Biography

Actor

John studied at The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now The Royal Scottish Conservatoire) in Glasgow.

On graduating he worked with theatre companies throughout Scotland, appearing in productions in Perth (directors Joan Knight, Chris Dunham & Andrew McKinnon) Dundee (director Stephen Macdonald), Edinburgh (directors John Abulafia & Peter Farago), Ochtertyre (director David Birch) and touring the Highlands & Islands with Pitlochry Festival Theatre (director David Birch)

 

Theatre

Most recently - March to May 2017 ; John made first appearance with the legendary LIVE! THEATRE COMPANY in Newcastle upon Tyne. He played Yates in The Red Lion, an intensely moving and brilliantly funny play set in the dressing room of a non league football club. Written by Patrick Marber and directed by Max Roberts. January to March 2014 - John returned to the celebrated Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond to play Bill in the U.K. premiere of the extraordinary Australian satire "It just stopped" by acclaimed Australian writer Stephen Sewell. In July 2013 - he played Andy in World Premiere of 6 new short plays set in Richmond under the title Unrivalled Landscape at The Orange Tree Theatre. In 2011 he played Brian in the World Premiere of “Alchemy in the U.K” by Maggie Nevill and directed by Patrick Sandford at The Nuffield Theatre Southampton.

His many other theatre credits include Royal Shakespeare Company productions of “Beauty and the Beast” (dir. Laurence Boswell),  “A Patriot for me” (dir. Peter Gill). “The Merchant of Venice” (dir. Roger Michell) “ the Merry wives of Windsor” (dir. Roger Michell) “Much ado about nothing” ( dir. Ron Daniels) “The Danton affair” (dir. Ron Daniels),  London productions of “No sex please we’re British” (dir. Alan Davies at The Strand) “Waiting” (dir. Sarah Pia Anderson at The Lyric), “Operation Elvis” (The Almeida). National and International tours of “Popcorn” (playing Bruce), “Look back in Anger” (playing Jimmy).

He played the Soldier in Stravinsky’s “The Soldiers Tale” (dir, Peter Wilson) with the Northern Dance Company (Choreograper Yair Vardi) and the C.B.S.O. conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, and played various roles in the celebrated  “Ken Campbell Road Show”(directors Nick Darke & Dave Miller). He has also played a wide range of characters such as Clov in “Endgame”, Trevor in “Funny Peculiar”, Sidney in “Absurd Person Singular”, Joseph in “Joseph and the amazing Technicolor dreamcoat”, “Billy in “Stags and hens”, Robert in “Boeing-Boeing”, Maxie in “Comic Cuts” with theatre companies in Plymouth (directors Bob Hamlin & Peter Wilson), Newcastle (directors Danny Hiller, Tony Craven, John Blackmore) Southampton (directors David Gilmore & Peter Wilson), Coventry (directors Bob Hamlin & Simon Dunmore) and Stoke (director Peter Cheeseman ).

 

Television

John’s vast range of work on Television includes playing regular characters in popular series such as WPC56 (3 series BBC), DCI Banks (1 series ITV), multi award winning police drama “The Bill” (225 episodes, TalkBack Thames ITV), medical drama “Peak practice” (3 series', Carlton ITV), ITV’s highest ever rated sitcom  “Watching” ( 7 series &16million viewers, Granada ITV), Emmy and Bafta winning kid’s series “Woof!” (5 series', Carlton ITV), long running soap opera “ Crossroads” (70 episodes, Carlton ITV), period dramas “Vanity Fair”(1 series 8 episodes, BBC) “The Tide of Life”( Catherine Cookson series, Festival Films ITV) & “Danger UXB” (1 series, Euston Films ITV), contemporary dramas “Steel River Blues” (1 series, YTV), “Crocodile shoes” (2 series, BBC), “Grafters” (1 series, ITV), "Band of Gold” (2 series', ITV), “The Beggar Bride” (1 series, BBC) “Castles” (1 series, BBC), “Auf wiedersehen Pet” (1 series, Central ITV) “The Paper Lads” (1 series, TyneTees ITV).

