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Terrence Hardiman has been seen filming for series 5 of Doctor Who

Terrence will be appearing in The Changeling until the 6th of November 2007
From The Liverpool Daily Post:

Another terrifyingly good performance

Philip Key talks to Terrence Hardiman – the demon headmaster himself – about his new role

ACTOR Terrence Hardiman scared a whole generation of children in the late 1990s, playing the title role in three series of the television drama, The Demon Headmaster.

Next week in Liverpool, however, he will be trying to bring some light relief into one of the darkest plays in English theatrical history.

He is at the Liverpool Playhouse playing an asylum doctor in the comic sub-plot of The Changeling, the Jacobean tragedy by Thomas Middleton and William Rowley, full of bloody murder and lust.

The main story concerns a girl who hires a servant to murder her fiancé and falls into his evil clutches as a result; in a second story, Hardiman is a jealous asylum doctor who fears – with some justification – that visitors will steal his much younger wife.

It is certainly stronger meat than the Demon Headmaster, in which Hardiman played in extravagant fashion the head who hypnotised people with a plan to take over the world.

Hardiman is not so certain it was the kids who were frightened by his character. “I sometimes thought it was the children holding the hands of the parents who were hiding behind the sofas.”

The Demon Headmaster picked up regular audiences of 5m, “amazing for a tea-time show which they reckoned was an afternoon drama for children. A lot of adults must have watched it.”

When he was sent the scripts, he recalls reading them in the garden and thinking they were great fun and he would love to do them.

“The director wondered if I was happy to work with children.Some actors don’t like the idea of doing that, but I said why not? If the children have been chosen properly and they can act a bit, there was no problem.

“It made a big difference to my career at the time and it’s nice to be in a successful series rather than a flop. It was just amazing because you never know in advance that these things are going to happen.”

He would have local youngsters knocking on his door asking “Is this where the demon headmaster lives?” and the role gave him four seasons in pantomime.

He was not concerned about being typecast either. “I am more concerned about being cast at all.” In fact, London-born Hardiman has been kept pretty busy in a career which began with ten years as a classical actor, first with the Old Vic and later at the Royal Shakespeare Company. “Looking back, I feel sorry for the audiences because I must have been pretty awful. But that’s how we got our chance to learn.”

He has happily moved between theatre and television.

“The first television I did was Softly, Softly, which was a little ironic as my father was a policeman. He gave me a few tips on things like how to hold a truncheon. He was a bit upset that I went straight in and played an inspector, which he never became.”

Hardiman, 70, has appeared in most of the classic television series and made his mark with regular appearances in Secret Army as Major Reinhardt, head of the Luftwaffe police and later as Abbot Radulfus, Brother Cadfael’s superior in Cadfael.

He was last on Merseyside doing the television series Court Room, in which he played a judge. “At my age, what else could I play? I don’t look like an old tramp, so I have to play judges. But I have progressed. Some years ago I was in Crown Court for Granada, but then I was just a barrister.”

There has also been a lot of stage work over the years.

Earlier this year, he played his first role with English Touring Theatre, the company bringing The Changeling to Liverpool. That play was the frothy comedy French Without Tears. “The Changeling is very different, you could not get any more different,” he says.

Two writers worked on the play first staged in 1622, Middleton writing the tragic main tale, Rowley the comic sub-plot. “In fact, Rowley played Lollio, the doctor’s manservant.”

Hardiman is Alibius, the man running the asylum who has to cope with two young men pretending to be mad in order to steal his wife, Isabella.

“I am terrified of losing my young wife,” Hardiman explains. “I know people come to the asylum not just to visit the mentally sick but to get my wife, at least that’s what I fear.

“In a way, my story is also a comment on the main story.” In that, Anna Koval plays the twisted Beatrice who organises the murder of her betrothed in order to wed another.

The set is rather like a Victorian tenement.

“Some people have questioned the anachronism of things like an Exit sign and lights that switch on and off in a Jacobean tragedy, but that was a conscious thing to get this mixture of Jacobean and Victorian with that same ghastly mood.”

But is his character sympathetic? “Well, all actors are meant to say their character is sympathetic, but in fact he’s a silly old fool.”

While the play throughout is dark in mood, Hardiman suggests there are some dark comic tones. “I can imagine people in the audience at the time sitting down or standing up and having a good laugh at some of the horrible, bloody things that happen.”

Hardiman himself counts himself lucky in his career, “lucky that I have survived this long in the business and lucky at the same time to have had a decent family life.”

He is married to the actress Rowena Cooper, who has been appearing in the West End in the melodrama Gaslight, and they have a grown-up son and daughter, neither of whom followed them onto the stage.

His son did appear at age 12 at the National Theatre, in Lark Rise. “He did a couple of radio plays after that and then retired from the business saying he had had enough of it. We were very happy.” He is now an artist in Ireland.

In The Changeling, Hardiman is appearing with a cast who are mostly much younger than himself and he is happy about that and not worried about the young competition.

“I am not going to take their parts at my age and they aren't taking mine. It’s not like the old repertory days when you were expected to play old parts as well. In a way I feel sorry for young actors these days who don't get the opportunities we once had.”

THE Change- ling opens at the Liverpool Playhouse on Tuesday, and runs until November 6

More on the play:

Theatre Review: The Changeling, Liverpool Playhouse

IT IS a play full of bloody murder, lust, evil intent and corruption.

Certainly, the Jacobean tragedy The Changeling, by Thomas Middleton and William Rowley, piles on the drama.

And it is given a fairly reasonable interpretation by the English Touring Theatre company at the Liverpool Playhouse.

