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Brief Encounter With ... The Bill's Jeff Stewart

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Jeff Stewart, best known for playing the role of Reg Hollis in The Bill, makes his return to the Edinburgh Festival stage after a 33-year absence, in Laughs from Leicestershire; a play which is fresh from its sell-out performance at the Buxton Fringe Festival this July.

What attracted you to working on Laughs from Leicestershire?

Would you believe that I was last on stage at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1977, and so I thought it was time now to dare myself to go back on to the stage again and have some more fun with a live audience.

What is the most memorable review you have received?

When I played the father in William Corders, Mr Martin /or the Red Barn Way back in the sixties in the Shirley players production, I was 16 or so and the drama critic from the Southampton Evening Echo said of my portrayal of Mr Martin; that I made him as rickety as the old and wobbling set with my shuffling gait and arched back , rounded off with a weak and broken voice. So of course, I was chuffed to bits, and thought “hmm”; maybe I should look into this acting lark as a means of putting a plate of food on the table and a coat on my shoulders!

What is your biggest achievement in the field of acting?

Playing the lead role of Jakob in the feature film Under Jakob’s Ladder, where we were on location in New York in 2009.

What’s the best acting tip you’ve been given?

Breathe, relax, enjoy yourself. Have a cup of tea and eat two doughnuts.

What is your favourite music venue?

The beach: Carlisle Bay on the Caribbean island of Antigua is my special music spot. Plus I acted in a feature film on location there last summer, it was a tough job but hey someone had to do it and they wanted me!

Laughs from Leicestershire is running at Spotlites @ The Merchant Hall, 15-21 Aug at 19:45.


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