'Jonathan Markwood is a wonderful character actor, taking on Gracie’s Dad and second husband (Monty Banks) with great aplomb.' Writes Chris Park for Canal St.
He goes on to say: 'The cast are so multi-talented it takes your breath away, they take on character after character as we are taken through the chanteuse’s life at break neck speed.'
And: 'I cannot recommend this performance enough'.
In another glowing review Elaine Birmitz of North West End writes: 'If Gracie Fields were to describe this show she would say, in her down to earth Lancastrian tones, “It’ a belting night out.” If so she would be doing it less than justice, because that may be so, but it’s also funny, clever, deftly acted, well written and performed in exactly the right setting.'
'Musically the whole show is very strong indeed with each of member of the Rep playing a variety of instruments...In true rep style every other character had his showcase and Ben Stocks Liberace, Jonathan Markwood's Sir Laurence Olivier and Matthew Ganley's hilarious Hamlet soliloquy stood out.'
Jonathan plays, amongst others, Monty Banks (pictured) Gracie Fields' second husband. He was an actor in Hollywood of Italian origin, performing in over 35 silent short comedies by the early 1920s. With the arrival of sound films, Banks's strong Italian accent forced him to phase out his acting career in favor of working as a gagman and director. He directed Laurel and Hardy in their film Great Guns, under the name "Montague Banks". You can see a sample of his work as an actor on Youtube here.
'Our Gracie' runs til 26 March at Oldham Coliseum and then transfers to New Vic Theatre, Stoke 6-23 April.