Actor - Director/Choreographer - Writer/Producer
Tony Tanner
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Trained at the Webber-Douglas School in London. Awarded Douglas cup upon graduation.

Five years in British repertory companies. Playing amongst other things: Saint Peter, Jimmy Porter in Look Back in Anger, A cigar-smoking American Air Force Colonel (at age 21) and the front end of a cow in Jack and the Beanstalk.  Oh yes, and plays by Shakespeare, Shaw, Tennessee Williams and Jean Anouilh.

After three years with the Oldham Rep. Co., doing a show every week, I moved to Sheffield, a bi-weekly Company and didn't know what to do with the second week of rehearsal. Found out eventually.

Made my name initially as a revue performer in Look Who's Here, a kind of New Faces entertainment at the Fortune Theatre in London and in One to Another… the first absurdist revue to hit the West End, featured in sketches by Harold Pinter and Eugene Ionesco, amongst others.

Some time later I found myself on the same stage as Mr. Pinter playing the 'victim' Stanley in his play The Birthday Party.

Played a psychopath in The Last Ally at the Lyric Hammersmith and Ken Tynan said of my performance: "One of the most authentic and unsentimental portraits of a nut case I have ever seen in the theatre." And if you don't know who Mr. Tynan was… shame on you.

Shortly after took over the part of Littlechap in Stop the World I Want To Get Off at the Queen's theatre and subsequently starred in the Warner Bros. movie.

Innumerable television plays, series and variety shows. Innumerable because I myself have forgotten how many. One of them however was a Midsummer Night's Dream, in which I played Puck to Benny Hill's Bottom. No, no, that's the name of the character.

Went to the Edinburgh Festival with my own revue Fringe Faces and with Gillian Lynne's dance show Collages, in which I was a straight-faced funnyman who darted in and out to hopefully amusing effect. Richard Buckle said 'Show benefits enormously from that most sinister of clowns TT.' See what happens when you try to be lovable.  Both shows were so successful, they were brought to the Arts Theatre and the Savoy Theatre in London respectively.

Came to America to takeover Tommy Steele's role in HALF A SIXPENCE at the Broadhurst Theatre. Subsequently played the role on the road and also toured with WHERE'S CHARLEY, playing the man himself, a production incidentally choreographed by Agnes de Mille and also starring  that most sinister of clowns Fred Clark.

Toured with Lesley Uggams in Cabaret as the emcee and as the redoubtable Cohan in GEORGE M.

On Broadway, No Sex Please We're British with the divine Maureen O'Sullivan and the very palatable Stephen Collins. Also played the cracksman in the Royal Shakespeare Company's SHERLOCK HOLMES for a while when my old army buddy Trevor Peacock got called home by his wife.

Los Angeles to do CAPTAIN BRASSBOUND'S CONVERSION, a minor Shavian opus starring that most glamorous of redheads Greer Garson. I'm happy to say she chose to pinch my bum on one occasion: the most appreciated moment of sexual harassment in my entire life.

Regional Opera Companies: Glimmerglass in upstate New York; Florentine in Milwaukee; Piedmont in Winston Salem and Opera Pacific, here in Orange County invited me to be the funnyman in several Gilbert and Sullivan operas.

California State University in Northridge let me direct and play the eponymous oldster in KING LEAR and I played Pandarus in my own production of TROILUS AND CRESSIDA  with my own company Bare Bones Theatre.  Also, with Bare Bones, played an outrageous poet wearing a very large beret that made me look as if a  big black pancake had just dropped on my head, in my own adaptations of two Moliere plays.  

Preparing to play Shylock in my music version of the MERCHANT OF VENICE, entitled SOMETHING OF SILVER in 2010.

 

See Tony’s 1966 performance in