M I C H A E L   K I L G A R R I F F



April 2017
For thirty-six years Mr Chairman for Victorian Music Hall at the late lamented Players' Theatre, Charing Cross; twenty-six pantomimes (see below) including three at the London Palladium; sundry plays and tours.  Voice work includes:  General of the Skeksis in The Dark Crystal, Winston Churchill for Virgin Trains radio commercial, various characters in Howdi Gaudi, a twenty-six part cartoon series for Fireside Favourites, Death Eater in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and the voice of C. S. Lewis for a DVD documentary add-on for The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (Disney).  Over five hundred BBC radio drama productions; television appearances include four Dr Who adventures, playing John Brown to Miriam Margolyes' Queen Victoria in Channel 4's Without Walls, the social reformer Charles Booth in Tales from the Map-Room (BBC2) and the Music Hall Chairman in Tipping the Velvet. His deep and distinctive voice keep him in demand for cartoons, film dubbing, books, video games and radio and television commercials.  Recently played an aggressive schoolmaster in a promo for Richard Hammond show on BBCAmerica; appeared as Chairman/pianist in Michael Wood's The Story of England (BBCtv), interviewed at the piano by Michael Grade in The Story of Music Hall (BBCtv) and by Frank Skinner in What a Performance! (BBC2).  Most recently interviewed on Music Hall history by Dave Myers for BBC2's The Hairy Builder.
                                                                         ------oOo------      

Michael Kilgarriff was born 1937 in Brighton, Sussex, England, a holiday resort fifty-two miles due south of London. An only but happy child of devoted parents; educated Xaverian College, Preston Park, Brighton (Confraternity of St Francis Xavier). 1953-6 worked ingloriously and wretchedly as junior clerk for Barclays Bank at Shoreham, Steyning, and Lancing. 

  Escaped to Argyle Theatre, Birkenhead, for first job as an actor through ability to play piano -  a schools tour of Alice in Wonderland playing six characters and accompanying the songs and dances. At 6' 5" the tallest Mad March Hare in the business. 

  Then followed years of repertory (York, Windsor, Bristol Old Vic, etc., etc) and television, plus the huge break of appearing as The Ogre in Humpty Dumpty at the Palladium for the 1959/60 season. In 1964 began appearing in Music Hall, also joined the BBC Drama Repertory Company for the first time, performing in literally hundreds of broadcasts as diverse as Cyrano de Bergerac with Sir Ralph Richardson, Othello with Paul Scofield, The Dales, The Archers, and Listen with Mother. 1964 was also memorable for meeting Sarah Greatorex, a production assistant who four years later was to become Mrs Michael Kilgarriff.  They have one child, the actress Rebecca Kilgarriff who now has her own daughter (Greta, born 2009) with her partner, actor Nigel Barrett.

  In 1966 first appeared in BBC tv's Dr Who as Cyber Controller. Later roles in the series were Second Ogron, The Robot, and again the Cyber Controller. Still regularly receiving fan-mail and attending conventions.

  Went into management with fellow actor and Music Hall enthusiast the late Johnny Dennis, putting on theatre and corporate shows all over UK and in Sweden; also presented shipboard entertainment for Holland-America and P&O. Johnny was Best Man at Michael and Sarah's wedding in San Rafael, California, in 1968. Another exciting venture was a revival of Beyond the Fringe in the UK and at the Marines' Memorial Theatre in San Francisco. 

  While working on the film Camelot in Spain wrote an eight-part radio dramatisation for BBC radio of JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit, still a best seller in CD format. Many scripts for radio and television followed, including a survey of the monologue for BBC R4 entitled Talking to Oneself, broadcast in February 2000.  Books published include The Golden Age of Melodrama (Samuel French),  Sing Us One of the Old Songs (OUP), Grace, Beauty & Banjos (Oberon Press), Back Stages (CallioPress) etc., etc.

  Further pantomime experience: three seasons with the great Stanley Baxter and two more at the London Palladium with such luminaries as Dora Bryan, Frankie Howerd, Alfred Marks, and Danny La Rue. Theatre appearances include the Brighton Festival, the City of London Festival, and a Promenade Concert at the Royal Albert Hall in Down by the Greenwood Side, directed by its composer (Sir) Harrison Birtwistle. Stage work includes numerous business conferences as far afield as New Orleans and Palma, a number of plays with the eminent farceur Brian (Lord) Rix and over thirty-five years wielding the gavel as Mr Chairman at the legendary Players' Theatre under Charing Cross Station. 

  In the Players' entire existence (1936-2002) Michael Kilgarriff is the only person to have appeared as a solo artiste, as Mr Chairman, as accompanist and as producer. His illustrated lecture at the piano on the history of the Music Hall has been seen everywhere from Bolton Public Library to the QE2. 

