Mark Gatiss

Mark Gatiss

Date of birth: 17-10-1966
Darlington-born Mark Gatiss is a quarter of The League Of Gentlemen alongside Steve Pemberton, Reece Shearsmith 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, Gatiss has written for the revival of Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), script edited Little Britain and appeared in Nighty Night, Footballer’s Wives and the BBC One 2006 adaptation of Wind In The Willows, as Ratty, among many other roles. He’s also appeared in the West End play art in 2003, alongside his League Of Gentlemen costars.

In 2006, he was awarded an honorary doctorate of letters by the University of Huddersfield

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Reece Shearsmith and Mark Gatiss reunited a new play written by Steven Moffat

Reece Shearsmith is to be reunited with his League of Gentlemen co-star Mark Gatiss in a new play.

Making his directorial debut, Gatiss will oversee Shearsmith in The Unfriend, which has been penned by Steven Moffat, his writing his colleague on Dracula and Sherlock.

Keeping the Sherlock connection, Amanda Abbington – who was the wife of Dr Watson, played by her real-life husband at the time, Martin Freeman – also stars in The Unfriend.

She and Shearsmith portray a long-married couple on a cruise as a break from their annoying teenagers, where they meet the eagerly friendly Elsa Jean Krakowski, played by Frances Barber

Later, back home, an email arrives from Elsa, followed by Elsa herself who has a ‘hair-raising’ secret.

According to the Chichester Festival Theatre, where the play will run from July 17 to August 22, The Unfriend ‘takes a hugely entertaining and satirical look at middle-class England’s disastrous instinct always to appear nice’.

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Published: 13 Feb 2020

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