Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Advert Advent

This Christmas I thought I'd do an Advent Calendar on Twitter of some of the adverts I've been in over the years.

@n1ckwilton: And behind the first window of my Ad-vent calendar is this one (my first) from 1982 for Philips Colour Televisions:

@n1ckwilton: And in the second window of my #AdvertAdvent is one of the ones I did for #Norweb.

@n1ckwilton: Day 3 of my #AdvertAdvent - a couple of toothpaste ads from 1992 and 2002.

@n1ckwilton: Behind the 4th window of my #AdvertAdvent a cheeky little German commercial for Shower Gel from 2001.
@n1ckwilton: Behind the 5th window of my #AdvertAdvent it's a Red Mountain Coffee commercial from 1984.

@n1ckwilton: Behind the sixth window of my #AdvertAdvent - TV ads for Royal Mail and Kiwi Shoe Polish from 1987.

@n1ckwilton: In today's #AdvertAdvent window it's an internet informercial for FoneGloo (O2) from 2008:

@n1ckwilton:2 ads behind today's #AdvertAdvent window for Swiss Lottery & Ecco Magazine (Italy). 

@n1ckwilton: Cough, cough... 2 German TV commercials behind my #AdvertAdvent window today - Pulmoll (2003) & DayMed (1992).

@n1ckwilton: #AdvertAdvent 10th window - TV Commercial for Wilde's Brewpack from 1986 with "Professor" #StanleyUnwin.

@n1ckwilton: In the 11th window of my #AdvertAdvent is this one I did in Holland in 1998 for Macdonalds.

@n1ckwilton: Behind the 12th window of my #AdvertAdvent are a couple of ads for Electrolux From 1987.

@n1ckwilton: #AdvertAdvent 13th window - another Norweb TV Ad from 2000.

@n1ckwilton: Behind the 14th window of my #AdvertAdvent TV Commercials for the AA (1992) and Flora Aerobathon (1994).

@n1ckwilton: Behind the 15th window of my #AdvertAdvent - me doing a bit of catwalking for Karwei (Holland 1993).

In the 16th window of my #AdvertAdvent are TV ads for Kew Gardenmate (1993) and Proton Cars (1989). 

@n1ckwilton: #AdvertAdvent 17th window - German TV ad for Carpets (1995).

@n1ckwilton: Behind the 18th window of my #AdvertAdvent - a couple of Dutch Ice Cream ads from 1997 and 2002.

@n1ckwilton: In the 19th window of my #AdvertAdvent - Christmas radio ads on air now (thanks to @YaketyYakVoices).

@n1ckwilton: Window 20 of my #AdvertAdvent - sitting on melted snowman in Specsavers "Sauna" ad + Ch4 Comedy Gala version.

@n1ckwilton: Behind 21st window of my #AdvertAdvent - a couple of Christmas ads from 1998 and 2005.

@n1ckwilton: Back to 1987 today - in the 22nd window of my #AdvertAdvent window this one for The #Metrocentre Christmas Fantasy.

@n1ckwilton: In the 23rd window of my #AdvertAdvent - a #ForeverFriends #Christmas Story for Hallmark (through @YaketyYakVoices).

@n1ckwilton: Happy Christmas Eve!
In the last window of my #AdvertAdvent it's the #Bonco #Christmas ad from #Carrott'sLib (1983).

Monday, 8 December 2014

Sleeping Beauty Blackpool

Thrilled to be back for my 7th season with UK Productions
(my 15th consecutive Christmas playing Dame).
This year I'm playing Nurse Nelly in Sleeping Beauty at the Blackpool Grand - a wonderful Matcham theatre.
It's great working with local legend Steve Royle, who is playing Silly Billy (his 12th panto at the Grand), and to be back with lovely Michael Chance, playing the King, who I was with in Sleeping Beauty in Basingstoke in 2010. 
It's a terrific company this year and Jennifer, Lewis, Hayley and Phoebe are all great fun too.

Reviews etc on my Panto blog: 

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Guys & Dolls Chichester

Guys and Dolls, Chichester Festival 2014 
until September 21st

I've been ensconced in Runyonland since the end of June; it's a wonderful company and I'm having a great time (loving living in my campervan down in Chichester - although the 6 mile cycle into work and back after the show is getting harder as the run goes on).
We finally had our Press Night on Thursday; it was a terrific night and the show has been really well received.

The Week

Here's links to reviews:

Monday, 26 May 2014

Two Into One - Reviews

It's now a month since the last performance of Two Into One at The Menier Chocolate Factory and I've finally got round to going through the reviews. Most of them were pretty good and there were only a couple of negative ones; here are some extracts:

The mechanical ingenuity is literally mind-boggling and Cooney is an absolute master of making every line, however feeble, count: the situation changes, usually for the worse, every time someone opens his or her mouth and puts a foot (not a sock) in it…Wilton implode(s) hilariously in improvisatory desperation.

