FEATURE: From stage to film, it’s a busy year ahead for ex Doctor Who actor

Writer John Gleeson of Eye. ANL-160405-121239005

Writer John Gleeson of Eye. ANL-160405-121239005

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A writer and former actor who spearheaded an effort to bring a theatre company back to Eye has a busy year ahead.

John Gleeson, who helped form the New Eye Theatre Company in 2014, has appeared in Dr Who, To The Manor Born and The Bill.

Eye, Suffolk. Members of the New Eye Theatre Company in 2014. Pictured from left is Tim Hall, Jak Quartermaine, Helen Fraser, Rob Johnson and John Gleeson ANL-140416-174546001

Eye, Suffolk. Members of the New Eye Theatre Company in 2014. Pictured from left is Tim Hall, Jak Quartermaine, Helen Fraser, Rob Johnson and John Gleeson ANL-140416-174546001

But one of his plays which was performed in Eye, Wingfield and Botesdale two years ago is in the process of being turned into a film.

Bus Pass to Peterborough starred Rob Johnson as the lovable Ernie, and Helen Fraser, of Coronation Street and Bad Girls fame, performing as the upper-class Angela.

It’s a stirring tale of one person slowly warming to another through a common bond with plenty of laughs along the way — before a sombre switch in atmosphere.

It will be directed by Baz Taylor, who has worked on My Family, Heartbeat, Midsomer Murders and a number of British and American films, while the cast will increase from two to 17 — with Mr Gleeson adding he hopes local talent would also be involved in the play’s switch to screen.

But for the character of Angela — I had heard two women talking about getting older and saying they felt invisible, and that’s where that character came from

John Gleeson

He said “top-flight” actors are set to be cast, while the process of transforming the script from play to film was roughly three months’ worth of work.

“The character of Ernie I had been developing over the years,” explained Mr Gleeson.

“But for the character of Angela — I had heard two women talking about getting older and saying they felt invisible, and that’s where that character came from.”

It’s one of a number of projects in what looks to be a busy 2016.

Writer John Gleeson of Eye. ANL-160405-123652005

Writer John Gleeson of Eye. ANL-160405-123652005

Mr Gleeson, nephew of famous stage and film actors Leon and Charles Quartermaine, has written a comedy sitcom, Tilting Skylines, for Sky TV has shown an interest in, as well as Sharing Silence, which will be performed under the auspices of the New Eye Theatre Company.

It will star Amanda Parfitt (Sons and Lovers, Jewels), Canadian William Hope (Aliens, xXx, Sherlock Holmes) Robert Goodale (Inspector Morse, Killing Hitler, Doctors), and Mr Gleeson’s son Jak Quartermaine (Three Up Two Down, Laura and Disorder).

Also being performed under the theatre company is Saving Marilyn.

Mr Gleeson is working with Burston’s Basil Marples, actor and producer, for some rehearsed readings to take place over the summer.

It will feature three local actors — Rosie Hall, Emma Martin and Kriz Stiss — with the hope of turning it into a film in the future.