Skip to main content

Michael Medwin - An Obituary

Michael Medwin – Actor, film and theatre producer

Born July 18, 1923; died February 26, 2020

Michael Medwin, who has died aged 96, was an acclaimed stage and screen actor probably most familiar as local radio boss Don Satchley in Bristol-based 1970s private detective series, Shoestring (1979-1980). He also appeared alongside Sean Connery in the James Bond film, Never Say Never Again (1983), and as Scrooge’s nephew opposite Albert Finney in Scrooge (1970), Ronald Neame’s big-screen version of Leslie Bricusse’s musical take on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. This was despite Medwin being twelve years older than Finney.

Medwin had already forged an off-screen double act with Finney as one half of Memorial Enterprises, the company behind off-kilter vehicles for Finney, Charlie Bubbles (1968), which Finney also directed, and Gumshoe (1971, in which Finney played a down-at-heel Liverpool bingo caller turned private eye. 

Memorial also produced both the stage and film versions of Bill Naughton’s play, Spring and Port Wine (1970). This followed If…(1968), Lindsay Anderson’s public school revolution fantasia, which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Medwin played several parts in Anderson’s Memorial-backed follow-up, Brechtian –styled state-of-the-nation epic, O Lucky Man! (1973. He also appeared in the third part of Anderson’s trilogy, Britannia Hospital (1982). 

For stage, the company produced Peter Nichols’ play, A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, which had premiered at Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre before Finney appeared in the lead role on the West End and Broadway, where it won four Tony Awards. 

Michael Hugh Medwin was born in London, and educated at Canford School, Dorset before attending the Institute Fischer in Montreux, Switzerland. Medway knew from an early age he wanted to be an actor, with Charles Laughton and Edward G Robinson his biggest influences.

Medwin’s first film appearance, albeit uncredited, was in Piccadilly Incident (1946), Herbert Wilcox’s World War Two romance starring Anna Neagle, His first credited role came a year later in another Wilcox/Neagle film, The Courtneys of Curzon Street. For the next decade

Medway appeared in a stream of cut-glass British thrillers, and played the lead of good boy gone bad Ginger Edwards in The Intruder (1953). He wrote the screenplay for My Sister and I (1948), in which he also appeared, and penned the English dialogue for Italian director Luigi Zampa’s film, Children of Chance (1949).

Medwin went on to appear in TV sit-com The Army Game Carry on Nurse (1959) and The Longest Day (1962), with later credits marking a sea-change in British film, which became poppier and less buttoned up. This was the case in It’s All Happening (1963) with Tommy Steele, Rattle of a Simple Man (1964) with Harry H. Corbett, I’ve Gotta Horse (1965) with Billy Fury, and The Sandwich Man (1966) with former Goon Michael Bentine.

Onstage, he appeared in numerous West End productions, and at the National Theatre featured in a season that included the premiere of Howard Brenton’s play, Weapons of Happiness (1976). In 1988, with David Pugh he formed West End and Broadway producers, David Pugh Limited, remaining chair of the company until the end of his life. In 2005, Medwin was awarded an OBE for services to drama, honouring a life that helped chart the course of British film and theatre.

The Herald, March 17th 2020

ends


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Big Gold Dreams – A Story of Scottish Independent Music 1977-1989

Disc 1
1. THE REZILLOS (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures (12/77)  2. THE EXILE Hooked On You (8/77)
3. DRIVE Jerkin’ (8/77)
4. VALVES Robot Love (9/77)
5. P.V.C. 2 Put You In The Picture (10/77)
6. JOHNNY & THE SELF ABUSERS Dead Vandals (11/77)
7. BEE BEE CEE You Gotta Know Girl (11/77)
8. SUBS Gimme Your Heart (2/78)
9. SKIDS Reasons (No Bad NB 1, 4/78)
10. FINGERPRINTZ Dancing With Myself (1/79) 
11. THE ZIPS Take Me Down (4/79)
12. ANOTHER PRETTY FACE All The Boys Love Carrie (5/79) 
13. VISITORS Electric Heat (5/79)
14. JOLT See Saw (6/79)
15. SIMPLE MINDS Chelsea Girl (6/79)
16. SHAKE Culture Shock (7/79)
17. HEADBOYS The Shape Of Things To Come (7/79)
18. FIRE EXIT Time Wall (8/79)
19. FREEZE Paranoia (9/79)
20. FAKES Sylvia Clarke (9/79)
21. TPI She’s Too Clever For Me (10/79)
22. FUN 4 Singing In The Showers (11/79)
23. FLOWERS Confessions (12/79)
24. TV21 Playing With Fire (4/80)
25. ALEX FERGUSSON Stay With Me Tonight (1980)

1. THE REZILLOS I Can’t Stand My Baby (Sensible FAB 18/77) If it wasn’t for T…

Clybourne Park

Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy Four Stars
It’s a case of whoops, there goes the neighbourhood twice over in Rapture Theatre’s revival of Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play, which opens in 1959 in the same Chicago suburb where Lorraine Hansberry’s drama, A Raisin in the Sun, which appeared that year, is set. Here, Robin Kingsland’s Russ and his wife Bev, played by Jackie Morrison, are preparing to move out of their now almost empty des-res following a family tragedy.
Unknown to them, the bargain basement price tag has enabled a black family to move in, with Jack Lord’s uptight Karl a self-appointed spokesperson for the entire ‘hood. Russ and Bev’s black maid Francine (Adelaide Obeng) and her husband Albert (Vinta Morgan), meanwhile, bear witness to a barrage of everyday racism. Fast forward half a century, and a white family are trying to buy the same house, albeit with a heap of proposed changes which the black couple representing the block’s now much more diverse community aren’t…

Losing Touch With My Mind - Psychedelia in Britain 1986-1990

DISC 1
1. THE STONE ROSES  - Don’t Stop 2. SPACEMEN 3  - Losing Touch With My Mind (Demo) 3. THE MODERN ART  - Mind Train 4. 14 ICED BEARS  - Mother Sleep 5. RED CHAIR FADEAWAY - Myra 6. BIFF BANG POW!  - Five Minutes In The Life Of Greenwood Goulding 7. THE STAIRS - I Remember A Day 8. THE PRISONERS - In From The Cold 9. THE TELESCOPES  - Everso 10. THE SEERS  - Psych Out 11. MAGIC MUSHROOM BAND - You Can Be My L-S-D 12. THE HONEY SMUGGLERS  - Smokey Ice-Cream 13. THE MOONFLOWERS - We Dig Your Earth 14. THE SUGAR BATTLE  - Colliding Minds 15. GOL GAPPAS  - Albert Parker 16. PAUL ROLAND - In The Opium Den 17. THE THANES - Days Go Slowly By 18. THEE HYPNOTICS  - Justice In Freedom (12" Version)

1. THE STONE ROSES Don’t Stop ( SilvertoneORE1989)
The trip didn’t quite start here for what sounds like Waterfall played backwards on The Stone Roses’ era-defining eponymous debut album, but it sounds like it. Vocalist Ian Brown and guitarist John Squire met in 1980 at Altrincham Grammar School. With bassist …