Ian McCulloch discusses his career on screen at Uni-Versal festival, Aberdeen

IAN McCULLOCH (GREG Preston) will take part in an ‘in conversation’ session at the upcoming Uni-Versal 22 mini-festival hosted by the University of Aberdeen on 5 March 2022.

With this strand of Uni-Versal focusing on the history of film, McCulloch will be reflecting, in particular, on his post-Survivors work on three Italian cult horror movies. Pre-publicity for the event summarises his screen career as follows:

Ian McCulloch is a Scottish actor best known for his performance as Greg Preston in Survivors (1975). In the 1970s and 80s, McCulloch found himself in classics of Italian horror, playing Peter West, the lead male character in Lucio Fulci’s notorious Zombie Flesh Eaters (1979) and also displaying his thespian skills in Luigi Cozzi’s iconic splatter template Contamination (1980).

UNI-Versal Film: In Conversation with Ian McCulloch (Zombie Flesh Eaters)
Room KCF8, King’s College, Aberdeen AB24 3FX
Saturday 5 March 2022 – 20:00-22:30

Tickets: £5.00-£8.00
Tickets became available to purchase online from 10:00 on 1 February 2022.

The session is part of a programme of events that includes Screenwriting with Sergio Casci, Shaken Not Stirred – Bond: Past, Present & Future and a panel discussion on Driving Diversity in the Arts.

UPDATE – 1 FEBRUARY 2022: Organisers have now confirmed that the event will include a screening of the most well-regarded of McCulloch’s three Italian horror movies Zombie Flesh Eaters. As a result, the runtime of the event has now been extended to 22:30.

Uni-Versal - Dark Nights - Ian McCulloch - Zombie Flesh Eaters screening - 5 March 2022

Hampton Court ends its visitor season as new lockdown confirmed

Hampton Court - Herefordshire

HAMPTON COURT IN Herefordshire, the principal filming location for the second half of the first series of Survivors, has closed to visitors for the remainder of 2020.

Hampton Court had reopened the grounds of the estate in early July, once the first Covid-19 lockdown restrictions had been lifted (the site usually reopens from its winter break in March or April, but had remained shut during lockdown).

With the new restrictions unveiled by the Johnson government taking effect from 5 November, and running to early December (in the first instance), the owners of Hampton Court have decided to end the visitor season with immediate effect, forgoing any plans for Xmas and end-of-year events.

An announcement on the Hampton Court Castle site explains:

We are closed to day visitors for the 2020 season. We will reopen in April 2021

Hampton Court, Herefordshire reopens to visitors

Hampton Court - Herefordshire

HAMPTON COURT IN Herefordshire, the main filming location for the last seven episodes of the first series of Survivors and a regular travel destination for fans of the show, re-opens to visitors on Wednesday 8 July 2020.

Hampton Court estate has been closed to public access during the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions that were imposed towards the end of March. Lockdown meant that the estate remained shut even as its usual April opening date passed.

From 8 July, the estate will again open to visitors (from Wednesday to Sunday each week).

UPDATE, 7 JULY: Details of exactly which facilities and services will be available, and what social distancing arrangements will be in place, have been published on the Hampton Court site.

In summary, the grounds and main garden will be accessible, and the Orangery restaurant will provide a limited menu of refreshments. However, the castle, the maze, the play areas, sunken garden and gift shop will all remain closed, in order not to conflict with social distancing and safety guidelines.

Covid-19 Update

We are delighted to announce that we are reopening the majority of our gardens and grounds to visitors from Wednesday 8th July. Our new opening hours (until further notice) will be Wednesday – Sunday, 10.30am – 5pm.

To keep within government guidelines, some areas are still closed for the time being, including: the maze, sunken garden, play areas, gift shop and the castle itself. These are areas where we feel that government safety guidance would be challenging to uphold.

Due to this, entry prices in July have been reduced – adults £6, children £3 (4 -15 years) and under 4’s are still free. At present, we won’t be offering any other concessions, accepting discount vouchers or group bookings. We’ll also only be taking card payments and encouraging contactless wherever possible.

We are pleased to be able to open the Orangery Café, albeit with a limited menu and reduced indoor seating. There is plenty of outdoor seating available and visitors are welcome to bring their own refreshments.

