Review: Mark Gatiss, York Literature Festival, Grand Opera House

Actor and writer Mark Gatiss

Actor and writer Mark Gatiss

The auditorium was packed with people wanting to know more about this prominent English actor, comedian, screenwriter and novelist. They weren’t disappointed, Mark Gatiss was on fine form.

We were privy to a cosy chat with this inspirational actor and writer, a live and special event.

The afternoon show began with the projection of a League of Gentlemen episode called Stump Hole Cavern, featuring Mark as a dour guide; with the predictably, yet also highly original style that we have came to know and love with the League of Gentlemen series.

Mark then appeared onstage, looking very dapper in a tweed suit complete with Dr Who/Sherlock waistcoat, instantly commanding the space.

Writer Robert Ross led the first half conversation masterfully and we learnt a great deal about Mark’s formative years, how he honed his craft of combining Hhrror and comedy, and the writers who influenced him.

The second half opened with another projection, this time featuring Mark as Professor Richard Lazarus, in a Dr Who Episode written by Stephen Greenhorn called The Lazarus Experiment. Explosive stuff, literally, and a great choice of opening of the second half.

Self–deprecating, and very witty, we got to learn more about Mark, and his television scripts.