Monday, November 08, 2010

'The Prisoner' play premieres in Manchester

At last, my play about Patrick McGoohan gets its premiere this week. We had planned to open it in London recently, but those pesky 'circumstances beyond our control' have forced us to postpone the performances until the new year. Meaning, we shall now be opening this Friday 12th November at 8pm in The Salmon Theatre at The Lass O'Gowrie. Press release below.

'Be seeing you'!!


(Press Release 08.11.10)

‘EVERYMAN: The Story Of Patrick McGoohan – The Prisoner’ is a new play from TRANSMISSION UNLIMITED, detailing the life of the theatre, television, and film star (who sadly died last year), and is to be staged in Manchester this week at The Salmon Theatre, upstairs at The Lass O'Gowrie pub on Charles Street. Writer BRIAN GORMAN, who also plays McGoohan and his character 'Number Six', performed a special rehearsed reading of 'Everyman' earlier this year at The Lass O'Gowrie, 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’.

Manchester-based 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

Gorman 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 £4, and tickets will be on sale on the night at the venue. 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.