With regards to safety measures, we have implemented a one-way flow system in some areas of the gardens and staff have been issued with appropriate PPE. The cleaning of facilities has been increased to every hour and hand-sanitising points are available throughout the grounds. As these are new circumstances for all of us, then we would appreciate visitor feedback. Please speak to a member of staff during your visit or email us on hello@hamptoncourtcastle.co.uk 

Carolyn Seymour to appear at Nottingham’s EM-Con, 1-2 May 2021


CAROLYN SEYMOUR WILL be a guest at both days of the upcoming Nottingham EM-Con 2021 convention, being held at the city’s Motorpoint Arena on 1-2 May 2021.

Seymour will be offering both autographs and ‘photoshoot’ opportunities for visiting fans, both of which can be booked in advance.

We’re happy to welcome Carolyn Seymour to our guest line up for EM-Con Nottingham. Carolyn has many credits to her name, most notably are the ones in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Babylon 5, and Star Trek: Voyager. Others include roles in Quantum Leap, Space 1999 and many others. Gamers will know that more recently Carolyn voiced the roles of Queen Myrrah in Gears of War, and Dr Chakwas in Mass Effect.

While none of the convention’s promotional material mentions Seymour’s involvement with Survivors, the event is a great opportunity for fans of the series to meet up with Carolyn face-to-face.

Almost thirty convention guests have been confirmed by the EM-Con team so far, including Blake Harrison (Inbetweeners), Hannah Murray (Game of Thrones), Norman Lovett (Red Dwarf) and John Ross Bowie (Big Bang Theory). Other names will be announced in the coming weeks.

Tickets for the show, which are available in ‘General Admission’ format along with four ‘added feature’ bands (Bronze to Platinum), can now be purchased online from the EM-Con site.

EM-Con 2021 Nottingham
Motorpoint Arena, Bolero Square, Nottingham NG1 1LA 11
1-2 May 2021.

Note: This event was originally scheduled for 2-3 May 2020, and then rescheduled to 18-19 July 2020, before being rescheduled again to 1-2 May 2021. The event finally took place on 28-29 August 2021.

Denis Lill on tour in The Lady Vanishes

Poster for the 2019 national theatre tour of The Lady Vanishes, which features Survivors actor Denis Lill in the cast

DENIS LILL IS out and about “treading the boards” once more in a national touring production of The Lady Vanishes, a new adaptation of the classic 1938 Alfred Hitchcock big-screen thriller. Very appropriately, this latest live version has been brought to the stage by the Classic Thriller Theatre Company.

Lill plays the role of Charters, one of a pair of cricket enthusiasts sharing the ill-fated train journey through the country of Bandrika. The play has been commissioned by the Bill Kenwright company, responsible for numerous touring theatre shows within the UK. Lill has been a cast member on many previous productions, including a number of the Agatha Christie plays for which the firm is especially well regarded.

The tour began in Swindon in early September, and has moved on to runs in Weston-Super-Mare, Bury St Edmunds, Coventry, Cambridge, Derby and Darlington. The tour continues with runs at Horton, Exeter, Brighton, Yeovil, Torquay and Croydon, and concludes in Eastbourne in early December.

A review in the Teesdale Mercury by Arts Critic Andrew Mercury offers a very positive assessment:

Cricket loving Charters, Denis Lill, and Caldicott, Ben Nealon […] bring a touch of comedy to the proceedings and show we perhaps have not changed that much as the Englishman abroad.

The set (Morgan Large) effortlessly transforms from the station to the interior of the train and back again. The atmosphere is enhanced with subtle lighting (Charlie Morgan Jones) and sound (Dan Samson). Direction by Roy Marsden is slick throughout.

The intrigue and suspense of The Lady Vanishes will keep you on the edge of your seat as you follow the twists and turns trying to spot the red herrings.

This new production is directed by Bill Kenwright regular Roy Marsden (who appeared as a cast member in the third series of Survivors back in 1977 as The Captain in “Long Live the King”).

For full information on dates and locations, and to buy tickets online, visit the The Lady Vanishes site.

