Reece Shearsmith

Reece Shearsmith

Date of birth: 27-08-1969
Hull-born Reece Shearsmith is a quarter of The League Of Gentlemen alongside Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Jeremy Dyson (who writes, but does not perform)

They net at Bretton Hall drama school in their late teens, and began performing a sketch show at London’s Cockpit Theatre in 1995, soon afterwards landing a residency at the Canal Café pub theatre, which compelled them to create new material at a fast pace.

In 1997 they won the Perrier, and their subsequent radio series On the Town with The League of Gentlemen, set in the fictional town of Spent, won a Sony Award.

In 1999 the League moved to television – and Royston Vasey – with subsequent series in 2000 (including a typically sinister Christnmas special) and 2002; plus a feature-length film, The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse, in 2005.

On stage, they toured large regional theatres in 2000, had a six-week run at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in spring 2003, and toured a pantomime-themed show The League of Gentlemen Are Behind You in 2005.

Outside of the League, Shearsmith played the insane villain Tony in the Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer comedy Catterick; Robot-Wars obsessed TA soldier Dexter in Spaced; and neurotic Dr Flynn in BBC Two hospital sitcom TLC.

On the West End, he appeared in Art in 2003, alongside his League Of Gentlemen costars, in As You Like It at the Wyndhams in 2005, and in The Producers as Leo Bloom in 2006.

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The League Of Gentlemen to tour in 2018

Coming to a local venue near you...

The League Of Gentlemen are to embark on a live tour next year.

The news follows the three new 20th anniversary specials which BBC Two will air next week.

Reece Shearsmith told the i newspaper today: ‘I think it’s at its best live. 

‘I think it felt the most alive in the fact that we could play with that uncomfortableness – when it would get really dark and the audience would think, "This is awful now, please make it stop", and then you punctuate it with a laugh. The relief would be palpable.’

The show started as a live act in London’s Canal Cafe Theatre, with Shearsmith, Steve Pemberton, Mark Gatiss, and writer Jeremy Dyson winning the Perrier at the 1997 Edinburgh Fringe.

They subsequently toured several shows, releasing DVDs of their live performances in 2001 and 2005. 

The three new League Of Gentlemen specials are due to be broadcast on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  Click here for a gallery from the shows and here for interviews with the team.

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Published: 14 Dec 2017

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