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Olivia Nash

Born Larne 1942

Convivial and cogent comedy actor, who began her professional life as an impressionable but very willing member of James Young’s company, based in the Group Theatre during the sixties. She appeared in the farces, ‘Up the Long Ladder’ in 1967 and ‘The Cat and the Fiddle’ 1970 and if nothing else, her four years spent at the Group certainly sharpened her comic timing.

She then experienced a lengthy period of inactivity, until a television appearance in the controversial Ulster set political drama, ‘Shoot To Kill’ in 1990, brought her only haltingly back from the void. In 1995 her now much loved characterization of Ma first saw the light of day, in director Stephen Butcher’s television comedy ‘Two Ceasefires and a Wedding’ and in 1998, in the first series of the long running ‘Give My Head Peace’, she made the role her own.

Her performance probably brought about her film debut, when she was again cast as the matriarchal figure, unsurprisingly called Ma, in director Dudie Appleton’s comedy ‘The Most Fertile Man in Ireland’ 1999. She has worked steadily on a number of Irish film productions since 2000, most notably as Maudie O’Toole in the 2002 adaptation of Spike Milligan’s ‘Puckoon’ and in a return to mainstream theatre in 2006, appeared in the Dan Gordon directed ‘Da’ at the Millennium Forum in Derry and then on the subsequent tour.

Two lowly credits were the sum total of her screen output during 2007/08. She was wasted in Richard Attenborough’s romantic drama ‘Closing the Ring’ 2007 and equally misused in director Eric Styles’ romantic comedy ”Miss Conception’ 2008. Following several years off-screen, she returned in 2013 and was seen peripherally in an episode of the comedy series ‘Blandings’, starring Timothy Spall and Dawn French and in writer/director Nathan Todd’s low budget, Irish produced crime drama ‘A Belfast Story’. Olivia Nash’s output seems disproportionate to the years spent in the profession but a long absence during the seventies and eighties created an unfortunate imbalance which may never be fully corrected.

Other Theatre, Film and TV credits:

Theatre
– Loved Ones (1995) Old Museum Arts Centre, Belfast
– Abeyance (2001) Druid Theatre, Galway

Film
– An Everlasting Piece (2001)
– Buy Borrow Steal (2007)

TV
– Sailortown (1993)
– I Fought the Law (2003)

Liam Neeson

Born Ballymena 7th June 1952

Commanding and purposeful leading actor with a surfeit of screen charm, who was involved with two local amateur dramatic groups from his late teens. He was with his local Slemish Players in Ballymena and for a short period in the early seventies, the Clarence Players in Belfast. Shortly after joining the Lyric Players in 1976, he was thrust immediately into the fray, making his professional debut on the Lyric stage as Labour leader Big Jim Larkin, in James Plunkett’s emotive ‘The Risen People’. During his time there he appeared in many productions, most notably Brian Friel’s ‘The Loves of Cass Maguire’ and ‘Philadelphia Here I Come’ both 1976, ‘The Street’, ‘The Colleen Bawn’ and in his last Lyric role played Jack Clitheroe in ‘The Plough and the Stars’, all 1977.

He moved to Dublin in early 1978 and did not have to wait long before landing a role in ‘Says I Says He’ at the Project Arts and later made a greater impact in David Rabe’s ‘Streamers’, presented at Stage One during the 1978 Dubin Theatre Festival. That year also saw his television debut, appearing in a minor role as Dermot, a journeyman boxer in Leon Griffiths’ play, ‘The Sporting Club Dinner’ and in 1979 he secured a contract with the Abbey, giving him access to stronger role playing, which included his Gerald Doyle in Graham Reid’s ‘The Death of Humpty Dumpty’ and Roger, in Bernard Farrell’s ‘I Do Not Like Thee Dr Fell’. His stage performances moved to a higher level in 1980 and included memorable roles in ‘The Informer’ at the Abbey, ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’ at the Gaeity and was masterful as Doalty, in Brian Friel’s ‘Translations’ at the Guildhall Derry the same year. Another television appearance in 1980, in Bernard McLaverty’s ‘My Dear Palestrina’, was followed the same year by an exceptional Abbey performance in John Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’, where his playing of the mentally dysfunctional Lennie Small, gave a watching John Boorman enough confidence to cast him as Sir Gawain, in his Co Wicklow shot, medieval feature film ‘Excalibur’ in 1981.

