This book is a fantastic read, written as it is in a quite unique style. It's a great pity that the late Michael Sheard was never able to record any audiobooks of his work (he wrote four volumes, all equally enjoyable), yet you can almost imagine him reading them to you, which I suppose is better than nothing and is a testament to his wonderfully relaxed and conversational prose.
I was lucky enough to be able to procure an autographed second-hand copy of 'Yes, Mr Bronson', complete with an inscription to 'Now, pay attention!'. I was even tempted, for a while, to rush off and change my name by deed poll so that the other message from Mr Sheard, 'To Louise', might somehow mean more. It was a close call, but I decided to hang fire on that (at least for the time being).
Michael Sheard was a hugely prolific actor, appearing in hundreds of televison programmes and dozens of films. His enthusiasm for his craft is obvious, as is the genuine amount of love and respect that he has for his fellow performers and colleagues. This was a man who was lucky to have been doing a job he loved and who never, ever forgot that. He tells the story of a 'working actor', albeit one who was fortunate enough to never really be 'resting', with all of the excitement of each acting job interspersed with lovely romantic tales of his 'Dearly Beloved' and his three children.
He was murdered remotely by Darth Vader in one film, and signed an autograph for Indiana Jones in another. He was, indeed, more than 'just' Maurice Bronson. Yet it was that one role which brought him the fame and recognition that a talent like his truly deserved. He named his first book after him, and he devotes a significant portion of that book to him, or at least, to writing about his entire time on 'Grange Hill'. Mr Bronson was a hugely complicated character, a fact that was not immediately apparent to the programme's prepubescent eighties' audience, who merely saw him as the strict persecutor of the 'cool kids'. However, looking back on the show with the benefit of twenty five years' experience of 'Life', it's clear to me that Bronson was a brilliant creation and that Michael Sheard was a quite superb exponent of his craft.
Thank you, sir - wherever you may be.
4 people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?