Bronagh Gallagher


Born Derry 26th April 1972

Fiery and confrontational character actor and singer, who was with Derry’s Oakgrove Theatre Company and in her final year at school, when she made her television debut in Michael Winterbottom’s Channel Four drama ‘Strangers’, in 1989.

One of her earliest professional stage appearances saw her in dual roles as Mallin and O’Brien, in Tom Murphy’s Easter Rising docudrama, ‘The Patriot Game’, presented at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin in 1991. That same year she landed a career making role in Alan Parker’s phenomenally successful feature film ‘The Commitments’, featuring a cast of unknown actor/musicians, in which her character, backing singer Bernie McLaughlin, was in essence Bronagh Gallagher playing herself.

On the back of this exposure she now found more doors opening for her and in 1992 appeared in Graham Reid’s television drama ‘You Me and Marley’ , and more importantly had a small but incisive role as Trudi, in Quentin Tarantino’s international hit ‘Pulp Fiction’ 1994. Stage appearances in the mid nineties included two sparkling performances, first as Chorus in an excellent production of ‘Peer Gynt’ at the Barbican in 1994 and two years later played Stacia, in director Garry Hynes’ 1996 premiere of Marina Carr’s haunting Irish tragedy, ‘Portia Coughlan’, presented at the Abbey in 1996.

Screen highlights during this period were many and varied, criss-crossing the genres with appearances in a television adaptation of ‘Shadow of a Gunman’ and in three very different feature films, which covered horror, comedy and sci-fi, ‘Mary Reilly’ 1996, ‘The Most Fertile Man in Ireland’ and ‘Star Wars, Episode One, The Phantom Menace’, both 1999. Despite her screen commitments, she maintained a healthy interest in theatre, appearing in director Simon McBurney’s ‘The Caucasian Chalk Circle’ on the National’s Olivier stage in 1997 and played Adela, in the London based Theatre De Complicite’s tour with ‘Street of Crocodiles’, which included a presentation at the John Jay College Theatre, New York in 1998.

Further stage work from 2000 included a memorable performance as the dysfunctional daughter, Mary, in Conor McPherson’s much lauded ‘Dublin Carol’ at the Royal Court in 2000, later transferring to the Atlantic Theatre, off Broadway the same year. On screen in 2001 she had a co-starring role in Colin Bateman’s Irish produced comedy, ‘Wild About Harry’ and with convincing vulnerability, played Kitty Alridge in director Aisling Walsh’s no holds barred, Magdalene Laundry based television drama, ‘Sinners’ 2002.

Her film credits during the next few years were restricted to low budget comedies such as, ‘Thunderpants’ 2002, Ian Fitzgibbon’s Irish set ‘Spin the Bottle, 2003 and to augment her feature film output, accepted a small role in director Gillies MacKinnon’s adaptation of Maeve Binchy’s melodrama ‘Tara Road’ 2005. Noteworthy television work at this time, included her defiant Protestant mother Sarah Norton, in writer Terry Cafolla’s factually based, Belfast primary school drama, ‘Holy Cross’ 2003, which deservedly won her a shared FIPA Award.

In 2006 she was sadly underused in director Brian Kirk’s sombre and violent Ulster set Gothic thriller, ‘Middetown’ and found herself in a similar capacity in the abstruse horror/thriller ‘Botched’ 2007, both of which promised more than they delivered. Two years later she took another also- starring role, listed as Palm Reader in Guy Ritchie’s action slanted ‘Sherlock Holmes’, which featured the unconventional and forensically challenged pairing of Robert Downey Junior as Holmes and Jude Law as Dr. Watson. She returned to the National Theatre in 2009, after an absence of twelve years, delivering a spellbinding performance as Rose Narracott in Michael Morpurgo’s acclaimed WW1 epic, ‘War Horse’ at the New Theatre. Again at the National, this time on the Olivier stage in 2010, she played the irresolute teacher in the Stoppard/Previn political black comedy, ‘Every Good Boy Deserves a Favour’, revived after an astonishingly successful run at the same venue only a year before.

At the Royal Court’s Jerwood Theatre, Downstairs in 2011, she predictably milked the laughs in her supporting role as the candid housekeeper Tatyana, in Alexi Kaye Campbell’s moralistic drama ‘The Faith Machine’. A year later she began a long run as the practical Sandra Prince, in writer Chris Reddy’s three season, BBC Three comedy/drama series ‘Pramface’, faultless as the mother of teenage father Jamie, which aired from February 2012 until March 2014.

In 2017 she went through the motions as the spirited Rachel, in Volker Schlondorff’s big screen, romantic drama ‘Return to Montauk’ and at the Old Vic in July of that year, played pill-popping Mrs. Burke in Conor McPherson’s depression set, Bob Dylan fused, quasi- musical, ‘Girl From the North Country’. She was in fine form as bible thumping landlady Charlotte Stimple, in director Mike Newell’s undemanding post WW2 feature, ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society’, released in August 2018. This was followed by a central role as troubled single mother Pamela, in writer Tess McGowan’s independently produced family drama, ‘A Bump Along the Way’ in 2019.

An enjoyable, subtle portrayal of the forbearing wife of Peter Capaldi’s harebrained Mr Micawber, in writer/director Armando Iannucci’s farcical ‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’ in 2019, preceded her guileful ladies maid Mrs Speer, in three episodes of Julian Fellowes’ early 19th century patrician drama ‘Belgravia’ in 2020.

Further significant television work in 2019/2022 presented her with a lengthy spell as the unconventional Carol Dennings, appearing in thirteen episodes of writers Danny Brocklehurst and Joe Gilgun’s comedy drama, ‘Brassic’, with Dominic West lending a hand as Dr Chris Cox.

Bronagh Gallagher is a confident but distracted actor of unquestionable ability across all the media and there is no doubt her star will remain in focus for as long as she does.

Other Theatre, Film and TV credits:

– Light (2000) Theatre De Complicite (Touring Company)

– Seven(2014) Stormont, Belfast

– Divorcing Jack (1998)
– Tristan and Isolde (2006)
– Faintheart (2008)
– The Big I Am (2010)
– Tamara Drewe (2010)

– Shooting for Socrates(2014)

– The Fitz (2000)
– On a Lifes Edge (2001)
– Poirot 2005)

– Moone Boy(2015)

– Count Arthur Strong(2017)

– Genius(2018)

– Signora Volpe(2022)



Evie Garratt (Eveline Grossman)

Born Belfast 10th October 1919

Died London 17th April 2015

Actor/ playwright, a tireless champion of Fringe and Experimental theatre, who whilst at RADA was awarded the Gertrude Lawrence prize for character acting in 1939. She was a member of the short-lived but inventive Glasgow Unity Players in the mid to late forties, before relocating to London in 1950. An early appearance in November 1945, saw her as Sister Barton in the premiere of Ena Lamont Stewart’s hospital drama ‘Starched Aprons’, one of several plays the Unity Players would revive many times.

A number of standards and new work, offered her a busy 1946, playing protagonist Mrs Helene Alving in Ibsen’s morality play ‘Ghosts’ and the idealistic Mary Boyle in Sean O’Casey’s ‘Juno and the Paycock’, both at the Little Theatre, Edinburgh.

Her two plays at the Queen’s Theatre, Glasgow, were the premiere of Robert McLeish’s social kaleidoscope of Glasgow tenement life, observed over 24 hours, ‘The Gorbals Story’, which would become Unity’s go-to revival and its lasting legacy. She was cast as Mrs Reilly, subjugated wife of an odious martinet, played by Jack Stewart, with the strong cast boasting a legion of stars-to- be. Russell Hunter was the central lead Johnny Martin, Roddy McMillan the waggish Hector, Archie Duncan, who would later find success on television as Little John , opposite Richard Greene and Betty Henderson as the practical Peggie Anderson.

