The Scots actress had a meteoric rise in theatre, but later her chaotic love life would provide the headlines.

Mary Ure’s work as an actor tends to be overshadowed by the men she married, in death as it was in life. Both her husbands were multi-talented men with forceful personalities; ‘Angry Young Man’ playwright John Osborne and Robert Shaw, star of The Sting (1973) and Jaws (1975). They were…


The new documentary tells the unlikely tale of the men who trained to take out Carlos Escobar on behalf of his competition.

This fact-is-stranger-than-fiction documentary recounts the story of a group of mercenary soldiers from the UK who headed into Colombia to assassinate the largest cocaine manufacturer and distributor on the planet.

At the heart of the film is Peter McAleese, a soldier from Glasgow, who describes himself as “A dirty lowdown…


How a film developed only for its soundtrack with no plot and starring non-actors defied the odds to become a groundbreaking picture.

“Who are they?” Walter Shenson replied when he was asked if he would like to produce a film with The Beatles. Noel Rodgers, the British representative for United Artists Records, knew the UK’s Beatlemania was heading for the States and figured a way to cash in. …


The story of the most significant art fraud in history where ruined reputations and wounded egos mattered more than money.

“No one wants to be fooled,” Ann Freedman says at the beginning of this highly entertaining documentary now on Netflix. The film documents an $80.7 million art forgery scandal perpetrated between 1995 and 2011 swallowing up some of the biggest names in the New York art world.

The deception began…


In 1974 a smash-hit musical about The Beatles began in Liverpool. It broke box-office records, but some of The Beatles were none too pleased with it.

Page 11 of the Daily Mirror, 15 August 1974, announcing the opening night of John, Paul, George, Ringo…and Bert.

The Everyman Theatre was based in Liverpool’s Hope Street. Originally known as the Hope Hall, it was formerly a dissenters’ chapel, then an arts cinema before, in 1964, it became a theatre and performance space. Unlike the city’s other big theatre, the Playhouse, where actors got the first train back…


In the play featuring a fictional former member of The Quarrymen, the part was played by a man who really did pass up the chance to be in The Beatles

Willy Russell’s play John, Paul, George, Ringo…and Bert proved a runaway success in 1974 selling out the Everyman in Liverpool before moving to the Lyric in London’s West End. When it went out on a national tour in 1975 the cast changed. Stephen Mackenna, Nigel Hughes, Lloyd Johnson and George…


Why Richard Burton’s turn as a Kray inspired gangster needs reappraised.

It’s hard not to mention Get Carter (1971) when discussing Villain; critics did it when the film was released, anyone reappraising the movie can’t help doing it now. The films came out within two months of one another in 1971, and they both feature two bona fide movie stars minted…


The Beatles’ fourth visit to the city in December of 1965 turned out to be their last as a group.

What would turn out to be The Beatles’ final UK tour began in December 1965 with two shows in one night at Glasgow’s Odeon Cinema. Opening in 1934 and closing in 2006, the Odeon was situated at the junction between Renfield Street and West Regent Street in the city centre’s…


Russell T. Davies’s latest series set in the 1980s to the backdrop of the growing AIDS epidemic captures a world of fun, excitement, and terror in a tale of coming of age and coming out.

The five-episode miniseries is set in London from 1981 to 1991. A group of 18-year-olds begins their new lives. As they live and love a virus begins to loom over them. It premiered on Channel Four in January and comes to HBO Max on 18th February.

After a decade in…


A character actor throughout the 70s and 80s who held his own alongside everyone from Robert Mitchum to Frank Sinatra.

“Nobody told Kirk Douglas to fill in the dimple on his chin, so why should they tell me to fill in the gap between my two front teeth? I can put caps on them, the same as I can put a hump on my back. …

Tom Brogan

Writing about writing, films, music, football and television.

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