Acting, Comedy work, Drama film and Theatre…

http://www.starnow.co.uk/benmanning

563233_10151232106786582_1983500118_nAbove is my sporadic varied acting bio and links to singing. Here is me and former RUTLE BONZO Neil Innes (marrying my love of both comedy and music).  Of course as a Python he had a lot to say about fellow Rutle/Python collaborator Eric Idle …good and bad!  ALBATROSS!  As Innes and the Pythons would shout  – brings us nicely back to my fave poet Coleridge!  Another Lame to fame is that my mum went to Holland Park school and then Lucy Clayton’s Modelling school being photographed by Lord Litchfield – she model schoolled with George Harrison’s wife Patti Boyd so below is the Beatle’s unusual performance with Innes.  My Mum was invited to an early WHO gig as the band lived up the road in Steptoe country – Shepherds Bush.  A gig which she still remembers the racket from at the Holland Park school hall.  

I worked for years selling at a publishers and events job with Julian Deane – now pretty well known in comedy circles… shall never forget his brilliant impressions in the office.  I do love I.T Crowd, Matt Berry and the work of League of Gentlemen and Mighty Boosh but I tend to warm to the likes of Porridge Dear John Carry On Films or perhaps Blackadder so my taste tends despite loving modern comedy – to gravitate to the less angst ridden fun irreverent approach to comedy of yesteryear.  I was staggered how Benny Hill is as big as Lennon still in the US as if it were Chaplin whereas in England he is pretty much banned even though he was brilliant.  you are more likely to find me watching a 1967 Steptoe when it comes to most modern comedy but like music something great can come along…

I WAS A KEEN THEATRE GOER WHEN I LIVED IN LONDON SEEING OBSCURE THEATRE AND ALSO WEST END OFTEN SEEKING GREAT CHARACTER ACTORS LIKE THE LATE GEOFFREY BAYLDON (WHO I SAW MANY TIMES IN THE STREET IN BARNES AND OVERHEARD IN THE BANK TALKING ABOUT HOW AS A BOY LONG BEFORE CATWEAZEL HE PLAYED A SPARROW IN A SCHOOL PRODUCTION. PETER BOWLES WAS ANOTHER I MET ON A BUS IN BARNES WITH HIS COMICALLY LONG SUFFERING WIFE. BELOW A CLASSIC WE CAN ALL RELATE TOIN THE PRISONER…AS FOR THE SHERIDAN PLAY – ID HAVE LOVED TO HAVE SEEN THIS CLASSIC OF BRIT THEATRE ENJOYED NO DOUBT BY COLERIDGE AND WORDSWORTH
ANOTHER FAVORITE OF MINE. ID LIKE TO THINK THIS COULD REALLY HAPPEN. A REALLY TIMELESS ORIGINAL SURREAL PIECE OF CINEMA
A VERY DARK BLACK COMEDY DRAMA WITH AN AMAZING CAST. ITS MY FIRST MOVIE MEMORY. YES A BOY OF THAT YOUNG AN AGE SHOUL DNEVER HAVE BEEN WATCHING…VERY SCARY IN PLACES AND VERY FUNNY TOO AT TIMES A DARK CLASSIC…

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In Bournemouth I even worked with a rather unusual then unknown director known as Peter Thorndike for Whom i starred in many a dreadful zombie movie of his – my efforts thankfully never saw the light of day -.Whilst in London I knew a great actor comedian called Nasir Hussain who was far more talented and I still expect to see to be a famous writer comedian one day. I recently discovered his Spiral Staircase blog. I studied the history of theatre as a child at the Victoria and Albert Museum in Kensington and places like Covent Garden and Victoriana generally fascinated me. I acted in The Kings head theatre production of Cavalcade as a first world war soldier which was great fun though i melted under the lights. I spent so many hours at the V+A and the Royal Albert Hall often visiting the Albert memorial and I discovered this video which I well remember from Open University in the 1980’s which is a nie concise old fashioned summary in an architectural way looking at all the great figures of music art and culture literature and politics gathered on the monument.

ONE OF MY FAVE EPISODES. GALTON AND SIMPSON AT THEIR BEST. IF ONLY CORBETT HAD LIVED LONGER

Whilst At Bournemouth Arts University – which is the top Art school in Europe apparently, I met Forkbeard Fantasy (their patron is Terry Gilliam – i should have mentioned Forkbeard to Neil Innes) many times there – even having a small walk on role in a production which can be seen below – though not in this clip i hasten to add, and it got me inspired post the performing arts course I did to act in various theatre productions – Cavalcade with Gabrielle Drake (Sister of Nick of course) and in a young ones inspired comedy, playing a drummer in a London fringe production at Barons Court for a month called Dick Drumstick!.

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