Robert Gillespie



Robert GillespieRecently Robert has taken on a number of new acting roles. He featured as the Mystic Cabbie in Woody Harrelson’s ground-breaking movie Lost in London which was filmed live!

Robert is mainly associated with new writing as director. At the founding of the King’s Head Theatre he contributed seventeen productions, most of them world premières; as was the production of Kingston’s Making Dickie Happy at the Rosemary Branch theatre. A play about female gladiators by Debbie Cook and a first experiment at joining Sophocles with Kingston’s biting re-write of the Oedipus story also saw first light at the Rosemary Branch. He has contributed shows to six Dublin Theatre Festivals and worked in Israel on, amongst other plays, Frayn’s Noises Off.

Robert is probably best known as a TV sit-com actor, and starred as Dudley Rush, a part written for him by Brian Cooke, in five series of Keep it in the Family for Thames Television. He’s also been in everything from Likely Lads to Butterflies to Liver Birds to Dad’s Army to Rising Damp to Porridge to George And Mildred and he appeared as Gilbert Herring in Bonjour La Classe. He featured in Cardboard Citizens’ striking production of their WWII epic – Mincemeat and was recently seen as Massimo Gentile in New Tricks.

As a writer Robert contributed to TV’s That Was The Week That Was; especially A Consumer’s Guide To Religion (performed by David Frost) which provoked a fulminating clergyman and questions in the House. Latterly, he has performed in his own two-hander My Heart (about death and gods) and directed Love, Question Mark, his piece about the myth of monogamy. Portia, his solo text for an actress, was played at the recent Women in the Arts Festival at the Tristan Bates Theatre.

A very successful revival of Making Dickie Happy in the heart of theatre land at the Tristan Bates Theatre helped it reach its perfect audience! Also, Kingston’s Oedipus At The Crossroads in tandem with Kingston’s own, clean, sharp, version of the Sophocles original, Oedipus The King, revived at a very high standard of casting and design, again at the Tristan Bates, fulfilled a long-held ambition. It was especially pleasurable to cast, as an experiment, a woman for one of the two chorus members!! Robert will be directing two Bernard Shaw plays, Village Wooing and How He Lied To Her Husband, which explore a topic baffling to both G.B.S. and himself – marriage.

Mother is a two-handed duologue which Robert is developing. Women are treated as if they are a minority – although they are, of course, half the population. Yet there are significant signs that women’s ways of living together avoid conflict and are more collaborative than is the habit of men. That’s interesting. Mother also looks at the unintended consequences of having once had a gigantic Empire. Robert has been persuaded to write down his theatre experiences which reach back to Burton at the Vic and Theatre Workshop and the founding of The English Stage Company at the Royal Court. Watch this space.