A second O’Casey production was his Easter Rising themed, ‘The Plough and the Stars’, with  Garratt in the role of Nora Clitheroe, purposeful spouse of sofa soldier Jack played by Roddy McMillan. In January 1947, Garratt now assistant director of the company, arranged a meeting with the organisers of the impending, inaugural Edinburgh Festival, seeking to include the Unity Players in the theatre category, believing it would be a matter of course. The answer was a derogatory rebuff, with the founder, Austrian born opera impresario Rudolf Bing, reasoning that no Scottish theatre group would be up to standard. Following weeks of angry discourse and without a formal invitation, eight companies, six Scottish and two English in the end performed conjointly with the main festival, creating by chance the primary Edinburgh Fringe. Unity true to its left leanings, presented Gorky’s ‘The Lower Depths’ and Robert McClellan’s ‘The Lord of Torwatletie’at the Little Theatre, Edinburgh in August 1947.

Later in October that year, at the Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh, the Unity Players presented John Patrick’s war drama ‘The Hasty Heart’, with Garratt as the sympathetic ward sister Margaret Parker. In February 1948 ‘The Gorbals Story’ opened at the Garrick, London, with the original cast intact and ran for six full-house weeks, then transferred to the smaller Embassy Theatre in Swiss Cottage. A return to Glasgow in the late summer of 1948, gave them an opportunity to sample unconventional theatre again, bravely staging Benedick Scott’s delicately balanced study of homosexuality, ‘The Lambs of God’, performed at the city’s Theatre Royal.

In the early months of 1949, financial cracks were evident within the commercial structure of the Unity Players, despite the recent successes of ‘The Gorbals Story’ and ‘Starched Aprons’; Garratt with one eye on her future and together with Unity director Robert Mitchell, joined Embassy stage director Anthony Hawtrey’s Envoy Productions. In September 1949, Unity, by arrangement with Envoy, staged Sylvia Regan’s comedy drama ‘The Golden Door’ at the Embassy Theatre, with Garratt the only cast member with Unity credentials.

January 1950 brought the big screen release of ‘The Gorbals Story’, produced by New World Pictures, directed by David MacKane and featured each and every regular. Critiques were glowing as before and offered hope that the company would survive.  In another Hawtrey production at the Embassy in March 1951, she took a median role in Matthew Service’s comedy ‘Common Property’, directed by Robert Mitchell and starring Larne born Harry Towb.

In May that same year, again unconnected to Glasgow Unity Players and under Robert Mitchell’s direction, she played alongside Alfie Bass in H.S. Kraft’s Jewish comedy ‘Café Crown’. In another Jewish related play, Yehuda Haezrahl’s ‘The Cactus Fruit’, she was cast in the pivotal role of Mrs Ezroni, directed by Charles Hickman and performed at the New Lindsey Theatre, London in December 1951.

Glasgow Unity Theatre, amidst its many problems, was eventually dissolved in the summer of 1951, with sometime collaborator Envoy Productions following suit a few monthd later. Garrat, was now ostensibly a freelance and worked periodically in the mid to late 1950s, most notably with her own play, the family comedy ‘Aren’t People Wonderful’, produced by Folk Theatre Ltd and presented at the Embassy in November 1954. Directed by Richard Ford, it starred an emerging Patrick McGoohan, with Garratt absenting herself from the acting credits. A year later at the Q Theatre, London, she played the maid Dinks, in Ernest Vajda and Clement Scott Gilbert’s comedy ‘Whirligig’, directed by old associate Robert Mitchell.

A period of relative inactivity followed through the closing years of the 1950s, and early 1960s, until a stage appearance at the Flora Robson Theatre, Newcastle in 1964, when she was perfectly cast as the resilient and shrewd Abbie Putnam, in Eugene O’Neill’s celebrated tragedy ‘Desire Under the Elms’. Her screen career, which began circumstantially fourteen years earlier and put in cold storage, was resurrected with a guest appearance as Mrs Trotter, in an episode of the popular medical series ‘Dr Finlay’s Casebook’in April 1964. She registered limited television work during the remainder of the 1960s, with brief derisory glimpses in series such as ‘Emergency Ward 10’ and ‘The Troubleshooters’, both 1967. Conversely, when offered testing parts on stage, she proved equal to the task and was her impressive self as the parsimonious Miriam in C.P. Taylor’s Jewish focused, social drama ‘Bread and Butter’, set in Glasgow over a three decade span from 1930s/1960s and presented at the Jeanetta Cochrane Theatre, London in July 1966.

She was still in demand in the 1970s and had a leading role in Francis Warner’s powerful ‘Lying Figures’, the first of his requiem trilogy, which premiered at the Oxford Playhouse in June 1971 and subsequently to great acclaim at that year’s Edinburgh Festival. Other significant Fringe productions included William Tanner’s South African political drama ‘Tsafendas’, at the New End in Hampstead in 1974 and touring with a Christopher Fry adaptation, ‘Ring Around the Moon’ in 1978, directed by Patrick Tucker.She was in subtle form again as Isabel Garcia, in her own co-written’, one-act love story to Spanish poet Lorca in ‘My Brother Federico’. Now into her sixties and with no inclination to curtail her commitment to innovative theatre, she embraced a myriad of work in the 1980s.

Among highly regarded performances were as ‘One’, in Tennessee Williams’ two-handed, one-act observation of human dependency, ‘I Cant Imagine Tomorrow’, directed by Timothy Webster at the Three Horseshoes, Hampstead in 1982. She followed this with the central role in writer John Stock’s ‘Conversation with an Elderly Lady’, at the Café Upstairs, London in 1983 and was celebrated photographer Julia Margaret Cameron, great aunt of Virginia Woolf in the author’s only play, the farce ‘Freshwater’, staged at Off-Stage Downstairs, London in 1988.

With age now a factor, she was understandably less involved in theatre in the 1990s and 2000s, but proved a popular guest casting in film and television, with numerous appearances in many top-rated series of the day. She was Mrs Cumberland, pensioner neighbour of tight-knit Liverpool family the Boswells, in five episodes of Carla Lane’s acerbic comedy ‘Bread’, aired in 1989.  Between 1987/1989 she affected a dignified turn as Polish lady Sofia Sochaski, with an irregular guest slot in Philip Redmond’s long- running school drama ‘Grange Hill’. Other television work included ‘London’s Burning’ in 1993, as Nana Hill in eight episodes of ‘Harry Hill’ in 1997 and in 1998, a conspicuous cameo in the comedy ‘As Time Goes By’.

Scant stage work in the 1990s produced nothing of note, with roles in Charles Friend’s ‘Wall to Wall’ at the Etcetera Theatre, Camden in 1991 and Ben Cooper’s ‘God’s Toilet’ at the Riverside Studios, London, during Channel 4s Sitcom Festival in 1999. During 2002/2005, she was kept occupied with a relatively active schedule, appearing in two episodes of ‘Holby City’ in 2002, a guest credit in an episode of ‘The Bill’ and as the grandmother of Matt Lucas’ character Gary, in ‘Little Britain’, both 2003. Her one-off visit to ‘Coronation Sreet’ in 2005 was arguably her highest profile role, which considering her accomplished history seemed a trifle impudent and not to be an urban soap elitist, she also took a small part that year as Joni in ‘Eastenders’, both  2005.

A final television sighting aged eighty eight, was as elderly train passenger with heart problems, Romaine Dupree, in an episode of ‘Casualty’, entitled ‘Sliding Doors’, aired in September 2007. Evie Garratt was much more than a thespian foot soldier, rather a repertory inaugurator, who from the end of WW2 into the 21st century, met both unorthodox and legitimate theatre with equal enthusiasm.

