This book celebrates a pivotal time in British theatre told by one who was there, before he went on to star in Keep It in the Family, and feature in hundreds of stage, TV, film and commercial productions.
“If you love theatre, if actors enthral you, if you adore inside stories, then Are You Going to do That Little Jump? is a must-read.”
“…sacred cows are, if not ritually slaughtered, then at least put out to pasture, but it’s impossible not to laugh out loud whilst Gillespie dismantles theatre’s demi-gods with ruthless reasonableness.”
Five-star review, Entertainment Focus
For more than twenty years Robert Gillespie was stopped on the streets—on staircases, on tube platforms and while driving—recognised for his lasting contribution to television sit-com. Keep It In The Family was written for him. There was Porridge, there was the gas man in Rising Damp, the long-suffering copper in Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?, Reggie Perrin and dozens more.
There’s the Hungarian connection—and if Adolf Hitler hadn’t interfered Robert might have been French!
There’s school and a first foot onto a stage, there’s the grand amateur society and its brilliant professional mentor. Robert’s hopes for RADA were stratospheric—the reality is as funny as it is sad.
Unexpected, unbelievably, came two years at the Old Vic. On stage with Richard Burton, Claire Bloom…
Joan Littlewood hired him. Robert describes how younger actors gasp when he tells them he worked for the great guru. Well… what he writes is an eye-opener.
There’s eccentric Bernard Miles, a cutlass fight with Errol Flynn’s double, and Spike Milligan as Ben Gunn. There is a fascinating description of West End star Peggy Ashcroft’s struggle to get to grips with modern theatre—driven on by a relentless George Devine, creator of the English Stage Company.
From the cellar, from the attic—saved by a miracle—treasures have come to light, beautifully photographed by Paul Warrington to illustrate this rich addition to an ‘old actor telling tales’. The book is racy and it’s pacy—with a hint of more to come!