News Column

Play that takes no Prisoners ; FRINGE FESTIVAL: TV STARS' RELATIONSHIP EXPLORED BY CITY WRITER

July 24, 2013

YellowBrix

A play exploring the turbulent relationship between actor Patrick McGoohan and media mogul Lew Grade will be performed at next month's Edinburgh Fringe festival.

Magic Number Six, written by Paul Gosling, from West Knighton, Leicester, tells the story of the making of the cult 1960s TV show The Prisoner.

The Edinburgh run follows a successful debut last October in Leicester and a one-off performance at Portmeirion, north Wales - the original location for the hit series - in March. Writer Paul, 44, who is also the producer, is a graduate of De Montfort University's MA in TV screenwriting, and this year went on to gain a PhD in film studies at DMU.

He said: The play received very positive reviews from fans of the original series and we are looking forward to performing the piece to an international audience at the fringe festival. The show will not only appeal to fans of Danger Man and The Prisoner but anyone interested in the behind-the-scenes machinations of 60s TV.

The play is about Patrick's relationship with Lew Grade before, during and after the making of The Prisoner.

It started out very well and they really liked each other, but it soon turned sour.

McGoohan, who died in 2009, was evacuated to Loughbor-ough during the Second World War, in 1939, and later attended Ratcliffe College, at Ratcliffe on the Wreake.

Grade, who died in 1998, was born in the Ukraine and carved out a career as a dancer and talent agent before creating Associated Television (ATV) and ITC Entertainment.

Between 1967 and 1968, Mc-Goohan and Grade joined forces to produce 17 episodes of The Prisoner, which received worldwide attention and starred McGoohan as the illfated Number Six.

Paul, who also works parttime as an art and design teacher at Ellesmere College, Leicester, said:It was the Lost of its day, it was 'must watch' TV. It appeals to people interested in the history of TV as well. The Prisoner was something that I watched in my formative years and when the biography of Patrick McGoohan came out there were loads of fascinating stories about his life and behind- the-scenes stuff which I never knew.

The play, starring Rob Leeson as McGoohan and Colin Woods as Grade, will be staged at The Space on The Mile, Theatre One, from August 19-24.

For tickets, e-mail: publicity@thespaceuk.com PRISONER PLAY: WATCH A FOUR-MINUTE TRAILER Go to: leicestermercury.co.uk

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