The variations Cooney works on the theme of people desperately trying to explain why they are in the wrong bedroom with the wrong person at the wrong time are positively Lisztian in their virtuosity. Nick Wilton is superb as the PPS, his well-padded and often nearly naked body drenched with sweat as he constantly tries to lie his way out of disaster, even to the point of pretending he is having an affair with a tea-boy in the Foreign Office.

The heart of the play is Nick Wilton as Pigden: the shy, tubby civil servant charged with booking the guilty pair a hotel room. Wilton plays it shudderingly but gallantly terrified, making increasingly crazy attempts to smooth things over and fend off Pamela. A fine physical clown, he combines absurdity with  brief  but precious moments  of real poignant desperation.

Deliriously daft hanky-panky executed with engaging vim and dexterity by a crack team. Pallid man-boobs flecked with soaps suds from the bubble bath he has taken with his boss's randy wife, Nick Wilton is a joy as the long-suffering PPS, an improbable object of passion who is forced into every convolution of desperate cover-up on Willey's behalf  – to the extent of feigning an affair with a Foreign Office tea boy. 

As you’d expect from a Cooney farce, Two Into One has moments when you just can’t help yourself — a spasm of convulsive laughter grips your throat and leaves you gasping for air as the tears stream down your cheeks… Nick Wilton’s Pigden is a lovely mix of hopeless helplessness and wild mania.

We love a good farce, and Ray Cooney is the master of them. Heck, he’s ever garnered himself an OBE for being so very clever. The revival of his 1984 play Two Into One at the Menier Chocolate Factory proves that Cooney is still sitting near the top of his game. The performances are all of a very high standard, with Josefina Gabrielle, Michael Praed and Nick Wilton all giving energetic comedic turns. 

Tacky, ridiculous and crass, Two Into One is everything a good farce should be… The play is set in the Westminster Hotel, where MP for Thatcher’s conservative party Richard Willey and his wife are staying before a political debate. Needless to say, Mr Willey is planning on having a midday rendezvous with one of Thatcher’s secretaries while his wife goes off to an Evita matinee. As is inevitable, however, not all goes to plan and Willey’s parliamentary private secretary, played by a balding, awkward and loveable Nick Wilton, futilely tries to cover for his boss as everything spins wildly out of control.

When I first saw Ray Cooney's play in 1984, I dubbed it a "classic farce". Encountering it again in the author's own revival, I see no need to revise my opinion. If you're a devotee of farce – and I realise not everyone is – Cooney's play can hold its own with the very best of the French master, Feydeau. Farce is not a genre for the the faint-hearted. Cooney's production achieves the correct delirious momentum and gets good performances all round. Nick Wilton exudes mounting desperation as the ministerial aide, Michael Praed as his sleek, silver-streaked boss resembles a discomforted badger and Josefina Gabrielle as his wife registers suitable shock at finding herself in bed with her own husband.

Ray Cooney pays homage to Feydeau’s A Little Hotel on the Side with his deliriously funny 1981 farce likewise revolving around thwarted efforts to conduct an extramarital affair in a hotel. A terrific ensemble cast are all the funnier for treating it with deadly seriousness and not letting their guard slip at all to indulge the waves of laughter engulfing them from the audience.

The production has the right degree of energy, and the performances are lively. Nick Wilton’s George is almost unbearably manic, and Josefina Gabrielle brings a lovely poise to Pamela.

(In) a cast that delivers excellent teamwork under Cooney’s direction, it is Nick Wilton’s Pigden, stripped down from bowler-hatted civil servant to embarrassed soap-sud layered lover, who gets to score most often. He has lost the plot even more than the rest in its many convolutions.

Regardless of whether you usually prefer to see big commercial musicals or heart wrenching plays, everybody needs to see a good farce every now and again, particularly when they are written, directed and performed to the standard of Ray Cooney's Two Into One… the pace is extraordinary, the timing is just as technical as the choreography of a huge ensemble dance number. Michael Praed (Richard Willey) and Nick Wilton (George Pigden) are sensational in the two leading roles.

Cooney marshals the physical business with formidable precision. The mounting look of terror in Wilton’s eyes as he tried to surmount the latest ludicrous obstacle hurled in his path is increasingly hard to resist.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Two Into One - Press Night

Nice mention for Ray in Mark Shenton's blog about Angela Lansbury in Blithe Spirit for The Stage ahead of tonight's Press Night for Two Into One at the Menier Chocolate Factory

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Two Into One

Final week up in the rehearsal room at The Menier for 
Ray Cooney's Two Into One before moving down onto the stage
for a very busy tech week (the set is going to be fantastic, but a whole new adventure!)
leading up to our first show next Saturday (8th March) at 3.30pm.

Menier Chocolate Factory

Ray is directing and we've got a great cast - 
Kelly Adams, Ray Cooney, Jean Fergusson, Josefina Gabrielle,Tom Golding, Jeffrey Holland, Michael Praed, Kathryn Rooney (and me).
It's going to be a lot of fun!

