Charlie Ross MacKenzie | Book
Charlie spent fifteen years as a stand-up comedian, writer and actor. As a stand-up he worked all over the UK and beyond, playing in this country’s most prestigious clubs, including the Comedy Store. He was a regular contributor, writer and presenter on many shows for BBC Radio Scotland (Macaulay And Co, Lafferty Out Loud, Night Flyte) and for BBC 5 Live. As a regular on the sci-fi and fantasy convention circuit, he has performed at events all over the world.
His acting appearances include many audio and radio productions including ‘Doctor Who’ ‘The Fall of the House of Abercorn’ and ‘The Dunwich Horror’ as well as many stage appearances, including ‘Stand Up!’; ‘King Lear’; ‘Dead Famous’; ‘The White House Murder Mystery’; ‘Façade’ by William Walton and his own one-man play ‘The Testosterone Trials’ (in 2005).
He has written for BBC Television’s ‘River City’ and has presented five acclaimed comedy shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. His 2010 book ‘Smiles and Tribulations’, details the ups and downs of the stand-up comedian.
Charlie retired from the world of entertainment in 2014, but the opportunity to work on a musical play with the music of Marc Almond and Soft Cell was too great to resist.
Michael McManus | Book
Michael has worked in and around politics for decades, once stood for Parliament, campaigned against Brexit, ran our national press regulator, has written several books and hundreds of articles in magazines and national newspapers – and his first play, “An Honourable Man”, having previewed successfully in June, returns to the White Bear Theatre in Kennington between 20 November and 8 December this year.
Nothing is closer to his heart, however, than this piece of new musical theatre.
When he was 13, Michael’s parents sent him away to school. He was dismayed. Until this point he had blithely assumed they liked him. An outsider in an unforgiving environment, he sought solace in his one immediate means of connecting with the outside world – a very basic radio-cassette recorder. He began to listen to the pop charts, just as a hitherto unknown pair of young men from the North of England stormed it to No.1 with only their second single – “Tainted Love”. This soulful music – modern yet timeless, spare yet passionate – surged through his heart and mind. It made his new life of austere exile seem somehow infinitely melancholy, yet, strangely, no longer unendurable. There was no television at school, so, when he bought the group’s next single “Bedsitter” at WH Smith’s on the day it was released, it was the first time he even knew what his new heroes looked like. Since then, the music of Marc Almond and Soft Cell have been an indispensable part of Michael’s life.
How it all began...