Other Theatre, Film and TV Credits:


-Meeting Ends (1974) New End, Hampstead

-Murder in Memoriam (1976) Three Horseshoes, Hampstead

-The Letter (1978) Churchill Theatre, Bromley

-The Breasts of Tiresias (1979) Pentameter Theatre Company

-Gulls (1983) New Vic, Bristol

-Wallflowers (1988) Old Red Lion, London

-Class Enemy (1988) Lost Theatre, London


-The Haunting of M (1979)

-Never Never (2000)

-Revolver (2005)

-Twice Upon a Time (2006)

-Sugarhouse (2007)


-The Sweeney (1975)

-Z Cars (1978)

-Tales of the Unexpected (1984)

-Terry and June (1987)

-One Foot in the Grave (1990)

-May to December (1991)

-Peak Practice (2000)



Catherine Gibson








Born Belfast, circa 1928   

Died Belfast 2000

Constant and purposeful, but little- known former Group Theatre character actor, whose career spanned five decades and was largely played out on the Belfast stage. She made her debut at the Group in November 1950, in George Shiels’ ‘Slave Drivers’, a reworking of his 1942 play ‘Master William’. Other appearances there in 1951 saw her in Ruddick Millar’s family drama ‘What’s Bred in the Bone’ and as Miss Blue in Lynn Doyle’s three act comedy ‘Fiddler’s Folly’, which also featured Harold Goldblatt and a nineteen year- old William Millar, aka Stephen Boyd.

Competition for roles during this time was fierce, with Elizabeth Begley, Margaret D’Arcy and Kathleen Feenan foremost in the pecking order. She did appear with Begley and Feenan and a myriad of others in Jack Loudan’s ‘In Donegall Square’ in 1953, an all female driven comedy, set in a Belfast department store. In the Groups 1954 production of Joseph Tomelty’s ‘April in Assagh’, staged at the Grand Opera House, Belfast, she took a supporting role as Co. Down villager, Ruby, alongside the ubiquitous Begley and a callow but eager James Ellis.

She was particularly active during 1955/56, securing prominent credits in popular homespun comedies such as C.K. Munro’s ‘Diana’ 1955, John Crilly’s ‘A Saint of Little Consequence’ and Patricia O’Connor’s ‘Who Saw Her Die?’, both 1956. At the end of the fifties her status had been elevated appreciably, although the roles offered were often senior to her age. She was cast as Mrs Hanna, mother of chief protagonist Jim, in Gerard McLarnon’s politically contentious ‘The Bonefire’, which was refused a presentation at the Group and was subsequently staged at the Grand Opera House in August 1958.

In February 1959 she played Miss Mary Sweeny in Patricia O’Connor’s first-rate melodrama ‘The Sparrow’s Fall’, in a cast including Colin Blakely and the formidable R.H. McCandless. Weeks later the Group’s foundations would shake again, with another controversial submission. Belfast playwright Sam Thompson’s ‘Over the Bridge’ was initially accepted in the early Spring of 1959 by new Artistic Director James Ellis, with a mooted production date for the end of April 1959, but tested again, the Board of Governors proved as predictable as before. Following the run of St. John Ervine’s three act domestic tragedy ‘Jane Clegg’ in September 1959, Ellis resigned, taking with him the core of the famed Players, Gibson, Begley, D’Arcy, John McBride and others. ‘Over the Bridge’ eventually opened at the Empire Theatre, Belfast in January 1960, with Gibson as Nellie Mitchell, wife of equitable trade unionist Davy Mitchell, played faultlessly by Joseph Tomelty. The play registered a sell-out run, transferred to Dublin and Glasgow and later undertook a short tour of England.

She was reunited with Thompson in 1963, appearing as Bella McConaghie in his now neglected period piece ‘The Evangelist’, an Edwards/Macliammoir production, directed by Hilton Edwards and performed at the Grand Opera House with a cast headed by Ray McAnally and former Group favourite Bee Duffell. That same year she made her screen debut, with a small role in an episode of BBC’s Sunday Night Play, Stewart Love’s Belfast shipyard themed ‘The Big Donkey’, directed by Herbert Wise, starring Tom Bell, with able support from Joseph Tomelty and J.G.Devlin.

A brief flirtation with farce, a genre embraced during the decade by both the Group and Arts theatres, saw her gamely playing against type as man chasing Gladys Gilmore, in Sam Cree’s ‘Cupid Wore Skirts’, at the Arts in 1965. In 1966 she landed the role of Maggie Bonar in RTE’s Dublin set soap, ‘Tolka Row’, appearing regularly until the series ended in 1968.

A year later in September 1969 she began her long but sporadic association with the Lyric Theatre, taking the role of Auctioneer/Publican’s wife Maimie Flanagan in John B. Keane’s rural Irish tragedy ‘The Field’, starring Michael Duffy as the recalcitrant Bull McCabe. In December of the same year she was back at the Lyric as the amoral Mrs Hardcastle, in Oliver Goldsmith’s 18th century comedy ‘She Stoops to Conquer’, with Stella McCusker in her first professional appearance, as the heroine Kate Hardcastle.

She worked periodically at the Lyric during the 70s/80s, with supporting credits in George Shiels’ ‘The Passing Day’ 1971 and John Boyd’s ‘The Street’ 1977. Television roles in the 70s were meagre, adding only two further appearances to her inert screen CV. Her cameo as Sarah in Wilson John Haire’s forceful Belfast rooted drama ‘The Dandelion Clock’, aired in May 1975 was textbook short scene character playing. Her profile on screen was following a familiar pattern, exemplified by her forbidding schoolteacher Miss McCabe in the 1980 television adaptation of Jennifer Johnston’s family drama ‘Shadows on our Skin’, shot on location in troubles torn Derry and co-starring Joe McPartland and Lise Ann McLaughlin.

In another stock character appearance on the Abbey’s Peacock stage in 1980, she played Mrs McCoy in the premiere of Graham Reid’s hard hitting ‘The Closed Door’, directed by Bill Hay and in a cast which included Colm Meaney and Trudy Kelly. In Reid’s television play ‘Too Late to Talk to Billy’, the first of his so called Billy Trilogy, aired in February 1982, she again produced her trusty, well rehearsed cameo, this time as the Martin family’s neighbour Mrs Boyd.

Notable roles at the Lyric in the eighties included the bedridden Rosie McAleer in Eugene McCabe’s IRA focused, Border Counties set ‘Victims’, 1981 and as the mother in a revival of Brian Friel’s emotive ‘The Loves of Cass McGuire’ in 1988. 1984 was arguably her most significant year in terms of screen time. Given a decent opportunity she did not disappoint, cast as the doughty farmer’s wife Mrs Morton, mother of murdered R.U.C. reservist Robert, in director Pat O’Connor’s adaptation of Bernard McLaverty’s ill-starred love story, ‘Cal’. Debutant John Lynch excelled as the eponymous anti-hero, opposite Helen Mirren as the vulnerable widow Marcella Morton. Throughout her career Catherine Gibson proved a reliable, untroubled and in later years role-specific actor, who gave each and every a part a run for its money.

Other Theatre, Film and TV credits:


-Martha(1955) Group Theatre, Belfast

-Ill Fares the Land(1956) Group Theatre, Belfast

-Friends and Relations(1956) Group Theatre, Belfast

-The Boys From USA(1967) Abbey Theatre, Dublin

-You in Your Small Corner(1968) Four Courts Hotel, Dublin

-We Do It For Love1976) Abbey Theatre, Dublin


-It’s Handy When People Don’t Die(1980)

-December Bride(1991)


-Centre Play(1976)

-The Long March(1984)

-Ties of Blood(1985)

-First Sight(1987)



Gerry Gibson


Born Belfast 1935

Congenial former comedian, television presenter and screen actor, who began his professional life as a localised comic, making his debut, billed as ‘The Man With the Rubber Face’, at the Empire Theatre, Belfast in 1956. Before that he spent two years as a willing amateur in a number of minor shows in and around Belfast. He worked regularly in the late 1950s, as a comedian/impressionist in pantomimes and variety bills both in Belfast and England.

