Magistrates, Peterloo, 2018

 

Robert’s new book,
hot off the press

 

Dudley Rush, Keep it in The Family, 1980s

 

Richard Burton, Claire Bloom, Old Vic, 1953

 

The first pub theatre. King’s Head, Islington

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Delighted you found a moment to drop by. TV shows, stories, texts, films are yours with a single click – or two. If you stay a while, there’s history and reminiscence. And this site will keep changing… Fascinating as each item might be, you might wonder what brought them together. One thing only – they all, in some way, strayed into the life of a journeyman actor, director, writer – Robert Gillespie. As your clicking finger roams, I hope you’ll find fun and facts and even fantasy.

Mr Joyce is Leaving Paris, 50 year broadcast

Mr. Joyce is Leaving Paris first saw the light of day – in a basement in Soho – in 1970. The critics gave it rave reviews; we sold out. Read on…

My mate Bernard

I once was walking under the walls of Cardiff Castle with Bernard Bresslaw; we spent a lot of time together before he became ‘starry’ and began to ‘hold court’. Bernard was six feet five. Read on…

Howard Goorney – A red gent

I first met Howard Goorney when we were both working with Joan Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop in Stratford, east London. In Part One of Are You Going to do That Little Jump? I describe the weekly Soviet style meetings presided over by Joan. Read on…

Playing a gasman

This scene looks effortless. I doubt if anyone could guess that it took Len Rossiter several rehearsals, and then patient persuasion in the studio, to get his props sorted and the shots to make sense for the comedy to work. See the clip…

Keep it in The Family

Sitcom is, of course, what I’m best known for. There came a day when top writer Brian Cooke asked me if I fancied a show of my own. This was the outcome, and here you’ll find clips and stills of the five series we recorded.  

About Robert Gillespie

I’m an actor, theatre director and writer. I was born in France and came to England in 1940. I began acting at Sale Grammar School, and trained at RADA for two years. My professional career began in 1953 with two seasons at the Old Vic Theatre in a company headed by Richard Burton and Claire Bloom. Read on…

Tales from the Green Room

This is the place where you will often find an original piece of writing, something new. It may be a long story, told in several episodes, posted at – roughly – weekly intervals. There will be short stories,too. Take me there…

Horn of plenty

I have kept an astonishing number of things – such as an old-style make-up box with a full complement of grease paint sticks. Props and beards, gels, dozens of posters and hundreds of programmes still live along with me. Rummage around here, and you’ll find items which evoke decades of a life in theatre.

Jane Nightwork Productions

I first heard this name at the Old Vic (my first professional job). Rather young, I thought this was a magical name for a lady who offered personal services to budding lawyers – it’s Shakespeare’s invention for a ‘bona roba’ (part-time tart) mentioned by Justice Shallow in Henry IV Part Two. Read on…

Just launched: Robert Gillespie’s new book
Are You Going to do That Little Jump? The Adventure Continues

A life in Sitcom, TV, Film and Theatre

I’ve spent 70 years as an actor, writer and director, and the book is stuffed full of backstage stories: about the sitcoms I was in – Keep It in the Family, Porridge, Rising Damp, Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?, Reggie Perrin, and dozens more; about my forays into live theatre – from irksome rep, to risky Fringe, to the spine-tingling RSC and treacherous, seductive  Broadway. And it’s right up to date with recent movies – Lost in London and Peterloo.
“Absolutely love your second book! The wealth of illustrations and photographs is fabulous and the ‘what I did, when’ section… is there anything you’ve not been in? Amazing and the book is signed to… thank you Robert.”
chriseastmids via twitter
“This is a must-read for anyone with a love of acting, theatre and situation comedy. It combines a quick wit with keen observation – effervescent tales on the golden age of sitcom from one of its key players.” ***** (read the full review)
Entertainment Focus
“If you fancy a sly peep behind those red velvet curtains, then this is the book for you.” (read the full review)
Mark Aspen Reviews

BOOK PAGE

Welcome to Aladdin’s cave. This is a site for nosy people, for explorers. We will continue to make the site richer and richer, with new TV and film clips, behind-the-scenes insights into stage shows, and never-before-seen recorded and filmed comedy and drama. Keep coming back for the new stuff. We hope you’ll find it both entertaining and interesting.