Here is the bleak, grey set against which such wicked events can occur, a cast in full period dress and a bit of ominous music to underline some of the more spine-chilling moments.

But – and it is quite a big but – the production lacks the dark atmosphere needed to pull off the real nastiness of the story.

Sometimes that set is too brightly lit, there is not always enough underpinning music and it is often too clean-cut, too straightforward and far too refined.

It is the tale of a woman, Beatrice, who gets her disfigured servant to murder her fiance simply because she has fallen in love with another.

Then the servant demands his wicked way with her in recompense.

A finger is cut off a dead body to obtain a ring, curious concoctions are taken to prove virginity and, in a parallel story, two men pretend to be mad in order to seduce the wife of an asylum doctor.

In the central role of Beatrice, newcomer Anna Koval has an interesting face and an ability to deliver a line at full force, but one never quite believes in her evil. For “a woman dipped in blood”, she is strangely anaemic.

Her lovelorn and murderous servant Deflores is played by Adrian Schiller in an odd, oily monotone that eventually becomes rather ponderous while Gideon Turner’s Alsemro, the subject of Beatrice’s love interest, is just a little bland.

Making rather more of their roles are Ken Bones as a vigorous father to Beatrice, David Cardy as a whip-cracking worker in the asylum, and Terrence Hardiman’s shock-haired asylum doctor.

Director Stephen Unwin tells his tale well enough and there are a few well-considered ideas, like the Frankenstein castle-like asylum scenes. It’s just a shame he could not make it more brutal.

Jacobean drama at Playhouse


NOTTINGHAM Playhouse's latest production promises a heady cocktail of desire and depravity in The Changeling, by Thomas Middleton and William Rowley.
This Jacobean drama – which was produced in partnership with the renowned English Touring Theatre – features several well-known television actors, including Terrence Hardiman, from The Demon Headmaster, Ian Mercer, from Coronation Street, and David Cardy, from Birds of a Feather, and is directed by Stephen Unwin.

The play tells the story of young woman named Beatrice-Joanna who wants to marry Alsemero – but her father has another husband in mind.
Meanwhile her servant, the hideously deformed De Flores, who would do anything for her, agrees to get rid of her unwanted bridegroom.

But when she tries to pay him in gold, the obsessed servant wants the beautiful Beatrice-Joanna herself.

And although at first she is repulsed, she soon finds herself falling in love with him, leading the couple on a depraved journey of lust, lunacy and murder.

The Changeling opens on 28th September and runs until 13th October before beginning a seven-date UK tour.

For more details or to book tickets call 0115 9419419 or log on to

Last Updated: 20 September 2007 12:50 PM

Terrence appeared on stage in "French Without Tears"
Rattigan play revived

A REVIVAL of the popular 1930s play French Without Tears comes to Malvern Theatres later this month.

Terence Rattigan's comedy is set on the French Riviera where a group of young gentlemen are attempting to learn French.

Unfortunately, the Riviera has so many more interesting things to offer than lessons in French grammar and syntax and the students are more interested in learning about romance and the art of seduction. It is a play that pokes fun at the Englishman abroad and the Englishman in love.

Director Paul Miller said the play, a light-hearted frivolous comedy that made Rattigan's name, had a fresh, new feel that was down to the cast of young "highly talented" actors.

"I'm thrilled to be working with these stars of the future," he said.

The cast includes Jenna Harrison, fresh out of the West End play Night of the Iguana, and Terrence Hardiman, better known to television viewers as The Demon Headmaster.

The production, by the award-winning English Touring Theatre, is in Malvern as part of a national tour. It will be at the Festival Theatre from Tuesday, February 20, until Saturday, February 24.

Tickets are £14-£22 on 10684 892277

Coming to Radio in February, First Bite of the Air, a drama-documentary about the closure of the Kerseley colliery in Coventry, produced in Birmingham by Peter Leslie Wild and Sara Conkey, with Terrence Hardiman and Robert Wilkinson, BBC4, 2.15pm on Monday 26 February.

Legal TV, a channel available on SKY tv, are showing episodes of Crown Court. For more details, see the Legal TV website

ITV3 are once again showing Cadfael. "One Corpse Too Many" (a pre Radulphus episode) is showing twice on Saturday the 7th of October. Wether the entire run will be shown is yet to be known.

Terrence read poetry at the Rutland Book Roadshow on the 25th of May. Further details here

Terrence was recently a guest at "An Evening At Le Candide" along with other members of the cast. Read all about it at Andy Priestner's website

UK Drama are regularly showing the entire three series run of Secret Army but please note these episodes are heavily edited , they also have the ever present UKTV logo, countless trailers and squashed credits, so buy the dvds!

CBBC2 showed The Demon Headmaster from the 5th to the 29th of September, at 7.25 a.m.

Terrence appeared in  "The Slavery Business-How To Make A Million From Slavery"  on BBC2 at 9 p.m., on  Wednesday, 3rd of August.

Terrence appeared in "Bloody Sunday-scenes from the Saville Inquiry" at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, from the 11th to the 15th of October 2005.
For more information, see this link

Terrence was in the CBBC channel studio on the 2nd of June 2005.
Terrence was there to promote the Demon Headmaster, and also launch a phone in game called "Halt The Head" , based on the Headmaster character. On the last day of the showing of the series, Terrence took part as a phone in contestant on "Halt The Head".
CBBC showed the entire run of  "The Demon Headmaster" (except the  charity special, with The Chuckle Brothers) from May 31st-but if you missed it, keep your eyes open, as they're likely to show it again.

Unofficial fansite, written by P.R.