About

Michael Mears  has had a rich and varied career in theatre, television and film – including seasons with the National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and the Peter Hall Company, portraying many classical and Shakespearean roles.  He has also worked in many of the UK’s regional theatres.

‘An actor both gifted and unselfish … Mears gives the most inventive reading of Malvolio’s letter scene since Olivier himself.’   The Observer – reviewing ATC’s production of Twelfth Night

He has also performed in London’s West End on a number of occasions, most notably for nine months as Arthur Kipps in the long-running hit The Woman In Black.

In 2016, he toured in English Touring Theatre’s production of Peter Whelan’s The Herbal Bed, playing the inquisitorial Vicar-General, for which he was critically acclaimed.

‘The most vivid performance is from the chilling Michael Mears, as the wily puritanical and dangerous deputy.’  Evening Standard

In 2019 he played Father Flavia in OUR LADY OF KIBEHO by Katori Hall, at the Royal Theatre, Northampton and at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East, London.

Television roles include Rifleman Cooper in the first six Sharpe films, and Alex Kozoblis in two series of The Lenny Henry Show.

On film he will be remembered as the Hotel Barman who brings Hugh Grant and Andie McDowell together in Four Weddings And A Funeral.

SOLO WORK

But Michael Mears is perhaps best known as an award-winning performer of his own original solo plays for theatre and radio.

More information about THIS EVIL THING, his most recent solo play (2016), which has now been performed by him over 100 times in many venues in the UK and in the eastern USA, can be found on other pages of this website.

His first solo play, Tomorrow We Do The Sky, about the lives of factory canteen workers, premiered at the Traverse Theatre during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1991, and was nominated for the Independent Theatre Award, and Time Out Theatre Award, before playing in London, on tour, and subsequently being broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

This was followed by Soup, his Scotsman Fringe First Award winning solo play about homelessness, which garnered five star reviews and had a sell out three week run at the Pleasance in 1995.  Michael was also nominated for the Stage Best Actor Award at that year’s festival.  Soup also played in London, on tour, and was broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

A Slight Tilt To The Left played at the Assembly Rooms in 2002, and this play, as well as four other solo plays, Slow Train To Woking, Uncle Happy, Jam and Arnold Darwin’s Feeling Better, were all specially commissioned for BBC Radio, and have been performed by him on Radio 4.

MICHAEL MEARS’ ESSENTIAL THEATREis an umbrella term for his productions going forward.  In 2022, THE MISTAKE, his postponed play about Hiroshima and the first atomic bomb, a play for two people, will at last be mounted in time for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August.  Go to other pages on this website https://wordpress.com/page/michaelmears.org/2271 for more info.

Recent Posts

WHAT TO DO?

What to do…with my anger at events in the world?  What to do with my sorrow and sadness?  What to do with my frustration at politicians? What to do with the fury I feel towards the arms manufacturers who will be rubbing their hands in glee (though trying to remember not to do so in public)?  What to do with the voice inside me that wants to shout at the instigators of conflicts, this conflict and all conflicts in the world right now: ‘Have you forgotten the climate crisis?  Or do you simply not care?’

Our thoughts are with those, particularly the innocent, caught up in this and all conflicts.  There are many small things we can or could do.  Donations, financial or otherwise.  Prayers, vigils, protests.  Providing refuge.  And much more.  But for myself, the main thing I have decided, and this decision was taken weeks ago, before any actual invasion of Ukraine seemed likely, is to take my play THE MISTAKE – about Hiroshima and the first atomic bomb – to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year.  This is a risk for all kinds of reasons, but if not now, then when?  The subject matter has always seemed of the utmost importance.  But how could I know that in these grim times it would seem even more urgent and relevant?

So this will be my modest contribution to peace, justice and understanding in the world.  Next year I plan to take the play round the country more widely and get it into schools. 

Photo by SIMON RICHARDSON Image design by JERRY WILLIAMS

There are two of us performing in the play.  I will portray numerous people involved in events preceding the dropping of the bomb – in particular, one of the scientists involved, Leo Szilard, who did all he could to stop the bomb being deployed and subsequently worked for peace and disarmament.  And an English-speaking female Japanese performer will portray a young woman who survives the blast and then goes in search of her parents in the devastated city. Some verbatim testimonies are used in the play.    

If you know of anyone going to the Festival this August or have any friends or family there or nearby we would greatly welcome their support.  The play runs from Aug 5-27 (not 14th) at Venue 36, the Space on North Bridge, Edinburgh, at 10.45 in the morning.  There will also be performances in London at some point which I will let you know about.  Should anyone wish to contribute something, however small, to our crowd-funding for this non-profit making venture, it would be most gratefully received – but with so many other demands on people’s pockets, I don’t expect it.                                         

The play’s title refers to the inscription on the memorial to the victims of the atomic bombs in Hiroshima Peace Park.  ‘Rest in peace, for the mistake will not be repeated.’   We have to do whatever we can, in whatever way we can, to ensure that the mistake will indeed NOT be repeated.   

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