I'm very lucky to have worked with two of the Masters of British farce; one of my first professional acting jobs (in 1980) was as acting asm, playing Corporal Flight (a role originally played by Ray Cooney), in a tour of Sinple Spymen directed by Brian Rix. Eight years later I played opposite Brian in the West End  revival of Dry Rot at the Lyric, Shaftesbury Avenue. I played the role of Fred Phipps (the role Brian played in the original production from 1954-1958) and Brian took on the part of Alf Tubbs (originally played by John Slater and then Leo Franklyn).
I first worked with Ray Cooney in 1996 when he directed me in Cash On Delivery (written by his son, Michael) at the Whitehall Theatre (now the Trafalgar Studios). Since then I have worked with Ray on numerous occasions, the most enjoyable of which were two World cruises for P&O in 2007 and 2008 performing in Out of Order and It Runs In The Family (both plays on both cruises). Ray also wrote in a new part of a second taxi driver, which I played in his film of Run For Your Wife.

2014 TWO INTO ONE by Ray Cooney (George Pigden)
           Menier Chocolate Factory  - diirected by Ray Cooney
2013 CAUGHT IN THE NET by Ray Cooney (John Smith)
           The Mill At Sonning (took over at last minute for final 6 performances only)
2012 CASH ON DELIVERY by Michael Cooney (Norman)
           The Mill at Sonning
           RUN FOR YOUR WIFE by Ray Cooney (Taxi Driver)
           Film  - directed by Ray Cooney
           OUT OF ORDER by Ray Cooney (George Pigden) 
           British Theatre Playhouse, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur
2010 TWO INTO ONE by Ray Cooney (George Pigden)
           The Mill at Sonning
2008 TOM,DICK & HARRY by Ray and Michael Cooney (Dick)
           UK tour
           OUT OF ORDER  by Ray Cooney (George Pigden)
           P&O Oriana World Cruise (Cape Town - Southampton) - directed by Ray Cooney
           IT RUNS IN THE FAMILY  by Ray Cooney (Hubert)
           P&O Oriana World Cruise (Cape Town - Southampton) - directed by Ray Cooney
2007 OUT OF ORDER  by Ray Cooney (George Pigden)
           P&O Aurora World Cruise (San Francisco - Southampton) - directed by Ray Cooney
           IT RUNS IN THE FAMILY by Ray Cooney (Hubert)
           P&O Aurora  World Cruise (San Francisco - Southampton) - directed by Ray Cooney
2005 CAUGHT IN THE NET by Ray Cooney  (Stanley)
           The Mill at Sonning Theatre - directed by Ray Cooney
           FUNNY MONEY by Ray Cooney (Henry)
           British Theatre Playhouse, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur 
2001 RUN FOR YOUR WIFE by Ray Cooney (Bobby Franklin)
           UK Tour
1996-7 CASH ON DELIVERY by Michael Cooney (Norman)
           Whitehall Theatre - directed by Ray Cooney
1988 DRY ROT by John Chapman (Fred Phipps)
           Lyric, Shaftesbury Avenue 
1980 SIMPLE SPYMEN  by John Chapman (Corporal Flight/ASM)
           Oxford Playhouse and Tour - directed by Brian Rix

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Bye Bye Mr Lister

Well, I've known since November, but didn't want to say anything until the BBC released details, but here it is - news of the new Market Inspector in EastEnders; unfortunately I wasn't available to shoot leaving scenes as I was up in New Brighton rehearsing for panto. I originally went into the soap for three episodes that went out in January 2008, and ended up staying for 6 years, during which time I met some lovely people, had a lot of fun and a few really good storylines.
Here's a link to one of them:


Soaps Spoiler

Shirley decides to visit her father


A thoughtful Shirley talks to Lady Di.
Airs Friday, Jan 24 2014 at 20:00 GMT on BBC One

Sharon's plans to open a wine bar cause tension with Linda, who doesn't want the competition. Soon afterwards, Linda once again urges Mick to ask his dad for some money to help with their problems. However, Mick refuses out of respect for Shirley, who has a long-standing feud with their dad.

Later, things go from bad to worse for the Carters when Linda has to recall all of the pies that have come from the kitchen as Johnny suspects the mince is dog meat. If that wasn't bad enough, an environmental health inspector turns up and Nancy hits a water pipe. When Linda blames Shirley for causing all of the family's problems and Sharon makes an announcement in the pub about the bar, Shirley takes action by throwing Sharon out and telling Mick that they will go to see their father…

Meanwhile, Carol is annoyed when a quiet evening with her family at The Vic is ruined by Terry and David fighting. When they finally stop, Carol updates them all on her test results following another hospital appointment earlier that day.

Elsewhere, a tough new market inspector named Aleks arrives in Walford and warns Tamwar that he needs to prove himself if he wants to keep his job. When Aleks finds out that Kat is behind with her pitch payments, he puts Tamwar on probation.

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