Friday, January 16, 2015
Working on "Shadow of The Noose"
Having been with the Lee-Evans Casting Agency for quite a while during the early 1990s I got quite a lot of work from them, mostly in and around Birmingham. After the "Golden Oldie Picture Show" I did work on a B.B.C. television drama series called "Shadow of The Noose" which was centered on the work of the famous Victorian criminal barrister Edward Marshall Hall who was known as "The Great Defender." When I was originally booked to do this I was supposed to be a policeman, and had to go for a costume fitting at Pebble Mill studios several weeks before the filming days, but when I eventually arrived to start filming I was told that they didn't have a policeman's uniform that would fit me, so I was re-cast as Junior Counsel. They had built the set for this series, a replica of the Number One court at the Old Bailey inside the auditorium of a theatre in Stoke-On-Trent. I was going to be quite an important part of the action, not merely in the background. I was introduced to the principal actors, one being Jonathan Hyde, who played Marshall Hall. During the action I had to inter-act with him and several of the other characters. I wore a wig, one of those traditional barrister-type, made of horse hair and really quite uncomfortable. The bench I had to sit on was particularly narrow and had a padded seat. I had to sit very straight otherwise the wig would fall off! In the completed show, when it was eventually aired, I had quite a lot of very prominent camera 'shots' so was not merely a 'walk-on' although I didn't speak any lines I had to 'act' as if I was speaking, although you couldn't hear what I was saying. The agency sent me a cutting from one of the colour supplements, I think it was from the 'Sunday Telegraph' or 'The Sunday Times Magazine' which had run an article about the real Marshall Hall. There was a large colour photograph taken on the set of the B.B.C. drama series and in one corner of this photograph was myself! I only wish I had kept this cutting as it was a really good shot. It is actually quite annoying that I have no photographs of any of the walk-on or extra television work I did. This is before digital cameras or mobile phones with cameras in them, as it is so much easier to take photographs and up-load them onto Facebook and other websites on the internet.