MC Black made his acting debut in 1961 (against his better judgement); apart from some appearances at 'smoking concerts' while at university, his talent lay hidden until the mid 90s when he was persuaded to take on the role of Dr. Watson with the Irregular Special Players. He is a member (and a former 'council member') of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London, and of a number of other Holmesian societies including the Irregular Special Railway Company, the Poor Folk Upon The Moors, the Arthur Conan Doyle Society and the Northern Musgraves. Several years ago he was elected a member of the Edmonton Deerstalkers - but has never been to meetings as they are held in Canada. As he was never told who the other British members are, he doesn't know if he has ever met them!
When playing the 'Great Holmesian Game', Black impersonates His Grace, the Sixth Duke of Holdernesse, KG and has been seen wearing 'Garter Sash and Star' with his 'white tie and tails' outfit.
When not playing the 'Game', Black works for the 'External Programme of the University of London', inter alia, advising law students. His other interests include underground industrial archaeology.
I was born at a very early age. My early acting experience was gained in school plays leading to my first postgraduate employment as a yellow coat for a summer season at a holiday camp in Sussex. Strange career path!
My next employment, as a construction cost engineer, took me to Long Island, U.S.A. Whilst there, I read the Sherlock Holmes stories for the first time. The wonderful evocation of Victorian England in the writings and the Sidney Paget illustrations were a wonderful escape from the cares of contemporary suburban New York. I became a Sherlockian for life and on returning to England I joined the Sherlock Holmes Society of London.
My current employment involved with the purchasing and supply of artificial limbs for the N.H.S. (an arms dealer?) allows a good work/life balance. I enjoy the murder mysteries as they combine my two main hobbies of dramatics and Sherlock Holmes. In addition, I am also a qualified teacher of English to speakers of other languages (TESOL).
My ambition is to once again visit the scene of one of Holmes’ most celebrated triumphs the Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland.
Best known for over 20 years of presenting folk radio shows on both commercial and BBC local radio, Pete has many other talents. His acting started at school, and progressed on with Centre Group and numerous television and radio appearances. Nowadays he also runs Magic Mummers, a traditional folk drama group.
Born in Ipswich in 1953, he has worked first as a telephone engineer and salesman, but more latterly within learning disabilities, and is a fully qualified psychotherapist. His lifelong love of music includes fronting several folk and rock bands (including 'WYSIWYG' and 'Pyramid of Goats') as well as singing solo and storytelling at a large number of folk clubs and festivals. Alongside of this he has had half a dozen books published, including several on Paganism. He was once President of the Pagan Federation. Another passion for Pete is conducting Gemini Ghost Tours around Ipswich, which he has been doing since 1997.
Nowadays he lives on the Essex / Suffolk border, and when not working enjoys drinking real ale and walking two spaniels, but not at the same time. Find out more of his dark secrets at his own website www.gippeswic.demon.co.uk
Started her thespian career at a very early age, when, at 4, she appeared in nativity and fairy tale plays at Christmas. Because she had learnt all the parts by heart, she thought she would be ‘helping’ by audibly prompting her fellow actors when they were lost for words. When she was supposed to be off stage she’d just run on from the wings, do her prompting, and disappear again.
Not much has changed - she has continued to try to hug the limelight ever since, acting in and producing plays both in her native Austria and in Britain. Yes – her accent is genuine, if somewhat overemphasised.
She has also appeared on TV – getting the better of Ann Robinson by winning ‘The Weakest Link’, even though her fellow contestants thought that as a ‘foreigner’ she would not be able to cope with the English language and the British questions. How wrong they were!
Gerda has been a part of the Irregular Special Players for some time. When she is not acting she teaches IT, sings, and is learning how to throw pots (in the ceramic sense).
Dr. Antony Richards first became interested in Sherlock Holmes over a decade ago, and in 1992 was the founding member of the Irregular Special Railway Company - the only society uniquely interested in railways and the 'Holmesian Canon'. In the same year he founded the Irregular Special Players and since then has been responsible for literally thousands of crimes. When not pursuing Holmesian activities Antony has worked as a scientist for a computer simulations software company in Cambridge. He is a crystallographer by trade, having graduated from Dr. Watson’s alma mater. In his spare time Antony (also known as Lord Viscount Richards de Redonda) is a 'Freeman of the City of London', a member of the Worshipful Company of Basketmakers, associate lecturer at the 'Open University', a member of the Royal Institution of Great Britain and organiser of the 700 strong Inspector Morse Society.
Stephen's first stage role was that of the Cheshire cat in Lewis Carrols Alice in Wonderland. After rave reviews and a run of three nights Stephen had a short rest from acting and completed his primary school education. Critics have said that this break may have been his downfall as Stephen's next role was the Sheep in the Christmas Nativity play. New parts were offered frequently to Stephen but, afraid of being typecast as an animal, Stephen declined all of these. Following many sparse years where Stephen was forced to find alternative work in the field of computational materials science, Stephen finally accepted the part of a man dying from poisoning in a Sherlock Holmes murder mystery. This re-awoke his lust for acting and Stephen now regularly plays with the Irregular Special Players.
I made my acting debut as an urchin in my school production of Oliver in 1976 and then 'rested' until 2003 when I got the bug and took part in the local church pantomime Aladdin. After rave reviews and a large fan club following (of two), I realised that this was my vocation. I finally gave way to the constant pleas and the offers of considerable financial reward and joined the ranks of the elite, or to put it another way, I joined the Irregular Special Players and started acting in murder mysteries. In my spare time I play the violin and perform regularly at the Fairfield Halls in Croydon. I have also played in bands (alongside my very talented daughter - a trombonist prodigy) in Return to the Forbidden Planet, Cafe Gertrude and Bugsy Malone.
Hi, my name's Mick Yates, I first got started in theatre seven years ago when my partner saw an advert in the local paper for auditions, she asked me to go with her for moral support. We both got minor parts, so having had a taste we decided to join the Princess Theatre Group. I've been involved in nine of their productions, four adult pantomines with Norfolk 'n' Good, and last year I was in a pantomine with the Lavender Hill Mob (a childrens drama company). I got involved with the Irregular Special Players after the Princess Theatre Group organised a murder mystery evening, at the end of the evening Antony suggested I might join the company.
My claim to fame has to be getting a Valentine's card from a Spice Girl.
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