In the early 1960s he appeared on television, in programmes such as BBC’s ‘Summer Music Hall’ and in his screen acting introduction in 1964, took a walk-on part as a doorman in director Robert Hartford –Davis’ musical comedy, ‘Saturday Night Out’. Soon after he emigrated to Australia and in quick time landed a regular spot on the vaudeville themed television series ‘Theatre Royal’, broadcast from BTQ-7 studios in Brisbane. In 1965 he was offered a co-hosting role on NWS 9’s nightly variety show ‘Adelaide Tonight’, earning both he and his wife, Australian singer and dancer Jackie Ellison, also a television presenter, a prestigious Logie Award, Gibson in 1966 and Ellison a year later.

In 1971, both featured in the Australian television festive family film, ‘The Incredible Christmas Day Theft’, produced by his employer, NWS 9 Adelaide. Later in the 1970’s they relocated to California, where he established himself as a general purpose actor, beginning with a supporting role as Sgt. Williams in director Boris Sagal’s 1981 television film ‘Dial M for Murder’, a humdrum reworking of Frederick Knott’s play, despite a strong cast of Christopher Plummer, Anthony Quayle and Angie Dickinson. He was then consigned to a number of modest guest appearances in 1982/1983, the best of which was his Inspector Lestrade in writer James D, Parriott’s sci-fi adventure series ‘Voyagers’, in  the episode ‘Jack’s Back’, aired in July 1983. A plethora of television work during 1984/1986 yielded little of consequence, with the exception of a solid minor role as Californian eye-doctor Dr Torico, in Stephanie Liss and Gavin Lambert’s fact based 1986 television drama ‘Second Serve’, starring Vanessa Redgrave as transgender tennis player Renee Richards.

In 1987 he was elevated to also-starring status in director Gordon Hessler’s feeble martial arts action drama, ‘Rage of Honor’, playing shady drug enforcement agent Bob Wilson, opposite aspiring but ultimately ineffectual female lead, Robin Evans. He ended the decade having made fleeting appearances in a clutch of paradigmatic television series. The list included ‘Cagney & Lacey’ 1984, ‘Hill Street Blues’ 1985, ‘Dallas’ and ‘Matlock’, both 1987.  However he did land a sporadic recurring role as Simmons in NBC’s sempiternal daytime soap, ‘Days of Our Lives’, racking up a total of 48 episodes between 1985/1992. Further limited guest credits on television, again saw him in highly popular shows, including ‘Murder She Wrote’ and ‘Columbo’, both 1995 and as restaurateur Critch Critchley in four television film revivals of ‘The Rockford Files’ during 1995/1999. His penultimate screen venture, a hackneyed fantasy thriller, ‘Beneath Loch Ness’, directed by Chuck Comiskey, pitched him as a fisherman, appropriately called MacGregor, in a cast headed by Patrick Bergin, Lysette Anthony and a pedestrian Brian Wimmer.

In 2003, after a professional life of nearly fifty years, he bowed out in keeping of the finest traditions of low profile character playing, as solicitor Harry Ryan in a television film production of ‘Murder She Wrote’, entitled ‘The Celtic Riddle’. Gerry Gibson proved an indefatigable trouper, a younger brother of respected Belfast stage actor Catherine Gibson, he retained an infectious enthusiasm which prevailed throughout his colourful career.


Other Film and TV credits:


Racing With the Moon(1984)

-Revenge of the Red Baron(1994)


-Remington Steele(1983)

-I Want to Live(1983)

-Scarecrow and Mrs King(1984)

-The New Mike Hammer(1984)


-Falcon Crest(1986)


-Beauty and the Beast(1987)

-Magnum, P.I.(1987)

-Get a Life (1991)





-Black Scorpion)2001)


Helen Gilliland

Born Belfast 31st January 1897

Died (At Sea} 23rd November 1942

Illustrious actor/singer in musicals and operettas, a principle soprano with D’Oyly Carte for several seasons, who whilst studying at the Royal College of Music in London, auditioned for the renowned travelling company and was invited to join the 1917 tour, making her debut as the bethrothed Aline in Gilbert and Sullivan’s two act comic opera ‘The Sorceror’. During that tour she also filled with aplomb, the roles among others, of Mabel in ‘The Pirates of Penzance’ and as Phyllis in ‘Iolanthe’.

She rejoined D’Oyly Carte for the 1919 and 1921 seasons, later establishing herself on the London stage, in productions such as the spectacular musical adventure ‘Round in 50’, starring the famed music hall comedian George Robey, which played at the Hippodrome in March 1922. Two high profile roles in 1923 saw her star as Julia de Weert at the Princes Theatre, in the premiere of Eduard Kunneke’s operetta ‘The Cousin from Nowhere’and later played the titular ‘Katinka’, Otto Hauerbach and Rudolf Friml’s romantic comedy, staged at the Shaftesbury Theatre, which also featured Joseph Coyne and Binnie Hale.

In 1924 at the Strand in London, she landed a significant role as Vivian Marsden in Fred and Adele Astaire’s musical farce ‘For Goodness Sake’, now retitled ‘Stop Flirting’, which following a modest run at the Lyric, New York during 1922, became one of the major successes of the early 1920’s, helping in no short measure to advance the careers of the fleet- footed Nebraskan siblings. She proceeded to appear as star or co-star in numerous high grade productions in the mid to late 1920’s, most notably as Barbara in Reginald Hargreaves’ musical romance, ‘Love’s Prisoner’ at the Adelphi, London in 1925. She was then lead performer as social climbing Evelyn Devine in Raymond Wilson Peck’s comedy ‘Castles in the Air’, which had transferred from Broadway to the Shaftesbury, London, opening in June 1927, touring until 1928.

Following her long-running success as the eponymous ‘Lady Mary’, Frederick Lonsdale and J. Hasting Turner’s popular musical play which ran for 181 performances at Daly’s Theatre, London, during February/July 1928, she set sail for America and the Shubert Theatre, New York. Cast as the heroine Renee de Cochforet in Stanley Weyman’s romantic operetta ‘The Red Robe’, she appeared alongside celebrated baritone Walter Woolf and English comedian Barry Lupino, all in top form considering a Christmas Day opening in 1928.

She would work with Woolf again in 1930, this time at Shubert’s Theatre, New Haven, Connecticut, in Dion Titheradge’s uproarious musical romance ‘Dear Love’, directed by Frank Smithson and featuring Birmingham born George Hassell, long on the Broadway stage and a trusted Shubert retainer. Back in London in 1931, she was much in demand with two top drawer productions at Drury Lane in January and May and another at the Gaiety in August. Pre-eminent among these was arguably her title role performance in writer Otto Harbach’s Peruvian set comedy ‘Nina Rosa’, which had transferred from the Lyceum Theatre to the Gaiety, with her replacing Ethelind Terry and ably supported by the much admired Australian tenor Robert Chisholm.

The following year she was lead again, as Sonia in an umpteenth revival of Franz Lehar’s operetta ‘The Merry Widow’, which played from September to December 1932 at the Hippodrome, London and subsequently toured. She worked less frequently in big budget productions for the remainder of the thirties, but did register another starring role as Lili in the romantic operetta ‘Lilac Time’, which opened at the Alhambra, London in December 1933, two months after the death its adaptor and lyricist Arthur Reed Ropes aka Adrian Ross.

Her last stage engagement of any consequence, was alongside Danish tenor Carl Brisson in a short, poorly received provincial tour with the comedy,‘Venus in Silk’, during December 1937. In 1938 she was mentioned in a potential cast list for the Oscar Hammerstein II biographical tribute to Gilbert and Sullivan, ‘Knights of Song’, which was to open at the Hollywood Theatre, New York in October of that year and although in America at the time and for whatever reason, she did not prevail.

