CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Somerset Life today CLICK HERE

Frome's Memorial Theatre hosts Mark McGann Acting Masterclasses in Somerset

PUBLISHED: 16:49 25 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:15 20 February 2013

The brothers started their successful careers singing together in a band

The brothers started their successful careers singing together in a band

Sarah Ford visits the Memorial Theatre in Frome to meet a member of one of the country's famous acting families

Back to Stage School


His career has taken him from his childhood home in Liverpool to London, Los Angeles and Europe. But it is the historic market town of Frome in Somerset that has captured Mark McGanns heart. Sarah Ford visited him to find out what his plans are for the future.



Television, film and stage performer, and one of the four famous McGann brothers, Mark has lived in Frome for the past three years with his wife, Caroline. Never imagining that this is where they would put down roots, the couple have found it to be their most favourite place. Both Caroline and I have travelled extensively but we are really happy here. Frome is a very vibrant and open-minded place its not stuck in its ways.
We are talking in a bar at the towns Memorial Theatre, where Mark is preparing for the launch of his series of acting masterclasses. Designed for all-comers, whether they are seasoned professionals or beginners, the one-day stage and screen acting courses have already proved to be a hit with individuals and theatre groups around the country. They are delivered under the umbrella of Marks two companies, Drama Direct and Screen Direct, and offer participants the unique opportunity of learning from the actors 30 years experience in
the entertainment industry.



Theres nothing quite like drama, and people committing themselves to a performance, for enhancing confidence and social skills, Mark explains. What you get at the classes is a bunch of people joining together, most of whom have never met before, all signing on to being brave but in a fun way. We try to make it clear that nobody dies acting and nothing awful is going to happen to you. Its not called play for nothing!



Its nice to have the chance to do this on my doorstep, adds Mark, who is full of praise for the efforts of volunteers who keep this 85-year-old theatre up and running. The Memorial is lucky to be here after the council made its intention clear a few years ago to demolish it and build new houses. It was saved by the current trustees who raised the money to oversee its upkeep and restore it to the pristine, beautiful theatre it is now.



The start of Marks own long-running career began as a youngster when he used to sing with his brothers, Joe, Paul and Stephen, and sister, Clare. We are all quite close in age, harmonised together, and were all playing in our various school bands. We were comfortable with the idea of a life treading the boards, says Mark, whose big break came as John Lennon in the 1981 Everyman Theatre production about the former Beatle. This moved to the West End and New York; a film for the Americans followed and as a result his feet never touched
the ground.



Its a role to which he has returned from time to time. According to the Liverpool Daily Post, Mark nearly brought the house down during a John Lennon Songbook concert with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, which took place as part of the citys Year of Culture. And this August hell be back with a performance of John Lennon: In My Life during International Beatle Week.



For Mark, who also toured as Mickey in the first major touring production of Blood Brothers, music has undoubtedly always been a great passion whether its performing his own songs or the work of others.
Today he is probably best known for his television roles as hotel owner Marcus Bannerman in The Grand, and as explorer Tom Crean, in Kenneth Branaghs Shackleton. In 1995 he got together with his brothers and co-produced and acted in an award-winning historical drama, The Hanging Gale, based loosely on his own family history.



Would he work with them again, I wondered? Never say never! smiles Mark, who admits that having brothers in the same industry has had its problems. Being sent up for the same jobs, for instance, has created tension in the past. But having three brothers who are always busy has also helped because the McGann name is always in the public eye. Mark continues, We are proud of one another and my family are very heartfelt and committed to what they do; they are all very talented people. They are doers and that has saved them and helped them.



Although he is still performing, Mark says that he got to a stage about eight years ago when he started looking for more variety, a turning point that has led to more directing, film-making and the creation of workshops for students and professional organisations.



I have been asked to do such diverse and incredibly interesting things. I am still forging ahead and I have found it very gratifying but its certainly keeping me very busy. You have to be careful what you wish for!


For further details about Mark McGanns masterclasses, call 01373 471486 or e-mail dramadirect@blueyonder.co.uk Stage acting masterclasses will take place on 20 June, 22 Aug and 27 Nov, and for Screen on 24 July and 18 September.

0 comments

More from People

The first woman to win a F3 class race at Brands Hatch, Bath-born Jamie Chadwick is on a new racing mission

Read more
Monday, October 1, 2018

Musician Stewart Copeland relives his Somerset school memories with Bernard Bale

Read more
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Toby Buckland is hosting his second Harvest Festival event at Forde Abbey this month. Catherine Courtenay spoke to two of the gardening stars lined up for the speakers tent

Read more
Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Tinnitus sufferers are being invited to use a new online, sound matching tool to help better understand their type of tinnitus and the potential treatments available to them.

Read more
Friday, August 17, 2018

Tony Blackburn is enjoying one of the most enduring careers in music. To think that Somerset played such a part in the amazing story of one of Britain’s top radio DJs

Read more
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Britain has always been at the mercy of the sea and the Bristol Channel is particularly hazardous with fierce tides, shallow banks and dangerous low tide mudflats, as Andrea Cowan discovers

Read more
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Vanessa White is totally at home when she strolls through the centre of New York or Paris but the former Saturdays singing star still finds her place of birth quite breathtaking. After all – she was born in Somerset, says Bernard Bale

Read more
Friday, June 15, 2018

We know we love our coast, but what do the celebs make of it? We find out...

Read more
Friday, June 15, 2018

Somerset toasted the success of Jenson Button when he was crowned king of the F1 track for 2009, so stand by because there is a new budding driver revving up – and he is from our county too

Read more
Friday, May 25, 2018

One of the biggest British vloggers, three of the best UK comedians, a Formula One World Champion and an award-winning author – the towns and rural retreats of Somerset are a breeding ground for talent

Read more
Wednesday, May 23, 2018

We talked to chief audiologist at The Tinnitus Clinic, Mark Williams, who discussed causes, symptoms and treatments for tinnitus and hearing loss. Here’s what to do if you have ringing in your ears

Read more
Friday, April 13, 2018

The Sports Day, in aid of PCRF and open to the whole community, is taking place on April 28 from 10am to 4pm in and around the Boswells Café in the Quedam Shopping Centre

Read more
Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Kim Wilde is back – and Amy Noton discovers she hasn’t lost any zest for life

Read more
Monday, March 19, 2018

Bernard Bale talks to Hollywood A-lister Nicolas Cage about his decision to make our county his home

Read more
 
A+ South & South West

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


subscription ad


Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search