I'll Be Reviewing the Situation - in Oliver at the Leeds Playhouse
We all have dreams of playing certain roles on stage and I can't think of a role that I have ever wanted to play more than that of Fagin in Bart's Oliver. So when I had the chance to audition for the forthcoming Leeds Playhouse Production I leapt at it. Very rarely do I go into an audition thinking 'that is my role!'. Thankfully, not only did I think it, so too did James Brining our director and casting director Annelie Powell.
I am joined by a rather brilliant cast that includes Jenny Fitzpatrick as Nancy and Chris Bennett as Bill Sikes. These two West End stalwarts were in the Drury Lane production a while back and they are both born to play their roles.
I can promise that it will be a great production. Already what sets it apart from other productions is that it is being played in the round. The Playhouse are creating seating for an extra 300 people on the stage of the Quarry Theatre which will add something very unique to our show.
Tickets start at £15 and there are deals to be had. Please click the button to visit the Oliver ticket website:
Dreaming Whilst Black Ep 6
Dreaming Whilst Black Ep 6
I appear as a pastor who talks in tongues (which was actually Yoruban) in the very excellent new comedy Dreaming Whilst Black which is currently on the iPlayer. Written by and starring Adjani Salmon it tells the tale of a struggling black film-maker attempting to make it on his own. The series features a delightful ensemble of characters and some strong cameos. My ridiculous character opens the last episode and was one of the more memorable days of filming that I can remember.
New Head Shots
I'm not a lover of having my photo taken. Most pictures of me feature my 'photo face' which is akin to a grinning simpleton. Over the years I have resisted having official head shots taken, although I am not sure why. I've always asked photographer friends if they could snap a few I could use but because they weren't dedicated sessions for publicity head shots they were always ended up redundant. My last were for publicity for a film and were very much Steve the comedian, taken by the brilliant Steve Ullathorne, very much one of the comedy world's official lensmen.
So, in July of this year, after the end of filming the second season of The Serpent Queen, I booked a session with a photographer by the name of Cam Harle (camharle.com). I liked his portfolio and I liked the fact he lived in leafy Belsize Park, only 15 minutes away. The results are great and here are the three that we are using - beard and no beard.
A Podcast of 6 episdoes
I created the character of Queenie as part of my ‘In Character’ show several years ago. I've always enjoyed the fact that audience reaction to him has often been one of ‘he is possibly the most frightening character I have ever seen’. This could be due to his violent outbursts, his graphic description of violence or his outrageous combover.
At the end of 2022 I began to formulate the idea of featuring this rather unusual creation in a podcast. He began to write the back story of this rather effete and highly educated and titled gentleman who, in the 1980s, began a life of violent crime, mainly targeting lawyers and bankers; those he deemed part of a system that were responsible for the death of his beloved mother.
The six part series feature a huge array of characters from a consultant psychologist, to former prison inmates, prison governors, probation officers, house mates and family members. Chiefly, it is narrated by broadcaster and journalist Magnus Finch who, when he came into receipt of a batch of recordings from a friend and professional colleague by the name of Grant McGregor, became intent on finding out more about this extraordinary character known only as Queenie. He used these original interviews, conducted between 2001 and 2003 and began to cast the net wider to find out more about the man that was synonymous as one of Britain’s most violent criminals.
Available through Apple, Spotify & Google.
Or you can click on the button here where you will find all 6 episodes and the teaser too.
The Voices Project 2
Last year, in an effort to learn how to use Logic Pro X I embarked on writing and producing a series of ambient tracks using various voices as my inspiration. So there was Richard Burton talking about alcoholism, there was a very swearing Ben Kingsley as Don Logan in Sexy Beast and there was a gloriously shouty Brian Blessed.
I knew I would do another and so I began to write and produce tracks at the end of last year and the beginning of 2022. This time round the voices include Nina Simone being very forthright and honest, John Lydon talking about Saville in about 1978, Bruce Lee being his beautiful Zen self, Quentin Crisp on his extraordinary life and a track made up of the Kilroy Silk intros from his BBC show in the 90s. Plus many more.
As before the album is up on Bandcamp, alongside the first one, and is free to listen to or you can purchase and download it from £8. A lot of work went into it and I really hope you enjoy it.
Lenny Beige YouTube Channel
During Lockdown, Lenny Beige was very busy presenting twice weekly shows which started life as a mixture of songs, gags and shout-outs to the viewers. By week 5 it was decided to make the Tuesday shows an interview-based format with a few songs, with the Friday night shows continuing as they had before. They started life being filmed on the phone streaming to Facebook Live and Instagram (when technology would allow) but we upgraded to a Mevo camera which is a dedicated streaming camera that acts like a TV gallery where you can cut from a wide to a close up shot and pan across the frame too. The Beige Family very kindly contributed their own money to buy this piece of kit to increase their viewing pleasure
The end result is a new YouTube Channel with content from some of thiose shows but with a whole load more vintage footage. There are classic TV appearances and interviews PLUS in the coming weeks the now salvaged BBC series Lenny Beige's Variety Pack.