The “John, Paul, George, Ringo… and Bert” programme continued…
Bernard Hill‘s acting career leapt into the stratosphere on the back of his bravura performance in the TV drama series “Boys from the Blackstuff“, where he played “Yosser” Hughes, an unemployed tarmac layer who angrily rails against the social unfairness of the Thatcher administration. Two of his lines became catchphrases, still used to this day… “Gizza Job” and “I can do that”
In 1989 he returned to a Willy Russell script, playing the boorish Joe in “Shirley Valentine“. He is probably best known these days for his appearances in “Lord of the Rings” and as the fated ship’s captain in “Titanic”
After playing Paul McCartney for a year at the Lyric Theatre, Trevor Eve was cast as Jonathan Harker in John Badham’s UK/USA-produced “Dracula” movie where he starred alongside such luminaries as Laurence Olivier, Donald Pleasance and Frank Langhella.
In the late 70’s and into the early 80’s he was famous for playing the title role in “Shoestring“, a hugely popular TV show about private investigator with his own show on “Radio West”, a fictitious station located in Bristol. (Peculiarly enough a few years later a REAL Radio West started broadcasting, the result of some new broadcasting franchise opportunities)
He is now (even better) known for playing Detective Peter Boyd in the BBC drama series “Waking the Dead”
Philip Joseph‘s post-play career seems sketchy but he does appear to have appeared in TV shows like “Great Expectations”, “Soldier Soldier” and “The Bill“. Sorry to say, I wouldn’t recognise him at all.
Antony Sher is now Sir Antony Sher, knighted by the Queen for his services to the theatre in 2000.
Although he has appeared in a few movies – “Mrs Brown” and “Shakespeare in Love” to name but two – the main body of his career has been spent on the stage where he has won many awards and plaudits. He has been a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company since 1982.
George Costigan didn’t allow being born in Portsmouth hold him back from enjoying a very succesful TV and Movie career.
He gained proper public recognition after his stand-out performance as the serial adulterer in the 1986 hit film “Rita, Sue and Bob Too”
Anthony Blackett, who, as the programme states got his stage break in “J.P.G,R… and B”, changed his name to to the simpler Tony Blackett and after a seven-year stint in the UK and USA – where he appeared in shows such as “The New Avengers” and “Return to Eden” – went back to live Australia.
Robin Hooper appears to have had a mixed career, his high spot doubtless being a recurring role as Malcolm in Ricky Gervais’ observational comedy smash “The Office”
Barbara Dickson was already a well-known face on the English folk circuit before Willy Russell asked her to perform the music in “J,P,G,R… and B”. It has been said that it was her unique interpretation of the Beatles songs which made the show so succesful.
She attracted the attention of Robert Stigwood (co-producer of the play) who promptly signed her to his RSO Record label, where she made the album “Answer Me“, the title track from which became a Top 10 hit single for her in 1976.
She also recorded the song “Another Suitcase in Another Hall” for the Andrew Lloyd Webber & Tim Rice’s musical “Evita” and enjoyed yet another hit. More hits followed in 1980; “Caravan Song” and “January, February”
In 1982 she returned to the West End, starring as the mother in Willy Russell’s hugely succesful “Blood Brothers“. A role which won her an “Actress of the Year” award. She was then cast in Tim Rice’s musical “Chess” which included a duet with Elaine Paige. The subsequent recording of “I Know Him So Well” was massive hit and is still listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the best-selling female duet of all-time.
She continues to act and sing and worked again in 2003 with Willy Russell on his album “Hoovering the Moon”. In 2006 she released a collection of her versions of Beatles songs “Nothing’s Gonna Change My World” – which almost takes her career full circle – and has recently published her autobiography “A Shirtbox Full of Songs”
My observations on the “John, Paul, George, Ringo… and Bert” theatre programme concludes in the next post…