A publicity shot of Denis Lill in the 2019 touring production of The Lady Vanishes
Charters (Denis Lill) and Caldicott (Ben Nealon) in The Lady Vanishes
The cast of the 2019 national touring production of The Lady Vanishes
A production still of the full cast of the new production of The Lady Vanishes (Lill, right)
A publicity shot for the 2019 touring production of The Lady Vanishes, which features Denis Lill in the cast
Iris (Scarlett Archer, left), Ms Froy (Gwen Taylor), Charters (Denis Lill) and Caldicott (Ben Nealon) in a scene from The Lady Vanishes

Posting Letters to the Moon completes New York run

LUCY FLEMING AND Simon Williams completed the New York run of their spoken-word production Posting Letter to the Moon earlier this week.

The three week run at 59E59 Theatres was the first overseas tour for the show which offers “a romantic, funny, and touching portrait of life during the early 1940s featuring readings of wartime letters between Oscar- nominated actress [and Lucy Fleming’s mother] Celia Johnson (Brief Encounter) and her explorer and writer husband Peter Fleming (brother of James Bond creator Ian Fleming).”

Speaking to Hollywood Soapbox, during the run, Fleming suggests that the letters shared by her parents reveals:

the depth of their love and the bravery they showed each other from thousands of miles apart, the jokes they sent each other to keep their spirits up, their optimism throughout the five years of World War II when nobody knew who was going to survive, the way they dealt with the deprivations of rationing of food, petrol and clothes.

A copy of the full-colour programme from the US run is available for download below.

Lucy Fleming and Simon Williams take Posting Letters To The Moon show to New York

LUCY FLEMING AND Simon Williams will travel to New York in May to perform a three-week run of their acclaimed narrated two-hander Posting Letters to the Moon.

The ninety-minute show offers a “romantic, funny, and touching portrait of life during the early 1940s featuring readings of wartime letters between Oscar- nominated actress Celia Johnson (Brief Encounter) and her explorer and writer husband Peter Fleming (brother of James Bond creator Ian Fleming).”

Posting Letters to the Moon will feature of part of the “Brits Off Broadway 2019” season which aims to introduce New York theatre audiences. to innovative new productions from the world of British theatre.

The New York run of the show opens at the 59E59 Theatres venue on Tuesday 14 May 2019 and continues daily (excluding Mondays) until Sunday 2 June 2019 (with matinee and evening shows on Saturdays). Tickets can be purchased online from the 59E59 Theatres site.

Show Info

Compiled by Lucy Fleming
With Lucy Fleming and Simon Williams

Posting Letters To The Moon is a romantic, funny, and touching portrait of life during the early 1940s featuring readings of wartime letters between Oscar- nominated actress Celia Johnson (Brief Encounter) and her explorer and writer husband Peter Fleming (brother of James Bond creator Ian Fleming).

Their daughter, Lucy Fleming, alongside her own husband, Simon Williams, reads these touching and amusing letters that tell of Celia’s experiences during the war: coping with a large isolated house full of evacuated children, learning to drive a tractor, dealing with rationing, holidays in Cornwall where she took to surfing, and all the while accepting offers, when she could get away, to act — for David Lean, Noël Coward, wartime propaganda films, and ultimately starring in the classic film Brief Encounter.

59E59  Theatres
59 East 59th Street
New York, NY 10022

Prior to, and following, their appearance at the festival in New York, Fleming and Williams continue performances of the show in the UK with dates at:

  • Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis DT7 3QB (26 April 2019) [tickets]
  • Churchill War Rooms, London SW1A 2AQ (8 May 2019) [invitation only]
  • Regal Theatre, Tenbury Wells WR15 8AE (20 June 2019) [venue]
  • Farnham Maltings, Farnham GU9 7QR (9 July 2019) [venue]

Denis Lill on tour in The Case of the Frightened Lady

The Case of the Frightened Lady poster - portrait

DENIS LILL HAS recently begun a national theatre tour in a Classic Thriller Company production of The Case of the Frightened Lady. This latest production from the company is an adaptation of Edgar Wallace’s acclaimed murder mystery, and includes in its ensemble many of the same cast members that Lill has appeared with in previous touring productions by the Agatha Christie Company, including Witness for the Prosection, Death on the Nile and Then There Were None.

