnardos. (Barry Evans was a Barnardos child)

The Lunch will now be held at 1pm in the Marriot Hotel, Maida Vale. Address: Plaza Parade, Maida Vale, London, England. NW6 5RP.Phone: 44 20 7543 6000

LUNCH Champagne on arrival, Three Course meal, 2 bottles of wine (Red and White ) 2 bottles of water (Fizzy and Non) on the table, Desert, Petit Four and Coffee.

PLAQUE UNVEILING The Plaque unveiling will be at 12.00pm and if you can make your way over to the venue (Barry's Home) which is 8 Buckland Crescent, London NW3 5DX. by 11.30 that would be great. Distance from the Hotel to Barry's Home is approximately 7 minutes by car and 30 minutes on foot (a Google map will be provided to all)

Tickets are £70 per person and £700 for a table. (If you have already expressed an interest in the above we will be writing to you personally)We are in discussions with ITV and Channel 4 who have both expressed an interest in covering the event.

We hope you can all join us on the day and look forward to seeing you there.

Thank you

Event Organiser

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


The second of GAIL CULLEN's Silver Pearl TV & Film Networking events took place in Manchester recently. Unfortunately, I couldn't get along, but my good friend RICHARD HULSE popped in on the proceedings, and here's what he thought:

On Thursday, 7th October, Manchester’s Fab Café in Portland Street staged the second Silver Pearl networking event, inviting any member of the television and film industry to come along and listen to guest speakers, chat, have a drink or two and generally meet like-minded fellows. The Fab Café, with its low ceilings, and specks of orange and yellow lights drifting over the television annuals and the Dalek in the corner, conveyed the ambience of a rather low-key sci-fi disco. The Café isn’t a huge place – no Tardis-style huge-on-the-inside effect here – and this lent an informal quality to the relationship between the three speakers and the audience. Different coloured wristbands were worn to denote whether people were directors, actors, producers and the like.

These evenings have been designed by producer, Gail Cullen and production designer Rhiannon Clifford. First up was award-winning DJ and musician, Chris Wiseman, who told us a little about how he broke into the music business back in the 1990s at the Hacienda and later worked at the Ministry of Sound. Chris also quite rightly paid tribute to that grand old Hollywood stalwart and very underrated actor, Tony Curtis, who passed away two weeks ago.

Peter Hunt, a working actor and drama teacher, gave some valuable tips for anyone aspiring to work in front of the cameras. Preparation, it seems, is everything. Get good photographs for your CV, and make sure they’re up to date; don’t use the flattering one you had twenty years ago when you were playing Romeo, not if your appearance and age now makes Capulet a more suitable role choice. Good training is important, either full or part-time, and making use of showreels on DVD or the internet to showcase your abilities.

Producer Rachel Richardson Jones also spoke about the trials and rewards of her job. Splintered, the horror film Rachel is behind, was made on a limited budget of £300,000. Ably directed by first-timer, Simeon Halligan, and with a script from Matt Archer that
nods acknowledgment to a number of classic archetypes such as the beast of Bodmin, The Blair Witch Project, and even abuse within religious institutions, Splintered has recently had a limited cinema distribution. Simeon later spoke to me about his background in art school in London and how that helped inform his sense of aesthetics when he became interested in film-making.

I also had the opportunity to chat to Alison Rothwell who plays a leading role in a new stage play, The Interview, which takes as its subject the grim events of the Holocaust. An elderly survivor of the death camps is interviewed by a young reporter, and soon past and present merge, as supporting characters reappear ghost-like from the survivor’s memory. Written by Jayson Bartlett, after several years of careful research, The Interview sounds to be an emotive and disturbingly fascinating work, and goes on tour in November.

All in all, the event struck me as an enjoyable and useful mechanism for meeting other keen and able people within Manchester’s energetic performance arts community. It would certainly be worth keeping an eye open for the next one.

Richard Hulse