From that point a screen career seemed inevitable, but he did have to wait until 1983 before another attempt at screen stardom, when he landed co-starring roles in the television mini series ‘A Woman of Substance’ and Peter Yates’ fantasy action film ‘Krull’.

In 1984 he was cast as Seaman Charles Churchill in Roger Donaldson’s big budget feature ‘The Bounty’ and after some television work, appeared for the first time as a lead actor, in the film adaptation of Bernard McLaverty’s ‘Lamb’ 1986. His role as a missionary in director Roland Joffe’s 17th century South American set ‘The Mission’ in 1986, proved to be a move in the right direction, as his big screen output in a four period until 1990 included ‘A Prayer for the Dying’, another Peter Yates film, ‘Suspect’, both 1987 and the Leonard Nimoy directed romantic drama ‘The Good Mother’ 1988.
At the beginning of the nineties he had consolidated his position as an important film actor and following two British produced features, ‘The Big Man’ 1990 and the 1950s Brighton set thriller, ‘Under Suspicion’1991, he moved to Hollywood.

Woody Allen endorsed him with a part in his marvellous 1992 film, ‘Husbands And Wives’ and the same year he had a leading role in the Steve Martin comedy ‘Leap of Faith’.

In 1994 he accepted a stage role that he hoped would charge his batteries sufficiently enough for a fresh approach to a screen career, he apparently perceived to be in danger of flat lining. The play ‘Anna Christie’ at the Criterion Theatre on Broadway, which also featured his wife to be, Natasha Richardson, was to prove pivotal in his future as a potential Hollywood star.

A few months earlier he had screen tested for the part of Oskar Schindler in Steven Spielberg’s forthcoming epic Schindler’s List’.
The director subsequently attended a performance of ‘Anna Christie’ and was so struck with Neeson that he offered him the role forthwith, an inspired casting which certainly put paid to any doubts as to his ability to carry a major film.

For the remainder of the nineties he took leading roles in several notable productions, including ‘Nell’ 1994, with Jodie Foster, ‘Rob Roy’ 1995 and delivered another towering central performance in Neil Jordan’s ‘Michael Collins’ 1996.

In 1998, five years after his first triumphant Broadway appearance, he returned to play Oscar Wilde in director Richard Eyre’s ‘The Judas Kiss’ at the Broadhurst Theatre, which had transferred earlier that year from the Almeida in London. Neeson’s Wilde, more physical than effete, won few plaudits and posed the question, why a successful screen actor would take the time and trouble to work in theatre on both sides of the Atlantic, in a play that was vulnerable to adverse comment. He finished the decade still very much a bona fide leading player, appearing as Jean Valjean in the film adaptation of ‘Les Miserables’ 1998, and Qui- Gon Jinn in ‘Star Wars: Episode 1- The Phantom Menace’ 1999.

These grand scale ventures were followed by a series of commonplace television assignments, until Martin Scorsese offered him the part of Irish gang leader Priest Vallone in his monumental work, ‘Gangs Of New York’ 2002. That same year he took another stage role, appearing as John Proctor in Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’ at the Virginia Theatre, New York, this time to more favourable reviews. In writer/director Bill Condon’s 2004 biopic ‘Kinsey’, he was again asked to deliver in a much hyped title role and yet again he did not disappoint, producing a Golden Globe nominated performance, ably assisted by an equally adept Laura Linney.

Three very different roles during 2005/6 consolidated his high versatility rating, he was Henri Ducard, former mentor, now nemesis of Christian Bale’s dark knight, in ‘Batman Begins’ and followed this with a cameo as Father Liam, in Neil Jordan’s acclaimed comedy drama ‘Breakfast on Pluto’, both 2005. In 2007, in director David Von Ancken’s post American civil war revenge western, ‘Seraphim Falls, he played Colonel Morsman Carver, relentlessly hunting down former army colleague Pierce Brosnan and in 2008 starred as the seemingly superhuman ex -CIA agent Bryan Mills, in director Pierre Morel’s at times preposterous action thriller, ‘Taken’.

