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My Arts: Mark McGann

The actor-musician-director is back in the round specs and back in Liverpool. But what does he really like?

Published on August 6th 2009.

My Arts: Mark McGann

THE third son of Liverpool's famous acting family, Mark McGann was one of the first people to play John Lennon after his death, in Ken Campbell's 1981 Everyman production that shot him to fame at 20.

Since then he's reprised the role for film, played in a string of high-profile TV and theatre productions from Scully to Shackleton and is back in Liverpool at the end of the month for Beatles Week with two gigs at the Philharmonic Hall and another at the Albert Dock. He is married to Caroline Guinness and lives in Somerset.

What's it like revisiting Lennon after all this time, say compared to when you were younger, so much younger than today?
The difference is that back then I invariably felt that I never needed anybody's help in any way. Whereas now these days are gone, I'm not so self assured.

Top three albums of all time please?
Transformer - Lou Reed;
Little Creatures - Talking Heads;
Robert Gordon with Link Wray - Robert Gordon with Link Wray (1977).

What were the first and the last records that you bought?
Rastaman Vibration – Bob Marley (I stole them all before that!)
Last of the English Roses EP - Pete Doherty.

What was the first live gig that you went to?
The Crying Shames at the Empire (my cousin Richie was a guitarist/singer) circa 1968.

And the last?
Tuareg Malian band “Tinariwen” at the Cheese & Grain, Frome.

Did you pay to get in? And if not, why not?
Yes I did pay. We all support the arts in Frome...well publicly anyway.

What was your first public performance?
Can't remember. It would have been a dodgy school concert down Scottie Road doing covers of the more accessible Beatles songs I imagine. Aged about 13.

What tune is running around your head at the moment?
Heaven by David Byrne.

What newspapers do you read?
The Independent.

What word do you most like the sound of?

Which websites do you visit most often?
Probably my own Drama Direct and Screen Direct websites. Then...amazon.

Who or what do you listen to on the radio?
The footy and the cricket and Mark Lamarr.

What was the best television programme ever made?
Mind Your Language.

Top film ever?
Night of the Hunter.

What book in childhood made the biggest impression on you?
The Bible...unfortunately.

What's your current book at bedtime?
Shantaram, by Gregory David Roberts.

Do you go to the theatre and what did you last see?
Not as much as I should. But it was The Crucible, by Arthur Miller.

Who or what makes you laugh?
My Jack Russell – Finbar.

What single work of art do you find the most moving?
Piano Concerto No 3 – Shostakovich.

Which public figure do you most admire?
Peter Tatchell.

What is your favourite piece of architecture in Liverpool?
The Philharmonic Hall ...or Anfield. Just too much to choose from...

Know any good jokes?
Q: What does DNA stand for?
A: National Dyslexics Association.

*John Lennon's In My Life, Sat 29 Aug (sold out) and Sun 30 August, 7:30pm. Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. 0151 709 3789.

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ppAugust 6th 2009.

Wow. Saw the original production of Lennon at the time 1981. Amazing coup for the Phil. Cheers

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