   Lives in Ealing, a part of West London known as The Queen of the Suburbs

   Member of: British Equity, British Music Hall Society, The Irving Society.  

 



 
CHRISTMAS SEASONS


1956/7 

1957/8

1958/9

1959/60

1960/1

196l/2

1962/3

1963/4

1964/5

Capt. Will Atkins 

Slave of the Lamp 

Little John

The Ogre 

     " 

     "

     " 

     "

Merlin 

Robinson Crusoe

Aladdin

Robin Hood

Humpty Dumpty

    "

    "

Puss in Boots

     "

Tom Thumb
 

Playhouse, Kidderminster

Repertory, Colchester

Pavilion, Liverpool

London Palladium

Palace, Manchester

Empire, Liverpool

Coventry, Coventry

New, Cardiff

Alhambra, Bradford
 

l965-l973   Musical Director, Ipswich; eighteen months with BBC Drama Repertory Company and nine months with Brian Rix at the Garrick Theatre; also two winter cruises with own management.

 

1973/4

1974/5

1975/6

1976/7

1977/8
 
1978/9

1979/8

1980/1

1981/2

1982/3

1983/4

1984/5

1985/6
 

1986/7

1987/8

1988/9

 


Giant Blunderbore 

Henchman & Giant 

     " 

     " 

     " 
 
Slave of the Lamp 

Wizard Zarrabad 

Slave of the Lamp 

Henchman & Giant 

     " 

     " 

Squire Ben Black 

Emperor of 
Morocco 

Musical Director 

Abanazar 

Musical Director 


Jack & the Beanstalk

         "

         "

         "

         "
 
Aladdin

Sinbad the Sailor

Aladdin

Jack & the Beanstalk

         "

         "

Goldilocks

Dick Whittington
 

Little Fanny's Revenge

Aladdin

Yuppity Dumpty

 


London Palladium

Hippodrome, Bristol

King's, Edinburgh

King's, Glasgow

Opera House, Manchester

London Palladium

King's, Glasgow

Hippodrome, Bristol

King's, Edinburgh

King's, Glasgow

Empire, Sunderland

Theatre Royal, Norwich

Players', Charing Cross
 

Canal Caf, Maida Vale

Connaught, Worthing

Canal Caf, Maida Vale
 

                 1989/90   BBC Radio Drama Company



1990/1

1991/2

1992/3

1993/4

1994/5

1995/6


Mr Chairman 

          " 

King Rat 

Mr Chairman 

          " 

Knave of Hearts/
Grand Old Duke 
of York


Victorian Music Hall

              "

Dick Whittington

Victorian Music Hall

             "

Humpty Dumpty


The Mill, Sonning

          "

Churchill, Bromley

Watermill, Newbury

Players', Charing Cross

Waterman's, Brentford

2000/1 Abanazer Aladdin Palace, Watford

 

BBC RADIO



Sundry abridgements and dramatisations including Reuben's Corner by Spike Mays, Death to the French by C.S. Forester, Act of Love by Celia Dale, The Anxious Conspirator by Michael Underwood, and The Natural History of Selborne by Gilbert White. Eight-part dramatisation of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit a continuing best-seller for BBC Worldwide.

 
 

PUBLICATIONS



In Print: Publisher
Three Melodramas 

It Gives Me Great Pleasure 

Three More Melodramas 

Three Comedy Sketches 

It Gives Me Further Pleasure 

Sing Us One Of The Old Songs 

Grace, Beauty & Banjos

Back Stages
 
 

Available only in US from Ballantine:

1,000 Jokes for Kids 
 

1,000 Knock Knock Jokes for Kids 

1,000 More Jokes for Kids 

More Stupid Jokes For Kids 

Oh No! Not Another 1,000 Jokes for Kids 
 
 

Out of Print:

Comic Speeches for All Occasions 

The Golden Age of Melodrama 

Humpty Dumpty (children's play) 

Make 'Em Laugh 

Make 'Em Roar (Vols 1 & 2)

Music Hall Miscellany

The Musical Joke Book 

1,000 Jokes For Functions 
 

Samuel French 1970

Samuel French 1972

Samuel French 1973

Samuel French 1983

Samuel French 1996

Oxford University Press 1998

Oberon Books 1998
 
CallioPress 2010 
 


 

Wolfe 1974  (Ward Lock 1979)  

Ward Lock 1982    

Ward Lock 1983 
 
 
 



Futura 1978 

Wolfe 1974 

Kenyon-Deane 1977 

Wolfe 1973 

Samuel French 1979

Samuel French 1977

Fentone 1981

Wolfe 1975

and a dozen or so other similar humorous publications for Wolfe and Ward Lock

 




LINKS

Amazon.com

The Irving Society

Oxford University Press

Oberon Books

VSA Ltd


 

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