With his big screen output now accepted as prolific, the only minor drawback seemed to be the questionable aesthetic value of a small percentage of his projects at the end of the decade. This was not the case with the television adaptation of Guy Hibbert’s ‘Five Minutes of Heaven’, in which he played former protestant paramilitary Alistair Little, in director Atom Egoyan’s erotic thriller ‘Chloe’, both 2009. However he certainly was not stretched as Col. Hannibal Smith in writer/director Joe Carnahan’s film adaptation of the cult television series ‘The A-Team’, or as the god Zeus in Louis Leterrier’s fantasy adventure ‘Clash of the Titans’, both 2010. In 2011 he took yet another starring role as identity theft victim, Dr. Martin Harris, alongside Aidan Quinn, in Jaume Collet -Serra’s critically disappointing mystery drama, ‘Unknown’.

An extraordinary glut of film work from 2012, produced only a handful of purposeful roles, which at least tested his dexterity. Although congruent with his characterizations of recent years, his private eye, Matt Scudder in writer/director Scott Frank’s crime drama, ‘A Walk Among the Tombstones’ in 2014 and as ageing hit-man Jimmy Conlon in director Juame Collet-Serra’s nod to the gangster genre, ‘Run All Night’, 2015 , co-starring Ed Harris, were at least a notch or two above routine. In 2016, in Martin Scorsese’s 17th century, Japan set, ‘Silence’, he  played the latest of his clerical types, Father Cristovao Ferreira, opposite Ciaran Hinds and Spider-Man, Andrew Garfield.

Liam Neeson has had some fortuitous moments in his career, which proved cogent enough to push him onwards and upwards but critically he has been the architect of his own achievements, from the obscurity of a rural Ulster drama group, to the A list in Hollywood.

Other Theatre, Film and TV credits:

Theatre
– The Sea (1979) Abbey Theatre, Dublin
– The Play What I Wrote (2003) Lyceum Theatre, New York

Film
– Duet For One (1986)
– Satisfaction (1988)
– Shining Through (1992)
– Before And After (1996)
– The Haunting (1999)
– Love Actually (2003)
– The White Rose (2006)

– The Other Man(2008)

– After.Life(2009)

– The Next Three Days(2010)

– Battleship(2012)

– The Dark Knight Rises(2012)

– Third Person(2013)

– Entourage(2015)

TV
– Nailed (1981)
– Ellis Island (1984)
– Hold The Dream (1986)
– Sworn To Silence (1987)

-The Big C(2010)

Sam (Nigel) Neill

Born Omagh 14th September 1947

Composed and inscrutable leading actor with impeccable screen credentials, who after graduating from the University of Canterbury in 1968, spent a two year period with the New Zealand Players, Downstage Theatre and Unity Theatre Group. In 1971 he began an apprenticeship with the New Zealand film unit and for a number of years worked as editor, director, and scriptwriter, before making his film debut as a soul searching priest in New Zealand director Barry Barclay’s independently produced ‘Ashes’ 1975.

A more high profile role in first time director Roger Donaldson’s indigenous political drama ‘Sleeping Dogs’ 1977, attracted a degree of attention and encouraged him to seek his fortune elsewhere. He moved to Australia the following year and after two local low budget films, he landed the role of Harry Beecham, in director Gillian Armstrong’s worldwide success, ‘My Brilliant Career’ 1979, a film central to the Australian cinema renaissance in the late seventies, early eighties.

