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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 an end over 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.

But now things are starting to improve, and will hopefully open up even more as the year progresses. 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. Following first performances at The Playground in London on May 21st & 22 I am now taking bookings to perform the show in the autumn and beyond, and am delighted that several arts venues and schools are showing a growing interest. 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.

The Jermyn Street Theatre which has been at the forefront of keeping theatre alive during these last months has already staged live and streamed performances of my production of Shakespeare’s epic poem The Rape of Lucrece, performed by the indefatigable Gerard Logan, with whom I have collaborated so rewardingly for many years. His performance of my dramatisation of Oscar Wildes’s De Profundis called Wilde without the Boy  and his rendition of The Ballad Of Reading Gaol to an original score by Simon Slater will also be seen at Jermyn Street this summer. We are also working on a sequel to the evening of supernatural tales by E.F. Benson (Night Terrors) which toured so successfully in 2019, and Hauntings gets it’s first performance at this year’s Bedford Park Festival 

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.

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