When Inspector Tanner is called in to investigate a ruthless murder at Mark’s Priory, the grand ancestral home of the Lebanon family, he quickly discovers that nothing is quite as it seems. The household is controlled by the family physician, the footmen behave more like guests than servants and the secretary Isla is afraid for her life. As Tanner moves closer to the heart of the mystery he uncovers a shocking and closely guarded secret…

Building on the phenomenal decade long success of The Agatha Christie Company, which sold over two million tickets around the UK, comes a new thrilling chapter. Following this year’s acclaimed production of Ruth Rendell’s A Judgement in Stone, the Classic Thriller Company returns with a brand new adaption from the legendary “King of the detective thriller”, EDGAR WALLACE – the brains behind one of the most iconic films of all time, KING KONG.

Widely recognised as the most popular writer of the early 20th century, Edgar Wallace’s gripping page-turners are regarded as the bedrock of the modern thriller and The Case of the Frightened Lady remains one of his most celebrated works. Adapted for film several times, this is your chance to catch this chilling, captivating and complex thriller live on stage…

The Case of the Frightened Lady poster - landscape

The tour got off to an excellent start, with the opening run at The Theatre Royal in Windsow earning a rave review in the Slough Observer. Performances across the ensemble cast all garnered praise, with Denis Lill “from long-running drama The Royal and Only Fools and Horses” described as “wonderful” in the role of Dr Amersham.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Book tickets

29 Jan-3 Feb Weston-Super-Mare Playhouse 01934 645544 Book

5 – 10 Feb Guildford, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre 01483 440000 Book

12 – 17 Feb Crawley, The Hawth Theatre 01293 553636 Book

19 – 24 Feb Aylesbury Waterside Theatre 08448 717627 Book

26 Feb-3 Mar Chesterfield Pomegranate 01246 345222 Book

5 – 10 Mar Cardiff, New Theatre 02920 878889 Book

12 – 17 Mar Barnstaple Queens Theatre 01271 316063 Book

19 – 24 Mar Stoke-on-Trent, Regent Theatre 08448 717649 Book

26 – 31 Mar Edinburgh, Kings Theatre 01315 296000 Book

3 – 7 Apr Woking, New Victoria Theatre 08448 717645 Book

21 – 26 May Milton Keynes Theatre 08448 717652 Book

11 – 16 Jun Coventry, Belgrade Theatre 024 7655 3055 Book

18 – 23 Jun Southend Palace Theatre 01702 351135 Book

2 – 8 Jul Swansea Grand Theatre 01792 475715 Book

23 – 28 Jul Leeds Grand Theatre 08448 482700 Book

30 Jul – 4 Aug Bury St Edmonds, Theatre Royal 01284 769505 Book

2 – 6 Oct Glasgow, Theatre Royal 08448 717647 Book

More live dates for Lucy Fleming’s and Simon Williams’ Posting Letters to the Moon

Lucy Fleming and Simon Williams in Posting Letters to the Moon

LUCY FLEMING AND Simon Williams will appear on stage together in additional spoken-word performances of Posting Letters to the Moon, a reading of the wartime letters between the actress Ceila Johnson and her husband Peter Fleming.

A romantic, funny and very touching portrait of life during the early 1940s featuring readings of wartime letters between Oscar-nominated actress Celia Johnson (Brief Encounter) and her explorer and writer husband Peter Fleming (brother of James Bond creator Ian Fleming).

The letters read by their daughter Lucy Fleming (Miranda in The Archers, Survivors) and her husband Simon Williams (Justin in The Archers, EastEnders, Upstairs Downstairs) are full of love and warmth and we get an insight into a young mother’s life whose husband has gone to war.

‘…this intimate and simply spellbinding performance … revealing an abundance of love and affection between ordinary people caught in extraordinary times.’ British Theatre Guide, March 2017

Posting Letters to the Moon logo


Sunday, 11 March 2018
3.00 pm – 4.20 pm
19 West Borough, Wimborne BH21 1LT
01202 885566
Tickets £15/discounts (plus booking fees)

Thursday, 22 March 2018
7.45 pm – 9.15 pm
Millbrook, Guildford GU1 3UX
+44 (0)1483 44 00 00
Tickets £17 (inc of booking fees)

Wednesday, 11 April 2018
4 pm
Sonning Eye, Reading RG4 6TY
0118 969 8000
Tickets £20.00 to include a glass of Champagne served on stage with a Q & A after the show.