His performance induced interest from American and British film makers but it took almost two years of toil in Australian television soaps, for him to secure his first international role, that of Damien Thorn, in the third instalment of ‘The Omen’ series, ‘The Final Contract’ 1981.
A tailor made role in 1983, was his fearless Sidney Reilly in the mini series ‘Reilly Ace of Spies’, based on the exploits of real life agent Sigmund Rosenblum, which could have been seen as an attempt to convince as a future James Bond, a plausible but never likely probability. He was much in demand throughout the remainder of the eighties, with leading roles in director Fred Schepisi’s ‘Plenty’, starring Meryl Streep, the mini series ‘Kane and Abel’, both 1985 and was smooth talking womaniser Neville Gifford, in the 1930s set Australian melodrama, ‘The Good Wife’ 1987.

Two mainstream feature films, ‘A Cry in the Dark’ 1988, again with Meryl Streep and the well received thriller ‘Dead Calm’ 1989, with a young Nicole Kidman, won him further plaudits but left him still somewhat short of major stardom. The nineties proved a more fruitful decade and more importantly rubber stamped his marketability in Hollywood. He was a Russian submarine officer in ‘The Hunt for Red October’ 1990 and in 1993 co-starred in Jane Campion’s critically acclaimed ‘The Piano’. Also that year he had a leading role in Robert Young’s spy thriller ‘Hostage’ and played Dr Alan Grant in Steven Spielberg’s mega hit , ‘Jurassic Park’, which retrospectively was the defining period in his career.

He had a colourful blend of roles during 1994/95, appearing with Hugh Grant in the intriguing comedy/drama ‘Sirens’, starring in director John Carpenter’s arcane horror film, ‘In the Mouth of Madness’, both 1994 and appeared as King Charles II in ‘Restoration’ 1995
In 1998 he took the role of Kristin Scott- Thomas’ sardonic husband Robert MacLean, in the film adaptation of Nick Evans’ debut novel ‘The Horse Whisperer’, which was also notable for Robert Redford’s first attempt as actor/director in a major feature film.
He illustrated his ease of role changing in 2000, with two fine comic performances, first as Professor Mortlock in writer/director Mark Lamprell’s ‘My Mother Frank’ and as Clive Buxton in ‘Dish’, set in the Australian outback at the time of the 1969 moon landing.
In 2001 he reprised his role as Dr Alan Grant, in Jurassic Park III, having missed the 1997 sequel and although interest in the genre was wearing thin, the film at least guaranteed his immediate future as a high profile actor.

Then followed further across the board characterizations, he was Ludovic in Ralph Ziman’s underrated film, ‘The Zoo Keeper’ 2001, set in the throes of the Balkans war, Victor Komarovsky in the mini series ‘Dr Zhivago’ 2002 and played The Man, in Gaylene Preston’s New Zealand produced thriller, ‘Perfect Strangers’ in 2003. He was less fortunate in 2005, appearing opposite Cate Blanchett in the Australian film ‘Fish’, a muted depiction of the Sydney drugs trade and on television was shipping magnate Rice Benirall, in the fanciful maritime mystery ‘The Triangle’.

A better project came his way in 2006, with the domestic potboiler ‘Irresistible’, in which he played Susan Sarandon’s architect husband Craig, a part he found definitely fit for purpose. In 2009 writer/director twins, Michael and Peter Spierig cast him as dastardly pharmaceutical boss Charles Bromley, in their disappointing sci-fi horror film ’Daybreakers’ and the same year took a leading role in David Whu’s television mini-series ‘Iron Road’, a decent depiction of the early years of the Canadian Pacific Railroad.

He registered a copious amount of film work during 2010/16, not all of high value, but did include a return to New Zealand in 2013, taking a central role as DSS Jim Stockton in the acclaimed six part crime drama ‘Harry’. He featured  prominently in another television crime series in 2013, Steven Knight’s 1920’s Birmingham set, ‘Peaky Blinders’, playing DI Chester Campbell, to Cillian Murphy’s gang leader, Tommy Shelby. He was busy in Australian cinema during 2015, with leading credits in Michael Petroni’s mystery thriller ‘Backtrack, writer/director Simon Stone’s ‘The Daughter’, a reimagining of Ibsen’s ‘The Wild Duck’ and the sci-fi actioner ‘DxM’. In 2016 he took a starring role as Uncle Hec, in director Taika Waititi’s  New Zealand produced comedy, ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January of that year.  Even from his early years, Sam Neill presented as a veteran performer who surreptitiously evolved into a highly proficient screen actor during a long and inventive career.