This probably explains her minor role in her only screen appearance, director Harold Young’s adventure drama, ‘The Storm’, starring Charles Bickford and Barton MacLane. A case perhaps of making the best of a disappointment. The film unfortunately would be a portent of a future tragic event, which unfolded during WW2. In the early 1940’s and after a period of relative inactivity, she re- emerged in Australia in April 1941, appearing at the Theatre Royal, Sydney in the comedy revue ‘Funny Side Up’, with comics Dick Bentley and Clem Dawe. She then committed herself to the war effort by becoming a member of ENSA, spending almost a year on the Indian sub-continent.

In November 1942, with a contingent of ENSA performers, she left Bombay en route to South Africa, when the ship on which they were travelling, RMS Tilawa, was torpedoed by a Japanese naval vessel in the Indian Ocean. Her husband miraculously survived, but she was listed among the some 280 dead or missing passengers and crew. In her relatively short life, Helen Gilliland proved herself to be a gifted interpreter of an art form which flourished in Europe during the mid 1800’s, transmuting from operettas to dazzling Hollywood musicals in the era of sound pictures.

Other Theatre Credits:

-The Sound of the Drum(1931) Drury Lane, London

-The Land of Smiles(1931) Drury Lane, London

-Gay Masquerade(1935) Prince’s Theatre, London


Harold Goldblatt

Born Manchester 5th July 1899
Died London 22nd April 1982

*Included due to a lifetime contribution to local stage and screen

Commanding and perceptive actor and unapologetic stage enthusiast, who brought together his Jewish Institute Dramatic Society in a three-way fusion of talent and ideas to create the celebrated Ulster Group Players in the winter of 1939/40. The triumvirate, consisting of the residue of the Ulster Literary Theatre, then functioning as the Ulster Players, the Northern Ireland, Irish Players and Goldblatt’s company, began with a so called experimental period, presenting James Bridie’s comedy ‘Storm in a Teacup’ in March 1940. Their Official launch, after a summer of reflection, took place in September with a revival of St John Greer Ervine’s homespun favourite ‘Boyd’s Shop’, a deliberate spirit lifting selection perhaps in view of the prevailing dark and uncertain times.

Goldblatt’s first experiences on the Belfast stage came courtesy of a short dalliance with Richard Hayward’s roving Belfast Repertory Company, appearing most notably as Alexander Knox in Thomas Carnduff’s period drama ‘Castlereagh’, presented at the Empire Theatre, Belfast in 1935. In the early years of the war, a crucial time in the development of the Group Players, his presence proved invaluable, indeed playwright James Bridie endorsed his importance by suggesting he take central roles in all of his submitted pieces.
One such play in which he adhered to the writers wishes was ‘Mr Bolfry’ 1944, a minor success in the general scheme of things, with Goldblatt registering a double credit as actor and director.

During the Forties he delivered many noteworthy performances in productions as significant as Jack Loudan’s ‘Henry Joy McCracken’ 1945, George Shiels’ ‘Borderwine’ 1946 and ‘Mountain Post’ 1948, in a cast featuring Patrick Magee and James Young and Cecil Cree’s ‘A Title For Buxey’, which opened on Christmas Eve 1949.

In 1951, Joseph Tomelty, who had not only been at the coalface as both writer and actor, but had also shouldered the extra burden of General Manager, resigned from the administrative post due to the increasing demands of his hugely successful radio serial ‘The McCooeys’ . Goldblatt was the obvious replacement, but with his dual roles as actor/director and personal business commitments, he too was to experience the pressures of balancing such a workload.

The 1951 schedule exemplified the open door policy of embracing an eclectic mix of works by writers, new and not so young, two particular comedies that underlined this edict were seventy eight year old Lynn Doyle’s ‘Fiddlers Folly’ and first time writer Janet McNeill’s ‘Signs And Wonders’, with Goldblatt taking mid-casting roles in each. The following year in Patrick Riddell’s commendable drama ‘The House of Mallon’, he took most of the plaudits for both directing and his principle role as patriarch Sir Miles Mallon, opposite the doughty Elizabeth Begley.

From 1953 until1957 he presided over a raft of peerless productions, including Michael J. Murphy’s ‘Dust Under Our Feet’ 1953, Tomelty’s sparkling comedy ‘Is The Priest at Home?’ 1954, marvellous as protagonist Father Malan and two actor/director credits, Greer Ervine’s melodrama ‘Martha’ 1955 and Louis Macneice’s intriguing ‘Traitors In Our Way’ 1957. His film debut in 1956 was in the less than challenging role of the schoolteacher in director Roy Ward Baker’s maudlin Belfast set ‘Jacqueline’ and a year later snatched a brief on-screen moment in John Ford’s indulgent trio of vignettes, ‘The Rising of the Moon’ . Two films in 1958 included a skilful cameo as the doomed, but composed and dignified Benjamin Guggenheim, in Roy Ward Baker’s outstanding ‘Titanic’ exposition ‘A Night to Remember’.
In August of 1958, a play by Gerard McLarnon and directed by Tyrone Guthrie, opened amidst much fatuous controversy at the Grand Opera House, Belfast. ‘The Bonefire’, McLarnon’s cogent study of 11th night celebrations within the Belfast protestant laager, was ruled too contentious by the Groups myopically cautious Board of Directors. A weighty cast of Goldblatt, Begley, Ellis, Blakely et al, embellished an otherwise well-written but functional play during it’s successful run at the much larger Belfast venue.

In January of 1959 he relinquished his position as General Manager of the Group, a precursor it would prove to the tumultuous events that would unfold in the months ahead, triggered by the larger and much more slippy banana skin of Sam Thompson’s no holds barred
shipyard critique, ‘Over the Bridge’. Goldblatt’s future lay elsewhere and he continued with gusto, a screen career that had begun inauspiciously in 1956.

In a welter of screen work from 1960 he applied himself positively in a mixture of teleplays, top rated series and a number of minor roles in films as disparate as ‘The Siege of Sydney Street’1960, director Michael Curtiz’s ‘Francis of Assisi’ 1961 and two Stephen Boyd thrillers, ‘The Big Gamble’ 1961 and ‘The Inspector’ 1962. Despite his feverish schedule, he somehow found time to pencil in two London theatre appearances in 1961, Paddy Chayefsky’s ‘The Tenth Man’ at the Comedy and a re-acquaintance with Michael J.Murphy’s ‘Dust Under Our Feet’ at the Arts.

In 1963, arguably his most productive year since the halcyon days of the Group, he not only registered credits in four feature films, but affirmed his passion for the stage with the creation of the optimistic and itinerant Ulster Theatre Company, by and large a travelling ensemble comprised of former Group colleagues and guests. The inaugural touring production performed with obvious assurance by a most dependable cast, was Paul Vincent Carroll’s comedy drama ‘The White Steed’, a pleasing if modest success for Goldblatt whose big screen efforts that year included co-starring roles in writer/director John Gilling’s English civil war adventure ‘The Scarlet Blade’ and Carol Reed’s problematic drama ‘The Running Man’.

Barely ten years since his unobtrusive arrival on screen he had in his own effectual way, established himself as an uncomplicated and respected character actor. Notable television work in the latter half of the sixties was a much cherished role as Unionist politician John B. Kerr in Sam Thompson’s trenchant drama ‘Cemented With Love’, alongside old friend Elizabeth Begley. His film credits at this time were not as significant, save an ideal, albeit bit part as an Abbey Theatre manager in Jack Cardiff’s ‘Young Cassidy’ 1965.

