The Gentleman of Russell Square
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Old movie title card saying "The Gentleman of Russell Square"

The Gentleman
of Russell Square

created by Chris Neville-Smith

originally performed by Neil Gander,
Heather Prestwich and Teresa Hagger

A small project I took on in 2016, which I would love to take further if the opportunity ever comes up.

I am a huge fan of Charlie Chaplin's later films, and especially his much under-rated talents as a composer. I once wondered if you could reproduce this stories on stage with live music, but this idea soon evolved into an original story in a similar style to City Lights or Modern Times. When the Gala Theatre started doing scratch nights in 2016, I took the opportunity to try out the first 10 minutes of this. I got a lot of praise for this idea, which nobody else seems to have thought of doing. The rules are quite simple: no talking on stage, except through title cards. Instead, everything is choreographed to the music.

The bad news? It's going to be an absolute bugger to take this further. The start of the story is easy enough as a three-hander. After that, you really need the full cast of seven this was written for. And it's also a real bugger to keep the running time down to something manageable - not so much an issue for a scratch night, but a deal breaker if this was ever to be a full performance.

But I haven't forgotten about this, and if I ever get the chance to make more of this, I will.

Past Performances

City Theatre (excerpt): 28th October 2016

Gala theatre studio (excerpt): 22nd October, 2013


story and music by Chris Neville-Smith

with Neil Gander as The Gentleman

Heather Prestwich as The Maid

and Teresa Hagger as The Housekeeper

Costumes: Kate Lawrie

Projector: Pete Hagger