Other Theatre, Film and TV credits:

Film
– The Journalist (1979)
– Possession (1981)
– Enigma (1983)
– Death in Brunswick (1991)
– Country Life (1994)
– Victory (1995)
– Event Horizon (1997)
– Dirty Deeds (2002)
– Irresistible (2006)
– Telepathy (2008)

– Dragon Pearl(2011)

– Escape Plan(2013)

TV
– The Sullivans (1976)
– Robbery Under Arms (1985)
– Amerika (1987)
– Family Pictures 1993)
– In Cold Blood (1996)
– Jessica (2004)
– Merlin’s Apprentice (2005)
– The Tudors (2007)

– Crusoe(2008/09)

– Happy Town(2010)

– Alcatraz(2012)

– Old School(2014)

– House of Hancock(2015)

James Nesbitt

Born Broughshane 15th January 1965

Ebullient everyman, with a glint to match his approved swagger, he has straddled comedy and drama with equal aplomb in a career which began in the late seventies at the Riverside Theatre, Coleraine. He was hooked from his first significant appearance, aged thirteen playing the Artul Dodger in Interplay’s 1978 Christmas pantomime ‘ Oliver Twist ‘. His first equity endorsed stage appearance was also enacted at the Riverside, as Jiminy Cricket in the Ulster Youth Theatre’s 1981 production of ‘ Pinocchio’.

By 1983 he had left his home town theatre group and was appearing on the Belfast stage, testing his singing voice in musicals such as ‘ The Rocky Horror Show’ at The Arts Theatre and ‘Godspell’ at the Grand Opera House. He appeared in two further Arts Theatre productions in 1984, Brian Friel’s’ Philadelphia Here I Come’ and Dario Fo’s’ ‘Can’t Pay? Won’t Pay!’ and later that year enrolled at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, completing his studies in 1987.

In between he made his television debut , a brief glimpse as a B Special in a BBC Play for Today episode, ‘ The Cry ‘ 1984 and in another bit part, played a policeman in his big screen introduction, the locally made ‘ ‘The End of the World Man’ 1985. Following a quiet period in the late eighties, he began a long and successful on- screen journey, which was kick- started with the role of Fintan O’Donnell in Peter Chelsom’s, Joseph Locke inspired film,’ Hear My Song’ 1991. He maintained his interest in theatre during the early nineties in a variety of subject matter which included ‘ Translations ‘ at Birmingham Repertory Theatre in 1991 and ‘ Una Pooka ‘ at the Tricycle Theatre, London in 1992.

A period of low-level television work preceded his first high profile role as Leo McGarvey in the rural Irish soap ‘ Ballykissangel’ 1996 and in 1998  he saw his stock go stratospheric as Adam Williams, in the angst among friends cult series, ‘ Cold Feet’. Doors opened all around him and big screen productions such as the dark and unsettling’ Resurrection Man’ and writer/director Kirk Jones’ comedy ‘Waking Ned’, both 1998, gave him scope to stretch his range. He was football coach, John Dolan in the television series ‘ Playing the Field’ 1998 and played politician Ivan Cooper in writer/director Paul Greengrass’ emotionally charged film depiction of ‘ Bloody Sunday’ in 2002.

In another television series in 2003, he was maverick undercover cop, Tommy Murphy, in  ‘Murphy’s Law’ and had substantial roles in the films ‘ Millions’ 2004 and ‘ Match Point’ 2005. He returned to theatre in 2005 after a long absence and with fellow Ulster actor Conleth Hill, appeared in Owen McCafferty’s acerbic comedy ‘ Shoot the Crow’ at the Trafalgar Studios, London. He returned to television in 2007, taking a positively physical starring role in writer Steven Moffett’s six episode series ‘Jekyll’ and followed this with a surge of consequential screen work through 2009/11, which included considerably more film projects, a medium he had hitherto largely neglected.