In 1967 his Ulster Theatre Company presented another of their periodic productions, again in a suburban Belfast location, this time the Grove Theatre, where a revival of St John Greer Ervine’s ‘Friends and Relations’ was staged, with a cast including himself, Elizabeth Begley, and R.H.McCandless. In June 1969, the company boosted by veteran Ulster actors, J.G.Devlin, Harry Towb, Margaret D’Arcy, Goldblatt as Master Magee and under the direction of Tyrone Guthrie, took to the Abbey’s Peacock stage for what was their grandest production to date, George Shiel’s neglected drama ‘Macook’s Corner’. The play had been premiered three weeks earlier at the Grove Theatre, Belfast, director and cast intact.

A characteristically understated performance as Peter Finch’s father in John Schlesinger’s impassioned, multi-award winning ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ 1971, was followed in the same year with a brace of unavailing television roles, but he redeemed himself with a with a co-starring credit in another Finch vehicle, director Alastair Reid’s crime thriller ‘Something to Hide’ 1972, which also featured an increasingly ubiquitous Colin Blakely. An appropriately cast two episode guest role as Professor Dale in the sempiternal childrens sci-fi series ‘Doctor Who’ in 1973, preceded his third successive film encounter with Peter Finch in less than four years, making a short but telling appearance as Pinamenti in the 17th century political/religious epic ‘The Abdication’ 1974.

This was to be his last big screen role although he was offered a modest assortment of television work during the remainder of the seventies, the pick of which was his portrayal of Riah, in a faithful version of Charles Dickens’ ‘Our Mutual Friend’ in 1976. His last ever appearance as an actor was as the chronicler Time As Chorus, in Jane Howell’s decidedly stylised 1981 television adaptation of Shakespeare’s ‘The Winter’s Tale’.

His death in April 1982 was sudden, despite his years, taking ill in London whilst on pre-production work for the Barbara Striesand musical ‘Yentl’.  Harold Goldblatt was one of Ireland’s great actor/managers, without perhaps the flamboyance of MacLiammoir or the discipline of Anew McMaster, but he did possess enough guile and enthusiasm to help create an era of cultural enlightenment which flourished in that vital period of Ulster theatre history.

Other Theatre, Film and TV credits:


(All Group Theatre, Belfast)
– Master Adams (1949)
– Arty(1951)
– My Brother Tom (1952)
– Danger, Men Working(1953)
– Diana(1955)
– That Woman at Rathard (1955)
– The Big Donkey (1964) Troxy, Belfast

– Rooney (1958)
– The Reluctant Saint (1962)
– The Mindbenders (1962)
– Children of the Damned (1963)
– Nine Hours to Rama (1963)
– The Reptile (1966)
– Vingt-Cinquieme Heure, La (1967)

– Sunday Night Theatre (1959)
– Armchair Theatre (1960)
– On Trail (1960)
– Path Finders in Space (1960)
– Coronation Street (1961)
– Ghost Squad (1964)
– The Human Jungle (1964)
– The Danger Man(1965)
– Dr. Finlay’s Casebook (1966)
– Softly Softly (1968)
– Hadleigh (1969)
– The Persuaders (1971)
– Van Der Valk (1972)
– The Devil’s Crown (1978)


Dan (Adrian) Gordon


Born Belfast 1961

Purposeful and reliable theatre actor/director, long associated with the Belfast’s Lyric Theatre, who after graduating from Stranmillis College, where he studied drama and physical education, appeared in several amateur productions at the Lyric Drama Studio.

He then joined the Lyric Players in 1982, working as an assistant stage director and that year took to the boards in his first role as a professional actor, playing a painter in ‘A Touch of Class’, a Martine Garbacz and Leon Rubin reworking of Moliere’s play,’Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme’. He was thrust into the breach in 1983, with roles in productions such as WB Yeats’ ‘Yeats in Limbo’, Christina Reid’s ‘Tea in a China Cup’ and in Martin Lynch’s ‘Castles in the Air’, played Eddie Fullerton, son of Stella McCusker and Mark Mulholland.

His 1984 television debut was inconsequential, a minor part as Little Billy in writer/director Mike Leigh’s ‘Four Days in July’, starring Brid Brennan and Des McAleer. In the mid eighties he ventured beyond Belfast, appearing in Robin Glendinning’s ‘Mumbo Jumbo’ at Manchester Royal Exchange in 1986 and in 1987 fared a little better on his return to television, appearing as Tom in the Graham Reid/Bernard Farrell locally produced comedy series, ‘Foreign Bodies’, which ran until 1989. He was more adventurous on stage in the nineties, working with Dubbeljoint Theatre Company in the Marie Jones adaptation, ‘The Government Inspector’, presented at Theatre On The Rock in West Belfast and ‘Independent Voice’ at the Old Museum Arts Centre Belfast, both 1993.

In 1994, again with Dubbeljoint, he took centre stage, quite literally, as Kenneth McAllister, in Marie Jones’ one hander ‘A Night in November’, a role he would reprise years later, playing to rapturous audiences as far afield as New York in 1998 and Perth W. Australia in 2004. His first film appearance was as Inspector McPeake, in director Terry George’s bleak hunger strike study, ‘Some Mother’s Son’ 1996 and at the Grand Opera House Belfast that year, teamed up with Dubbeljoint and Marie Jones again, in ‘Eddie Bottom’s Dream’, in a cast which also featured Conleth Hill.

In 1998, his caricature of loyalist paramilitary Red Hand Luke, in the comedy series ‘Give My Head Peace’, offered him the opportunity to display his stage honed comedic skills to a wider audience, although his appearances were more periodic than regular. Two quite different stage productions in 2000, saw him produce a TMA award nomination for his performance in Patrick Marber’s ‘Dealers Choice’ at the Lyric and at the Group Theatre, in another collaboration with Marie Jones, played a central role in her admirable homage to legendary Belfast born singer, Ruby Murray, entitled ‘Ruby’. His working relationship with both Jones and the Lyric continued into the new century, with the poignant, ‘The Blind Fiddler’ in 2003 and the knockabout comedy ‘A Very Weird Manor’ 2005, which was preceded by a small part as The Preacher, in Terry Loane’s comedy drama ‘Mickybo and Me’, 2004.

In recent times he has flirted with stage direction and was at the helm of the 2006 Irish touring production of Hugh Leonard’s ‘Da’, with a cast including Coronation Street’s Charles Lawson and the ever evolving Olivia Nash. Further Belfast stage appearances saw him play multiple roles in Tim Loane’s comedy ‘To Be Sure’, at the Lyric in 2007 and bicycle repair shop owner Frank Stock, in Stewart Parker’s early seventies, Belfast set musical play,‘Spokesong’, presented at the Old Northern Bank in 2008. In 2010, at the Shipyard Church, Belfast, he presented his own lovingly created piece, ‘The Boat Factory’, a homage to the deep-rooted shipbuilding community in East Belfast. Over the following three years, the imposing two-hander  enjoyed successful presentations at a number of venues, including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2012 and the 59E59 Theatres, New York in 2013.

On -screen work  during 2010/2011, was minimal, and amounted to a  brief sighting as Julian, in director Colin McIvor’s comedy ‘Cup Cake’ 2010 and as farmer, Mick O’Shea in writer Brendan McCarthy’s supernatural horror ‘Wake Wood’ in 2011. On stage in 2015, he was in a better place, appearing as the perpetually inebriated Adolphus Grigson, in a revival of Sean O’Casey’s enduring, ‘The Shadow of a Gunman’, directed by Wayne Jordan at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast. At the Lyric again in 2017, he was outstanding in the title role of Charles Way’s intoxicating drama ‘Nivelli’s War’, directed by Cahoots NI founder, Paul Bosco McAneaney. In yet another Lyric production in 2018, the one-man show ‘Frank Carson-Rebel Without a Pause’, which he wrote, directed and starred, brought him within a hair’s breadth of evoking the character and spirit of the alacritous Belfast born comedian.

An unabashed theatre activist, Dan Gordon has for over forty years enthusiastically contributed to the wellbeing of Ulster drama and has during that time, conjured up more than a few bright moments of his own along the way.

