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The Franz Anton Mesmer Show Paperback – 15 Jun 2019
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Paperback, 15 Jun 2019
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David Barry takes us into a rehearsal room where a late run through of a play concerning the life of Franz Mesmer is about to begin. As the fascinating story of Mesmer’s life unfolds, moving between the Imperial Court of Vienna and Revolutionary Paris, the frequently strained and often combustible relations between the cast begin to unravel and the interplay between epic narrative and thespian skirmishing proves truly mesmerising. - Hugh Fraser, actor & crime writer (Captain Hastings in television’s Poirot)
David Barry has used his insight and understanding of his subject to bring to life both the back stage drama of bringing a play to the stage, with all the problems a production throws at the creative team? Plus the egos, sensibilities and massaging of its cast, coupled with the history of a science I have long studied and practised, he gives us an insight into one of its founders. A subject many are frightened of, but more fascinated by? - Graham Cole OBE, actor (P.C. Tony Stamp in The Bill)
Within the confines of the rehearsal room, as the actors prepare a play, their own lives, trials and tribulations become entwined and are laid bare. A cleverly constructed play from David Barry, where life is imitating art. - Linda Marlowe, actor (Sylvie Carter in EastEnders)
The story centres around a group of actors rehearsing for a production of a play about the Life of Franz Mesmer, a Viennese healer. It is a play within a play, but Barry makes it very clear which character, or actor, is speaking. Written by an actor, one can be confident it gives first-hand knowledge of the relationships and often clashes of personalities, artistic thoughts, and patience that an actor goes through from the rehearsal room to the performance. Also a fascinating insight into Franz Mesmer’s life and times. Great fun. - Linda Regan, actor & crime writer (April in BBC’s Hi-Di-Hi)
About the Author
David Barry, was born and bred in North Wales, and has been an actor for more than 50 years. He began working professionally at the age of 12, and a highlight of his early years was touring Europe with Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh in Titus Andronicus. He also appeared on the West End stage with Paul Scofield in Graham Greene's The Power and the Glory. In his early twenties he played Frankie Abbott in the successful television sitcom Please Sir! and the film of the same name. When he appeared in a spin-off of the series, The Fenn Street Gang, he wrote one of the episodes which was accepted by LWT and broadcast. In the mid-70s he co-wrote the sketch show The Lads from Fenn Street, in which he also toured nationally for 18 weeks with two of his Fenn Street colleagues. Then in 1980, having appeared as Elvis, Stratford Johns' nephew, in George and Mildred - the Movie, he wrote three episodes for Thames Television's Keep It in The Family. He always wanted to write novels, and after two failed attempts, his first novel Each Man Kills was published in 2002, followed by an American crime novel based on a true story, Willie the Actor, published three years later. In 2008 he spent a year in Aberdeen working as a Writer in Residence with children, during which time he completed a children's book, The Ice Cream Time Machine. Since then he has written several crime novels, including Muscle and A Deadly Diversion. He also wrote the historical novel Mr Micawber Down Under which he later adapted into a play which toured south east England. In 2016, he reintroduced his Abbott character in a play A Day in The Lives of Frankie Abbott, set in a care home, which played at Edinburgh Fringe Festival and received a 5-star review. His one act-play, A Friend of Ronnie's, also toured as a double bill, and in the autumn 2018 played for 12 performances by Newquay Dramatic Society. His latest crime novel, Walking Shadows is due for publication soon and will be available in early 2019. David also presents a weekly radio show on the digital station Channel Radio, a live show which broadcasts every Saturday lunchtime, a show in which he has had many great guests, including Tom Baker, Brian Murphy, Glen Gregory of Heaven 17, Linda Marlowe and many others. Because of his early years as a child actor, during which his entire education consisted of appearing in plays by Shakespeare, Wilde and Shaw, and dozens of others, he has himself become an obsessional writer, and storytelling is in his blood. He lives in Tunbridge Wells, and has two grown up children.
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