He battled manfully as the lecherous leisure centre manager Crilly, in the face of some dodgy Belfast accents in Daragh Carville’s ‘Cherrybomb’ 2009 and on television that year co-starred with Liam Neeson in Guy Hibbert’s excellent troubles rooted ‘Five Minutes Of Heaven’. Further film work in 2010 included Lynne Renew’s romantic drama ‘Matching Jack’ and Colm McCarthy’s fantasy horror fest ‘Outcast’, in which as the avenging Celtic faerie, Cathal in tandem with Ciaran McMenamin’s Liam, wreak havoc in a bleak Glasgow housing estate. In 2011 he fronted yet another television series, this time as the brilliant but domestically chaotic neurosurgeon, Gabriel Monroe, in writer Peter Bowker’s Leeds set medi-soap, ‘Monroe’.

That year also saw him as devious Tribune Sicinious in Ralph Fiennes’ directorial debut, a contemporary revision of Shakespeare’s tragedy ‘Coriolanus’. A year later he made the long excursion to New Zealand to join the cast of Peter Jackson’s ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, taking the role of Bofur, the wisecracking dwarf, a part he reprised in the subsequent films of the trilogy. Following a considerable period Down Under, he was soon back on track, with two television series and a feature film, all 2014. He was gym teacher Frank, in writer/director Niall Heery’s Irish produced, independent film, ‘Gold’ and on television played Police Commissioner Richard Miller in the one season ‘Babylon’. He then took a starring role in brothers Harry and Jack Williams’ psychological drama series ‘The Missing’, opposite fellow ‘Hobbit’ dwarf, Ken Stott.

Further television work in 2016 included a series with a familiar ring to it, a central credit as quasi- superhero and man with baggage, DI Harry Clayton, in ‘Stan Lee’s Lucky Man’, which also featured Co Antrim born Stephen Hagan. James Nesbitt found fame relatively early in his career and has successfully embraced, with unerring ease, an equal measure of humour and pathos on stage and particularly on television, where he has cultivated a colourful presence, but is still somewhat short of international recognition.

Other Theatre, Film and TV credits:

Theatre

– Up on the Roof(1987) Theatre Royal, Plymouth

– As You Like It(1987) Rose Theatre Club, London

– Hamlet(1989) Haymarket Theatre, London

– Paddywack(1994) Cockpit Theatre, London

– Darwin’s Flood(1994) Bush Theatre, London

Film
– Go Now (1995)
– Jude (1996)
– Welcome to Sarajevo (1997)
– Jumpers (1997)
– Wild About Harry (2000)
– Lucky Break (2001)
– The Way (2010)

TV
– Sailortown (1992)
– Touching Evil (1997)
– The Canterbury Tales (2003)
– Wall of Silence (2004)
– Passer By (2004)
– Big Dippers (2005)
– Jekyll (2007)
– Cinderella (2007)
– Midnight Man (2008)
– The Passion (2008)
– Occupation (2009)
– The Deep (2010)

– The Secret(2016)

Carole Nimmons

Born Belfast December 1942

Composed and discerning character player, whose profile remained a little lower for a much longer period than it should have.  She made her television debut in 1964, appearing as Edith Copleigh, one of two English sisters in late 19th century India in an episode of ‘ The Indian Tales of Rudyard Kipling ‘. In the mid-sixties she was a student at LAMDA, graduating circa 1967 and within the year was plying her trade as a professional actor, making a brief appearance in an episode of the television series ‘ The Revenue Men’.

She had to wait until the early seventies before making her mark on television, finding work on most of the comedies and dramas of the time, including ‘The Liver Birds’,’ The Troubleshooters’, both 1971, ‘Public Eye’ 1973, a television adaptation of Ibsen’s ‘ The Lady from the Sea’1974 and ‘Within These Walls’ 1975. In 1977 she had a co-starring role as Dolly in the mini series ‘Anna Karenina’ and in an infrequent London stage outing, was prominent in the cast of ‘Whose Life is It Anyway?’, at the Savoy Theatre in 1979. Further television work in the early eighties included a small part in Stewart Parker’s 1981 television drama, ‘Iris in the Traffic Ruby in the Rain’, which starred Aingeal Grehan and Frances Tomelty in the title roles and in a nod to topicality, featured local punk band Stiff Little Fingers.