Other Theatre, Film and TV credits:

– Twelfth Night (1983) Lyric Theatre, Belfast
– Charlie Gorilla (1989) Lyric Theatre, Belfast
– To Be Sure (2007) Lyric Theatre, Belfast

– God of Carnage(2015) The Mac Theatre, Belfast


– A Bump Along the Way(2019)

– Doineann(2021)

– Relative Strangers (1999)

– A Year of Greater Love(2012)

– The Fall(2014)

– 6Degrees(2015)

– My Mother and Other Strangers(2016)

– Three Families(2021)


Stuart Graham

Born Belfast 1967

Uncompromising, somewhat dour character actor who has under achieved on stage, but nevertheless has produced a steady work- rate on screen.

An early London stage appearance saw him take a lowly credit as a servant in director Tim Albery’s 1990 adaptation of Jean Racine’s 17th century French tragedy, ‘ Berenice ‘, a National Theatre production performed on the Cottesloe stage. In Belfast  a year later and in a more noteworthy role, he  made his Lyric Theatre debut  as Jimmy, in Robert Ellison’s aspirational drama, ‘Rough Beginnings’. His first film appearance was impressive, playing the decidedly shifty Packy, in writer/director Johnny Gogan’s small budget, Dublin set drama, ‘The Bargain Shop’ 1992, which also featured Newry born Emer McCourt.

In 1993 he was back on the Lyric stage in Jennifer Johnston’s ‘How Many Miles to Babylon’ and made his television bow that year as Alex Mallie in Belfast writer Ronan Bennett’s IRA revenge drama ‘Love Lies Bleeding’.

He was fortunate to be cast, albeit in small roles, in two Neil Jordan feature films, first as Tom Cullen in ‘Michael Collins’ 1996 and as a priest in ‘The Butcher Boy’ 1997 and from this exposure he enjoyed a steady stream of film and television work over the next ten years.

On stage at The Abbey in 1998 he was faultless as UDA man Kyle, co-starring with Patrick O’Kane in Gary Mitchell’s Rathcoole recollective, ‘As the Beast Sleeps’ and at the Lyric Belfast in 1999, received favourable notices in Frank McGuinness’ ‘Carthaginians’.

In 2000 he teamed up with Mitchell again in the Royal Court’s production of ‘The Force of Change’, this time on the right side of the law, as RUC officer David Davis and although he was very much at ease in these Belfast based paramilitary inspired works, he could not it seemed free himself from the merry- go- round of illiberal ethnicity.

Notable screen roles from 2000 included a reprise of his stage role as Kyle in the television adaptation of ‘As the Beast Sleeps’ in 2002, Brother Whelan in director Aisling Walsh’s ‘Song for a Raggy Boy’, a tell it as it was depiction of life in a rural Irish boys home in the late thirties and as bereaved father Victor Barker in the acclaimed television docudrama, ‘Omagh’ 2004.

In 2005 he featured regularly as Dr. Richard McKenna in the less than stimulating RTE series ‘The Clinic’ and a year later appeared alongside Kathy Kiera Clarke in writer/director Niall Healy’s film comedy drama, ‘Small Engine Repair’, shot on location in Northern Ireland. He travelled further south in 2007 for writer Barry Simner’s Connemara set murder mystery ‘Single Handed’, a largely cogent mini-series, playing the subsidiary role of Johnny Mallon , in an exclusively Irish cast headed by Ian McElhinney and Owen McDonnell.

He was a perfectly observed prison officer, Raymond Lohan, in writer/director Steve McQueen’s award winning ‘Hunger’ 2008, which featured a bravura performance by Michael Fassbender as hunger striking IRA icon Bobby Sands. A brace of smaller screen roles in 2010 gave him little or no chance to shine, a case perhaps of one step forward and two steps back. In director Larysa Kondracki’s fractured film drama, ‘Whistleblower’, he barely squeezed into the credits and he fared no better in ‘Christopher and His Kind’, a television dramatization of the 1977 autobiography of writer Christopher Isherwood, filmed on location in Belfast, with’ Doctor Who’, Matt Smith in the title role.

In 2011 he landed a leading role as the haughty psychiatrist Hugh Dent in an adaptation of  Francis Veber’s French farce, ‘ The Painkiller’ at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, in a quality cast including Kenneth Branagh and Rob Brydon. At the Gate Theatre, Dublin in 2012, he was a very laudable Charlie, in Hugh Leonard’s Tony Award winning, modern Irish classic ‘Da’, directed by Toby Frow, which also featured John Kavanagh and Ingrid Craigie. His screen output continued at a pace, with significant parts in Allan Cubitt’s psychological crime/ drama series ‘The Fall’, 2013/14  and in the same genre, debut director Mark Abraham’s feature, ‘Peterman’ 2014.

An industrious 2015 saw him in writer/director Corin Hardy’s Irish produced horror -fest ‘The Hallow’ and in a solid recurring role as Forrester, in the television series ‘The Frankenstein Chronicles’, starring Sean Bean. In 2016 he took a prominent credit as Donny, in another independent production, Ciaran Creagh’s social drama ‘In View’, in a cast including Ciaran McMenamin and Gerard McSorley. On television the same year, he was convincing as Angus Moxam, father of kidnap victim Ivy, played with controlled sensitivity by Jodie Comer, in writer Marnie Dickens’ disturbing drama series, ‘Thirteen’.

A welter of work in 2017, predominately  on screen, produced one or two commendable performances. He was gang member Trevor Ballantine in writer/director Chris Baugh’s locally produced crime thriller, ‘Bad Day for the Cut’, boasting a strong Ulster born cast of Susan Lynch, Stella McCusker and Ian McElhinney. At the Royal Court in April 2017, he took the supporting role of IRA  man Muldoon in Jez Butterworth’s outstanding Armagh set drama ‘The Ferryman’, directed by Sam Mendes, which drew marvellous performances, most notably from leads  Paddy Considine and Laura Donnelly.

A steady run on television during 2021/2022  yielded three recurring roles in Irish produced drama series. He was Denis Ahern in director Dathai Keane’s thriller ‘Smother’ in 2021 and the following year played Ray Tiernan in eight episodes of David Logan’s ‘Harry Wild’. Also that year he appeared as Quinn alongside Sinead Cusack and Kerr Logan in ‘North Sea Connection’, directed by Hannah Quinn and Paul Murphy and filmed in Roundstone, Co. Galway

Stuart Graham has proved an adept exponent of indigenous screen drama since the early nineties, but his commitment to theatre remains ambivalent, which presents a problem when determining a critical appraisal of his proficiency.

Other Theatre, Film and TV credits: 


– The Silver Tassie(1994) Almeida Theatre, London
– Alternative Future (1994) Old Museum Arts Centre, Belfast
– In a Little World of Our Own (1997) Abbey Theatre, Dublin
– A Number (2007) Peacock Theatre, Dublin
– Pump Girl (2008) Queens Drama Studio, Belfast

– The Home Place(2009) Grand Opera House, Belfast

– National Anthem(2010) Baby Grand, Belfast

– Molly Sweeney(2013) Paint Room Theatre, London


– The Informant (1997)
– Goldfish Memory (2003)
– Hunger (2008)

– The Third Wave(2017)

– In Defence (2000)
– Steel River Blues (2004)

– 6Degrees(2015)

– The Secret(2016)

– Vera(2017)

– The Last Post(2017)

– The Interrogation of Tony Martin(2018)


James Greene

Born Belfast 19th May 1931

Died London 5th January 2021

Diffident but polished character actor, who enjoyed a local high profile career as a continuity announcer with the then fledgling UTV from its inception in October 1959 until 1965. Before that however he was active on stage and was a familiar face at the Group and Arts Theatres during the fifties. He made his stage debut at nineteen in the first production of the newly opened Arts Theatre, then in Fountain Street, Belfast, cast as the pivotal character Mio Romagna in Maxwell Anderson’s verse drama ‘Winterset’, which also featured another teenage debutant James Ellis. He appeared in several plays at the Arts between 1950/51 including Hubert Wilmot’s biographical fantasy ‘My Name is Wilde’ in 1950 and as Marks Mongan in Donagh McDonagh’s ‘God’s Gentry’ in 1951. He then made the short journey to the Group Theatre, appearing in a number of productions in the early fifties, most notably ‘Dust Under Our Feet’ 1953, ‘That Woman at Rathard’ and St. John Greer Ervine’s ‘Martha’, both 1955. In the mid to late- fifties he spent some time with an English repertory company and was a minor cast member in Peter Brook’s star- studded RSC production of ‘ Titus Andronicus’, which undertook a short European tour in 1957 and featured such stage behemoths as Laurence Olivier, Anthony Quayle and Vivien Leigh. A change of direction brought him back to Belfast in 1959, where a  successful job interview saw him take one of the three hot seat vacancies at UTV, in partnership with Adrienne McGuill and Brian Durkin.