Thursday, 12 April 2018
7.45 pm – 9.00 pm
Chipping Norton Theatre
2 Spring Street,
Chipping Norton
01608 642350
Tickets £12.50/£10.50 concessions (plus booking fees)

Saturday, 19 May 2018
7.45 pm – 9.15 pm
01684 569256
Grange Rd, Malvern WR14 3HB

Tuesday, June 12 2018
Assembly Room
Devizes Town Hall

Lucy Fleming gives reading at commemoration for Major Valentine Fleming MP

Lucy Fleming gave a reading at an event in Nettlebed Village Club this evening (16 May 2017) to commemorate the life of her grandfather (and father of Ian Fleming) Major Valentine Fleming, the Henley MP who died 100 years ago.

Concert to commemorate MP killed in the Great War

THIS time 100 years ago the MP for Henley was Major Valentine Fleming from Nettlebed.

The father of four boys — one of whom, Ian, would later find global fame as the creator of James Bond — Valentine was a close friend of Winston Churchill and a leading light of the South Oxfordshire community.

Elected to parliament in 1910, it was in his capacity as the local MP that he was asked to officially declare open Nettlebed Village Club when it opened its doors for the first time in 1913 — the construction of the building having been funded by Valentine’s father, Robert, the Scottish financier and philanthropist.

Major Valentine Fleming

The following year, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria saw the First World War break out in Europe. Billed at the time as “the war to end all wars”, the conflict would run from July 28, 1914, to November 11, 1918.

Valentine joined “C” Squadron of the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars, and went to France to fight — later rising to the rank of major.

By his own account, in a letter written to a fellow officer, the cavalry regiment initially had little more than “a tour of the principal French watering places” followed by a “very dull” fortnight hanging about Dunkirk and St Omer.

But then on October 30 he and his men were told by General de Lisle to occupy a line of trenches near Messines.

“This was disagreeable,” wrote Valentine, “as projectiles of every variety were exploding with a disquieting regularity over the ground of our advance. Luckily we had no man hit — I can’t think why — which put some heart into the men. We began to wonder how to fix the bloody bayonets with which we had been issued two days previously.”

After serving with distinction for nearly three years, Valentine was killed by German bombing in the Gillemont Farm area of Picardy on May 20, 1917.

For his war service, Valentine was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Order. His obituary was written by Churchill and his portrait still hangs above the bar at Nettlebed Village Club.

With the centenary of his death approaching, a special “commemoration evening” has been organised in Valentine’s memory in partnership with Nettlebed Folk Song Club, which stages a regular series of Monday night concerts throughout the year.

This will take place at the village club on Tuesday (May 16) from 7.30pm.

The main act for the evening will be Coope, Boyes and Simpson, who are widely regarded as one of the leading authorities on the music of the First World War period.

In 2014, having been involved with the In Flanders Fields Museum for almost 20 years, they issued In Flanders Fields — a two-CD album intended as a homage to the music and song of the First World War.

The evening will also include a performance by Steve Knightley, of folk legends Show of Hands, together with a reading from Valentine’s granddaughter, the actress Lucy Fleming. Henley singer-songwriter Megan Henwood will also perform.

Proceeds from the evening will be donated to the Nettlebed Village Club roof fund.

Henley Standard. 2017. ‘Concert to commemorate MP killed in the Great War‘, Henley Standard, 15 May. http://www.henleystandard.co.uk/news/music/109799/concert-to-commemorate-mp-killed-in-the-great-war.html

The event was also previewed in: Staff Reporter. 2017. ‘Valentine Fleming Commemoration Concert: Remembering the Great War’, Maidenhead Advertiser, 15 May. http://www.maidenhead-advertiser.co.uk/news/bands-and-music-news/115338/valentine-fleming-commemoration-concert-remembering-the-great-war-at-commemoration-concert.html