In 1982 she produced probably her best screen performance as Anne, the insecure and generally inebriated wife of Richard Griffiths’ computer fraud investigator Henry Jay, in Ron Hutchinson’s brilliant political/crime thriller,’Bird of Prey’. The same year she took a minor role in novelist Gerald Seymour’s television adapted mini series, ‘Harry’s Game’, which surprisingly remains her only screen contribution to the troubles genre. Following another television series, ‘The Fourth Arm’ in 1983 ,she landed the part of brewry owner Sarah Ridley in ‘Coronation Street’1983/1985, making irregular appearances, usually during crisis periods at the Rovers Return. She reprised her ‘Bird of Prey’ role in the eagerly awaited 1984 sequel, again with Richard Griffiths and created an equally proficient study, as the now more alcohol dependent Anne Jay, a role she would find difficult to eclipse.

After almost three years of relative inactivity, she made a triumphant return to the London stage, with a blustering display of arrant indifference opposite Alan Bates, in Simon Gray’s outstanding play ‘Melon’ at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket in 1987. Unfortunately as with her better television work, the acclaim accrued in ‘Melon’ brought her very little high profile work and yet again she was consigned to several years in the wilderness. On television in 1992 she played Sally Grant in the comedy ‘Running Late’, starring Peter Bowles and had a stronger role as Mary Beckett in the religious soap series ‘Revelations’ 1994. Peter Yates then cast her as the facetious Mrs Prunty, in his County Cavan set melodrama, ‘The Run Of The Country’ 1995, which was remarkably her first feature film credit and the following year a season with the Orange Tree Theatre Company in Richmond, saw her produce two effortless performances, in Stephen Bill’s ‘What the Heart Feels’ and James Saunders’ ‘Bodies’.

Exactly ten years on since their first successful working partnership in ‘Melon’, she appeared as literary agent Julia, to Alan Bates’ travel writer Jeff Golding, in another Simon Gray play, ‘Life Support’, under Harold Pinter’s direction and presented at the Aldwych in 1997. A year later she took the title role in ‘Mother Courage’ at the Contact Theatre in Manchester and played Marfa in the insubstantial American produced television movie ‘Crime and Punishment’, which was to be her last screen appearance for a considerable period of time. She returned to Belfast and the Lyric Theatre in 1999 to play Maella, in Frank Mc Guinness’ Bloody Sunday influenced ‘Carthaginians’ and the same year was in Brighde Mullins’ ‘Fire Eater’ at the Tristan Bates Theatre, London. After another dormant spell, she re- appeared in 2003 at the Gate Theatre London, in Tom Paulin’s ‘The Riot Act’, an adaptation of Sophocles’ ‘Antigone’ and in 2005 was in the prodigious Irish cast at the Tricycle in Kilburn, for Richard Norton – Taylor’s ‘Bloody Sunday, Scenes From the Saville Enquiry’. Still active in front-line theatre, she played Publia, a peripheral casting in director Jonathan Kent’s re-working of Ibsen’s ‘ Emperor and Galilean’, presented on the Olivier stage at the National Theatre in 2011.

Carole Nimmons somehow ground out a career, experiencing more than her fair share of troughs and is an unquestionable example of a talent which was wastefully neglected.

Other Theatre and TV credits:

Theatre

– Mutatis Mutandis(1972) Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond

– After Liverpool(1972) Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond

– After Magritte(1972) Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond

TV

– Faith(1994)

– In Suspicious Circumstances(1996)

– The Grand(1998)

– The Lakes(1999)

– Doctors(2003)

– Red Dwarf(2005)

– Mile High(2005)

– The Shell Seekers (2006)

– Murder City(2006)

– Hollyoaks(2012)