In 1965 after more than five years with the station and achieving household name status, he decided to resurrect his acting career and returned to England to scrape a living in regional theatre, rather than become involved in the farce pervading atmosphere at large on the Belfast stage. He had to wait until 1972 and a cursory role as 2nd Defendant, in an episode of the series ‘Tales From the Lazy Acre’, before he was able to climb aboard the minor actors conveyor belt, where he remained for more than thirty years, a perfunctory player in a glut of unexceptional roles. In 1974 he travelled to America to appear as Jess White in Hugh Leonard’s poignant play ‘Summer’, at the Olney Theatre Maryland and back on British television was in several mediocre productions during the mid seventies including the series ‘Thriller’ 1975 and ‘Warship’ 1977. He was in better company on the Olivier stage in 1977 in the National Theatre’s presentation of ‘The Plough and the Stars’, but in the bread and butter world of television, he found it almost impossible to secure an acceptable level of quality.

In the early eighties he had a co-starring role in the local television play ‘Iris in the Traffic, Ruby in the Rain’ in 1981 and made a return to the Belfast stage in two Lyric productions, Stewart Parker’s ‘Kingdom Come’ 1982 and Jennifer Johnston’s ‘Indian Summer’ 1983, both of which saw him in strong central roles. On the small screen he secured regular cast appearances as Mr. Trimble in ‘Chocky’ 1984 and Reverend Bartlet in ‘Mapp and Lucia’ 1985, but normal service continued soon after with more low level character roles until the end of the eighties. Now approaching sixty years of age he seemed destined to a future of rummaging for parts in the lower reaches of assorted but routine television fare.

Another clerical role was as Father Peter, in Graham Reid’s overly grim study of the perils of joyriding, the West Belfast set television play ‘You Me and Marley’ 1992, in which although entirely believable, his character had little screen time to leave a lasting impression. His television work was constant throughout the nineties but he could not land a substantial part in a quality series and instead guested, sometimes fugaciously in popular crime dramas such as ‘Poirot’ and ‘Inspector Alleyn Mysteries’ both 1993. His second feature film role came in writer Michael Hastings’ Oscar nominated ‘Tom and Viv’ 1994, a biographical account of TS Elliot’s relationship with Vivienne Haigh Wood, starring Willem Dafoe and Miranda Richardson and following this brief break from the small screen he was quicky into the fray once again, chalking up yet more low profile appearances. He did however manage one commendable performance, appearing as opthalmic optician Dr. Goddard, in the two part police drama ‘Second Sight’ 1999, starring Clive Owen as the sight deficient DCI.

In Tom Murphy’s controversial play ‘The Sanctuary Lamp’ at the Abbey Theatre Dublin in 2001, he again proved that he was a better stage performer than his screen credentials would imply, with his near perfect portrayal of the Monsignor gaining him much deserved praise. From 2000 he has worked continuously on film and television but has rarely been afforded the opportunity to expand his range beyond that of the casting director’s comfort zone,a mindset he has philosophically accepted from the 1980’s. Notable appearances from that period included his masonic governor in the latest Jack the Ripper hypothesis ‘From Hell’ 2001 and the same year played Donal Maguire in writer/director Jane Prowse’s television murder mystery ‘Green Eyed Monster.’

He later achieved a semblance of small screen recognition as Arnold in the three season comedy drama series ‘William and Mary’ appearing in all eighteen episodes from 2003-2005 and in 2007 had his customary minor but this time effective role in director Tyler Ford’s quirky romantic film ‘Piccadilly Cowboy’. It seemed advancing age could not stymie his ambitions, as he racked up numerous, albeit low-key screen appearances from 2008, employing only a small fraction of his central casting repertoire in the process. He did assume the role of a judge in writer/director Guy Ritchie’s crime thriller ‘ RocknRolla ‘ 2008, but produced a variety of deft character turns, peripherally credited across a swathe of subject matter, principally on television.

On stage at the Orange Tree in Richmond that same year he conjured up a delightful performance as the faithful and often inebriated old retainer Oswald, in Vaclav Havel’s irrationally structured  tragicomedy ‘ Leaving ‘. Brief guest roles in a number of popular television series during 2009/10 were of little consequence, with only his appearances as William Hickey in ‘ Kingdom ‘ 2009 and Wellington in the comedy ‘ How To Live Your Life ‘ 2010, worthy of mention. More significant film work in 2010 came in Guy Daniels’ emotionally charged, senior citizens love story, the rural English set ‘ Love/Loss ‘ in which he played one half of an ideal casting as the dependable, forgetful Laurie, opposite screen and actual partner Diana Payan.

His screen work between 2011/2015, was for the most part, a relentless schedule of small scale character roles, but included in the expansive list were a number of rewarding television credits. In 2012 he was Old Ian, in six episodes of Julia Davis’ darkly comic, early 19th century set ‘Hunderby’ and during a two season run in writer Joy Wilkinson’s ‘The Life and Adventures of Nick Nickleby’, played Mr Cobbey, in a cast heavily weighted with Ulster born actors. Another extended television role was his John Hubble, long serving Head of Science at Greybridge School, in David Walliams’ somewhat contrived sitcom, ‘Big School’, first aired in 2013. Less significant were guest appearances in the series. ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Shetland’, both 2013 and the lavish television adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s ‘Wolf Hall’ 2015. The best of his television work in 2017 was as murder victim Bob Franklin in director Bruce Goodison’s psychological thriller ‘Born to Kill’, broadcast by Channel 4 during April/May of that year.

James Greene it seems played two distinctive types for the majority of his screen career, his clerics and judges were honed to perfection and sustained him, not inconsiderably, through the years.

Other Theatre, Film and TV credits:


– The Lady’s Not For Burning(1951) Arts Theatre, Belfast

– Ring Around the Moon(1952) Arts Theatre, Belfast

– Henry V(1957) Birmingham Repertory Theatre
– James Joyce and the Israelites (1982) Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith
– Chance Visitor (1984) Palace Theatre, Watford

– The Playboy of the Western World(1994) Ameida Theatre, London
– Nan (2007) Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond

– Johnny English (2003)
– Piccadilly Cowboy(2005)

– Sherlock Holmes(2009)

– Target (1977)
– Secret Army (1978)
– The Year of the French (1983)
– Floodtide (1987)
– My Brother’s Keeper (1995)
– Heartbeat (1999)
– Holby City (2005)
– Christmas at the Riviera (2007)

– The Colour of Magic(2008)

– Midsomer Murders(2010)

– Borgia(2011)

– Merlin(2011)

– Edge of Heaven(2014)

– Downton Abbey(2015)

– Call the Midwife(2016)

– Unforgotten(2017)

– Carters Get Rich(2017)

– Cuckoo(2019)