His numerous guest appearances include performances in  " "Holby City"; "Barbarians Rising"; "Dark Angel"; Inspector George Gently", "Young Dracula", "True Crimes", “Law & Order U.K.”, “Poirot”, “Wycliffe”, “Doctors”, “Kavanagh Q.C.”, “Urban Gothic”, “Coronation Street”, “Keen Eddie”, "Cadfael", “Eastenders”, “Merseybeat”, “Born & Bred”, “Noah’s Ark”, “An Unsuitable Job for a Woman”, “Casualty”, “Animal Ark”, “Maisie Raine”, “ Dangerfield”, “Pie in the sky”, “The House of Elliot”, “Spender”, “Drop the Dead Donkey”, “Minder”, “The Lady Irene”, “Heartbeat”, “ Verdict”, “Grange Hill”, "Crown Court", “Byker Grove”,  "Juliet Bravo", “ Warship” 

T.V. film credits include; “Kiszco – a life for a life” (dir. Stephen Whittaker), “The Merrihill millionaires” (dir. Les Blair), “Stone Scissors Paper” (dir. Stephen Whittaker), “The Tribe”( dir. Stephen Poliakoff),” “A Captain’s Tale” (dir.Tom Clegg) “Ha’way the Lads”  (dir. Frank Cvitanovich), “Mr White goes to Westminster”(dir. Guy Jenkin).

Film credits include;  “A Woman at War” ( dir. Ed Bennett), “The Funeral” (dir. Neil Harris), “Heartbreak City” (dir. Stephen Whittaker) “Breakout” (dir. Frank Godwin), “"Harrigan"; (dir. Vincent Woods).

In Extremis (dir. Gregory Crosbie) "The Library" (dir. Nigel Douglas)

 

Voice Over / Radio . As a member of the BBC Radio Drama Company in 2016 - 2017 John played dozens of characters in dozens of productions for Radio 4. Including, Northanger Abbey, Home Front, Tommies, Little Women, Agnes Grey, Control, Leaving, Watership Down, The Confidential Agent, Inspector Chen, The Tidebreaker etc. He also recorded numerous readings for factual programmes on R3 and R4.

John has voiced dozens of films for The Biography Channel and a number of series for The History Channel including the celebrated series “100 years of Terror”

 

Writing

John is currently writing and developing a television documentary series about how people with autism are treated so differently in different cultures (see News). He is writing a comedy series about 2 odd brothers and a glove puppet called “Up front and under the table.”  And developing a film “ Sylvia” based on the struggle his beautiful Anglo Indian Mum had raising 5 kids on her own in 1960’s Newcastle in the aftermath of her violent marriage to his WW2 hero English Dad. He is also writing a one man show based on his, and his siblings, upbringing in the North East of England in the 1950’s and 60’s called “The Geordindians”.

From the mid 1980’s through to the late ‘90’s John wrote, themed, presented and performed live comedy routines in huge venues for corporate events around the U.K and Europe with writer/director Rick Platt. Their clients included, I.B.M., Ford Motor Company, HewlettPackard, HSBC, CarlsbergTetley, Ansells, Whitbread, Whirlpool, SmithKlineBeecham. He also co-wrote, with Rick Platt, screenplays of “Operation  Elvis” and “A Clergyman’s Daughter” as well as comedy shows – “In the lap of the Gods” and “Cockley’s Customs”.

 

Presentation Skills Training

Through his work on stage in the corporate arena John was often asked to work with and advise conference speakers - even the most experienced - on their presentation skills. Studying the most effective public speakers, from all walks of life, and using the skills and techniques he has developed during nearly 40 years as a professional performer, John has created a concise Presentation Skills Workshop, which is suitable for anybody called upon to make a presentation, whether in a small meeting room or at a mass outdoor rally.

The course can be easily constructed to suit individual tuition or classes of up to 20 people. It can also be tailored to create maximum confidence in nervous beginners or used as an excellent refresher course for experienced speakers. The course for groups is 6 hours (approx) including breaks. Individual sessions will be 2- 3 hours (approx). For seven years John ran the presentation skills training for Cheshire County Council’s Planning Department.

John’s prices are exceptionally competitive and represent unbeatable value in an, often, over priced market. Prices are available on application.

 

Teaching

John is often invited to lecture/chat to students at various Drama schools and Film schools. Due to his extensive work experience John is very aware of what is required of an actor when employed to work on a film or T.V. set. John’s classes take students on a lighthearted journey through the “do’s “ and “please don’t do’s”  from the second you get the job to the final wrap. As a contrast to this he combines the chat/lecture with intense, high emotion “acting on camera” workshops. A day of smiles and tears – apart from a leading role, a good agent and free food what more could an acting student want?

 

John's page at Diamond Management