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Gareth Armstrong in front of bookcase

A theatre practitioner with five decades of experience as actor, director, voice artist, teacher, writer and playwright.

Passionately pursuing a career that has taken me to over sixty countries, offered opportunities to play Shakespeare at Stratford, direct in the West End, and perform solo shows worldwide. Now focusing on nurturing other artists through mentoring, writing original work and dramatisations. And after recording over two hundred audiobooks I still love the microphone.

 

News

Thanks for visiting my recently updated site. 

Like most people involved in live and recorded media nearly all my projects came to end a year ago. Of course there are artists and practitioners out there much more disadvantaged than I have been and I feel real empathy and respect for them in these difficult times.

I was particularly sorry to see The Mousetrap national  tour, which I have directed for the past two years, cancelled. That was  a huge disappointment to all of us involved and  it was very sad to have to say au revoir to such a great cast and crew. 

I have been in awe of all those able to remain creative during Lockdown and make wonderfully inventive pieces of new theatre. My own reaction has been to revisit an old friend, who I last encountered in person over fifteen years ago. Shylock was a solo play I first performed in 1998 and subsequently toured worldwide for a decade. I have relearnt and reimagined the play nearly a quarter of a century later and rekindled my fascination with Shakespeare’s most controversial character. My plan is to offer it to small venues, particularly schools, as I think its theme of anti-semitism is even more relevant than when I first performed it in a production by my mentor and friend Frank Barrie. Resurrecting Shylock and his only friend Tubal in their old age has also given me some new perspectives on my script and Shakespeare’s matchless text.

It has also been possible to start work on the early stages of a new solo show with Gerard Logan, with whom I have collaborated so rewardingly for many years. His performance of Shakespeare’s The Rape of Lucrece, as Oscar  in Wilde without the Boy  and The Ballad Of Reading Gaol and most recently as the Storyteller in Night Terrorsthe Supernatural tales of E.F. Benson, have been hugely successful, so a sequel to this last piece is already in (socially-distanced!) rehearsal. This time we are using one story each from two acknowledged masters of the genre – M. R. James, and E. F. Benson again – in a programme called Hauntings

Trinity College London has had to suspend most of its live examining programme in Speech and Drama, especially overseas – so my globetrotting wings have been clipped for the time being. Similarly the work of PPAD in assessing and monitoring  drama students was suspended, but it now reviving for online presentations. 

Recording studios reopened last year so that I was able to finish the last half dozen recordings of all Georges Simenon’s Maigret novels, with my producer, Paul Kent. I also recorded a 24hr reading of James Pope-Hennessy’s biography, Queen Mary,  for Heavy Entertainment – which was a lot more fun than it may sound.

More importantly the Govt. intervention on behalf of the Arts and support for the self employed has been a life-saver for those lucky enough to qualify for grants and loans . Maybe by June we will be able to open up the great theatre venues  and arts centres we have missed so much?  Fingers crossed….

My gratitude to Neil Binley of new time media for updating my site, and to Jeff Overs for the new photographs.