What the papers say…

‘Michael Mears’ intensely moving, richly-textured one-man play THIS EVIL THING uses verbatim testimonies to form the script and a multi-layered soundscape for the aural backdrop against which he pays intelligent, sensitive homage to the conscientious objectors who fought their own war against war.
The CO’s story is still a tale rarely told, and rarely presented with this level of wisdom, perception, compassion and balance… but Mears does it admirably. One man, one act, few props; many scenes, multiple roles, numerous voices: This Evil Thing represents the great tradition of storytelling at its very best, and offers an up-close-and-personal insight into the human condition, for better or worse. It’s a revelatory tale indeed, sadly as relevant today as it was when Brocklesby fought his own war.’ Melissa Blease, THE BATH MAGAZINE Nov. 2018

‘How a lone actor with few props (the planks of wood are two small upturned drawers on which he balances) in the intimate drawing room of the Kempe Studio conjures such a visceral scenario is testament to Michael’s exemplary acting and his superbly crafted play … Michael switches seamlessly between his many roles: he’s a stretcher-bearer ducking fire on the front, a barking sergeant, a worried girlfriend, a troubled dad, an army officer, a philosopher, a politician, a campaigner… the effect is of a master storyteller at work’  Stratford-Upon-Avon Herald reviewing This  Evil Thing. 19th Jan 2017.  See full review here.

‘In this urgent and physical performance, Mears plays tribute to Bert Brocklesby – a schoolteacher who refused to bear armsand was silenced, starved and almost shot. Mears convincingly intersperses historical re-enactment with his own self-questioning, even asking what he would have done, had he been born at the time …  Mears himself is exhilarating to watch. He hares across the stage, convincingly being about four different men at once … This is a rich and personal modernisation of a lesser-told tale.’  This Evil Thing reviewed by The List 8th August 2016

Using real-life dialogue from such figures as Fenner Brockway and Bertrand Russell, Mears casts light upon a chapter of British history too often ignored, and raises some salient points about our responsibilities as individuals. Above all, we’re made to consider the terrifying results that occur when man falls out of line with popular consensus… Mears is an animated and engaging presence throughout, his faithful delivery of others’ words accommodating many a naturalistic flourish. Entertaining as his show may be, his gratitude and outrage remain very much to the fore. This is important, vital polemic.’ This Evil Thing reviewed by Lewis Porteous in Fest 6th August 2016

‘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

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

‘One exceptional man…’  The Observer

‘My best Festival show ever was a one-man show by Michael Mears called Tomorrow We Do The Sky.’ Miriam Margolyes interviewed by the Daily Telegraph in 2012

‘I marvel at Michael Mears’ ability…’      The Times on Tomorrow We Do The Sky

‘Seldom have I seen the subject of homelessness treated with such insight and compassion.’ The Scotsman – Fringe First Award Winner 1995 on Soup

‘This challenging, marvellously funny evening…epitomises the thrilling shock of the new that makes the Fringe consistently irresistible.’        Today on Soup

‘Mears’ performance is quite simply stunning, each character neatly and compassionately drawn.  The play is a moving, warm and intensely rich experience.’  The Stage – nominated for Best Actor, Stage Awards on Soup

 ‘Powerfully evocative, filled with humour and dignity…Mears takes you right there but you dare not look away.  With his lightning-quick changes and the face of an El Greco he shows us a part of life that there but for the grace of God…’  Time Out, London on Soup

‘In playing every part, Mears celebrates the art of acting and the multi-facetedness of the human personality and finally suggests that dereliction is just a crisis away from any one of us.’  The Independent on Soup

Mears is immensely talented at creating a character using minimal props…’   The Financial Times on Soup

Full of humour… marvellous character actor Michael Mears gives richly populated performances…’        Edinburghguide.com on Slight Tilt to the Left

‘Michael Mears is the Alec Guinness of afternoon drama.’       The Stage on Radio 4 solo drama

‘If talent were fame, Mears’ name would be in lights a mile high.’    Radio Times Radio 4 solo drama

Recent Posts

THE MISTAKE…planned tour in Autumn 2023 (and beyond)

An urgent new play about Hiroshima and the first atomic bomb.                                    

The dropping of the first atomic bomb is referred to on the Peace Memorial in Hiroshima as “the mistake”. Michael Mears’ compelling and profoundly moving new play, directed by Rosamunde Hutt, explores personal stories surrounding that catastrophic event.

 ★★★★    ‘The past comes alive – a gripping piece of storytelling’ (THE TIMES)

 ★★★★★    ‘I was genuinely blown away by this production.  It received one of                    the very few standing ovations I have seen at the Edinburgh. (UK THEATRE WEB)

 ★★★★   ‘A powerful examination of humanity in the wake of Hiroshima.’  (THE LIST)

 ★★★★    ‘An evocative, well-researched and urgently fascinating story.’ (SCOTSMAN)

Photo by Simon Richardson

We are looking to perform THE MISTAKE in theatre venues and studio-type spaces – but can also consider non-theatre venues where space permits.  A minimum performing area of approximately 5m x 3m would be required.   

Currently we have pencilled bookings or strong expressions of interest from venues in: Salisbury, Canterbury, Walton-on-Thames, Northampton, Stratford-upon-Avon, Bewdley, Diss, York, Hull, Cardiff, Aberystwyth, Caernarfon and Peebles.

We want the play to move and enlighten audiences and to encourage them to think deeply about the questions raised.  The response from people to the play’s opening run in Edinburgh 2022 confirmed this.  For example:

‘An important story told beautifully. We were gripped, moved and enlightened.’  Elaine Russell. 

‘Even though I already knew a bit about the Hiroshima bombing, I learned a great deal more from the play. It is not only enlightening but also deeply moving.’  Mary LaFrance.

‘Superbly acted by two immensely talented actors about an historical but totally topical event.     It brought tears to my eyes – a ‘must see’ play where the use of limited props is ingenious.’     Chris Elliott.

Photo by Simon Richardson

The play is suitable for audiences of 15+ years.  It will appeal to anyone interested in history, politics, science, ethics, morality and peace studies.  We also want to perform to school and college students wherever possible. 

FOR MORE INFO PLEASE CONTACT:  thehalfitalian@aol.com   michaelmears.org                     

Photo by Simon Richardson

WINNER – of a CAROL TAMBOR INCENTIVE AWARD – EDINBURGH FRINGE 2022

WINNER – of a SPIRIT OF THE FRINGE AWARD – EDINBURGH FRINGE 2022

SHORTLISTED – for the SIT-UP AWARDS for plays making a social impact – EDINBURGH FRINGE 2022

LONGLISTED – for the BBC WRITERS’ ROOM Popcorn Awards for new writing EDINBURGH FRINGE 2022

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