Music: Remember the Name; David Calder Heads for the Liverpool Playhouse in David Storey's Home

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), November 19, 2004 | Go to article overview

Music: Remember the Name; David Calder Heads for the Liverpool Playhouse in David Storey's Home


Byline: PHILIP KEY

DAVID CALDER is an actor with a face so familiar he might almost be one of the family. That's largely thanks to the power of television.

From Coronation Street and Bergerac to Cracker and Midsomer Murders, Calder has been one of those solid performers you always recognise even when the name does not always spring to mind.

One of his best-known roles was as Robert Bramwell, the physician father of Victorian doctor Eleanor Bramwell played by Jemma Redgrave in several series of Bramwell.

There have been some films -- he was knighted as Sir Robert King in the Bond film The World Is Not Enough -- and lots of radio work.

But just as importantly, he is a distinguished stage actor who, among many other things, was a notable Prospero and Shylock, both for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

It is as a stage actor that he arrives in Liverpool next week in a new production of David Storey's touching drama Home at the Liverpool Playhouse.

It will be, to the best of his knowledge, his first time at the Playhouse.

But as a young actor working at Lancaster rep, he came to know Liverpool -- and the Playhouse -- quite well, he says.

``I was not working in Liverpool only because I was in Lancaster, '' he declares. ``But I did get to know the Liverpool life and actors at the Playhouse!''

More importantly, he was also in Liverpool to film the original Black Stuff by Alan Bleasadale. This was the one-off drama from which grew Boys From the Blackstuff.

``I played the boss McKenna but the subsequent series didn't involve that character so I got left behind!''

Calder, 58, was born in Portsmouth and discovered his calling when he spotted a notice at the grammar school where he was studying. It suggested boys might like to join the National Youth Theatre in London. The young Calder went off for his summer holidays, his first time in London. ``I was overwhelmed by London and got completely hooked on theatre, '' he says.

For three years he spent his holidays studying with the youth theatre and performing in some of the great London theatres, the Queens and the Old Vic, then the National Theatre. …

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