Epstein: The Man Who Made The Beatles is written by Andrew Sherlock and created and directed by Jen Heyes.
Lancashire-born Andrew Lancel most recently played the high profile part of Frank Foster in ITV’s Coronation Street and has also had notable roles in ITV’s The Bill (as DI Neil Manson), Channel 4’s Queer as Folk (Harvey Black) and BBC1’s Cardiac Arrest (Dr Andrew Collin).
Andrew Lancel said: “As a Beatles fan it’s a daunting but hugely exciting challenge to be playing Brian Epstein and I was very honoured to be asked. This is the first play I’ve accepted in 10 years which says a lot – it’s a powerful and moving piece but also an entertaining insight into one of our own and what makes him tick.”
Epstein forms part of the official programme of Liverpool’s 50th Anniversary of The Beatles. It is a highlight of Liverpool’s established annual Homotopia international arts festival and the first major production at the newly refurbished Epstein Theatre (formerly The Neptune) named after Brian.
The two-hander multi-media play charts Brian Epstein’s adult life and illustrious career from his drama school days to managing the world’s biggest pop group. Brian’s short life was crammed with success and controversy; an intelligent man whose presence, taste, vision and passion left a lifelong impact on the world. Born in Liverpool in 1934 to Jewish descent, the cool, modern, urbane and gay Brian spent his early adult life working for the family business NEMS (North End Music Stores), between being drafted into the Royal Army Service Corps and moving to London to join RADA and live a more openly gay life. He returned to Liverpool to manage the new NEMS city centre music store making it one of the biggest in the North. Not long after was the historic lunchtime visit to the famous Cavern Club to hear four Liverpool lads perform and the rest was history. Brian died in 1967 of an accidental overdose at the age of 32.
In addition to his TV career, Andrew Lancel has starred in many plays and musicals. His roles include Alan Strang in Equus, Motel Kamzoil in Fiddler on the Roof, Andrew in Certain Young Men, Worthy in The Recruiting Officer and Millington in Conduct Unbecoming. After playing Brian Epstein Andrew will star in the Sleeping Beauty panto at Liverpool Echo Arena this Christmas.
Newcomer Will Finlason plays a fictional character entitled ‘This Boy’ and provides a musical element to the show.
Epstein: The Man Who Made the Beatles is at the Epstein Theatre from 15 November - 1 December.