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Michael Brandon - Off Ramps
  • World Premièred Assembly Rooms - Edinburgh Fringe 2017
  • Written by Michael Brandon & Guy Masterson
  • Performed byMichael Brandon
  • Directed by Guy Masterson

Michael Brandon, Hollywood Star, Olivier Award nominee for Jerry Springer The Opera and male half of '80s cop comedy, Dempsey & Makepeace, who, at 72, lifts the lid on an extraordinary life and fifty years in showbiz in his Fringe and Stand-up debut.

Born in Brooklyn NYC in 1945, he could have chosen a very different life, but a chance meeting with a young actress changed his course. His first ‘Off Ramp’. He gave himself two years to star in a movie, and in just a few months he was playing alongside Al Pacino and Robert De Niro!

A fifty-year career in showbiz, in many ways blessed, in others, blighted, he lived with Kim Novak, starred with Tony Curtis and married the bionic woman… but he always went his own way.

He describes his journey as ‘a series of Off Ramps on an unplanned voyage’– leaving his options open to whim and adventure. Now a dedicated Anglophile, married and living in London with Makepeace - his on-screen partner, Glynis Barber, he wants to share some of the magic…

An hilarious telling hour of Hollywood truths!

 

REVIEWS FROM EDINBURGH 2017

One-4-Review, 14 August 2017
Although this show is listed under comedy / stand up in the Fringe brochure and I suppose Brandon did stand up for quite a lot of the time and yes it was funny at times also I feel it would be better characterised as spoken word.
In essence this is Michael Brandon, probably best known in the UK anyway for his 80’s role as Dempsey in the TV series Dempsey and Makepeace, it is a brief run through of his life and the number of off- ramps he took away from the main highway of his life and career.
Born and bred in New York, Brandon talks of his early life in a blue collar household, blagging his way into American Academy of Dramatic Arts along with some other house hold names, manages to wangle a great agent and Broadway and Hollywood beckon. He makes films with Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro, Kim Novak, Jacqueline Bissett and a whole host of others during his lengthy career.
The direction of Guy Masterson is evident throughout the piece, there are stills and clips played on a large screen behind him augment the interesting life he has lead, both professionally and personaly and it is certainly a nice way to spend an early evening hour. (Geoff - One-4-Review 14/08/17)

British Theatre Guide, 5th August 2017
Opening on a stage with a projected video reel playing highlights from his career, Michael Brandon's autobiographical stand-up set winds the audience from his days as a vinyl loving teenager, to a jobbing actor, and finally to international movie and television success.
While many of his peers, some who are referenced at length throughout, have gone on to a form of superstardom, most British punters are likely to know him best as the star of the short-lived '80s UK cop drama, Dempsey and Makepeace. However, as he goes to lengths to point out, Brandon's career has been long and varied, branching out from his days in the theatre as an understudy, to his first breakout roles, but ultimately the show is largely about the women in his life.
It's a well constructed performance, and I say that with the full knowledge that this is technically classified as comedy and stand-up in the Fringe programming. However, despite eliciting many laughs and chuckles throughout his interesting life story, this never feels like stand-up; it's a pleasant hour of amusement, indeed, there's almost more material than the timescale afforded allows crammed in here. It just never feels entirely as organic as good comedy should, nor as natural as a performed piece ought to. But it's early days. That said, it was an eye-opening and intriguing summation of a grand career I was only passingly familiar with, and provided a fair few grins and chuckles. (Graham Strachan - British Theatre Guide - 05/08/17)

Daily Telegraph, 22 August 2017
Not everyone can remember Michael Brandon's roles in Jerry Springer: The Opera or as Dempsey in ITV cop-show Dempsey and Makepeace, but do'nt let that put you off attending his confessional one-man-show. This is actually a far more gossipy, self-deprecating and insightful hour than one might expect – not only because Brando'ns career has seen him work alongside some Hollywood legends (Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Kim Novak among them, the latter a serious flame) but also because his success as an actor was against the odds. So deprived was his start in Queens, NYC – with tough parents to boot – that up to the age of nine he had no idea what a school locker was, let alone the concept of having your own school books. His is a rattling, often romance-steeped yarn, and his story of a drama-school audition nightmare is probably one of the funniest in the business. If you didn't know or much care for this Anglophile American (who married his Makepeace, Glynis Barber, in 1989) at the start, by the end of his charm offensive you sure will.(Dominic Cavendish - Daily Telegraph - 22/08/17)