Richard Kates – Writer/Actor/Director
RICHARD’s career has taken him through almost every avenue of the profession. Starting as an actor at Oldham Rep, he was then cast in a starring role in the the BBC’s rock opera ORION. This was followed by a wide and diverse number of leading roles in London’s West End and around the country.
He was the first person in England to play Jesus in both GODSPELL and JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR.
In 1984 he wrote the hugely acclaimed satirical revue ‘WICKED LIPS’ which led to him writing extensively for TV.
The subsequent years have been divided between acting, writing and directing. He has contributed many articles to various periodicals and as an award winning songwriter, with three CDs of his words and music to his name. He is currently working on his first one man show of his words and music called 'IT'S WHAT I UNDERSTAND'.
He played Frank N. Furter in THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW on numerous occasions over a period of 17 years.
Joseph in JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT.
John Emery in TALLULAH WHO? (Opposite Suzi Quatro).
Cliff in CABARET.
Charlie Brown in YOU’RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN.
Hero in A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM (opposite Frankie Howerd).
Phileas Fogg in AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS.
Mr. D’Arcy in PRIDE AND PREJUDICE.
Richard Sackville in the Richard Burton film ABSOLUTION.
Joey in IN PRAISE OF LOVE (opposite Richard Todd).
Rob in ROBIN REDBREAST.
Donal Davoren in THE SHADOW OF THE GUNMAN.
Richard in THE LOVER.
Simon Spelling in the film FLUFF.
In 1984 Richard wrote a show called WICKED LIPS which was due to play the Donmar Warehouse, in London, but due to copyright problems the show was banned only hours before it was due to open. However, a private performance did take place, and was so well received that Richard was determined it would return.
It took four years, and in 1988 WICKED LIPS finally opened at the Donmar to rave reviews and public acclaim. Jack Tinker wrote, “I offer my thanks for one of the slickest pieces of impertinence it has been my pleasure to enjoy.” It was an immense achievement for Richard, as not only did he write and produce it, but also directed and appeared in it.
He swiftly followed this by writing and directing a one woman show for Su Pollard - A SONG, A FROCK AND A TINKLE, which also played the Donmar, before embarking on a “sell out” national tour.
He also wrote the original songs for a musical version of THE GOOD SEX GUIDE which toured New Zealand, also starring Su Pollard. He worked with Su a third time on the television show TAKE THE PLUNGE for which he was Program Associate.
At the prestigious South Pacific Song Contest in Australia he won three major awards for his song STREISAND GOT THERE FIRST!
He has also written original material for many stars, who have performed his work all over the world.
Future projects include the production of four new musicals, for which he has written the book, music and lyrics:
SNAKES AND LADDERS (a sung through piece about a man living and coping with AIDS - shortlisted for the Vivian Ellis Prize).
MAE I? ( a musical comedy about Mae West - shortlisted for the Vivian Ellis Prize).
TALLULAH DARLING! (about a man who gets knocked over the head, causing him to believe he is Tallulah Bankhead).
A new musical version of DICK WHITTINGTON. Songs from these are featured on his first CD, AMONG FRIENDS - THE WORDS AND MUSIC OF RICHARD KATES, his second CD, 'DARE TO BE GREAT', and his third album THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT YOU.
As well as being cast as one of the principal roles in the BBC’s rock opera ORION, Richard has also written for TV. His credits include:
COPY CATS - for which he also wrote the title song.
THE LAURENCE OLIVIER AWARDS - where Diane Langton opened the ceremony with his song TO WIN AN AWARD.
THE RUSS ABOTT SHOW.
THE LAUGHTER SHOW.
TAKE THE PLUNGE.
DAVRO ON THE BOX.
THE GREAT WHITE SHARK (Narrator).
Wicked Lips - Donmar warehouse & Boulevard Theatre.
Celebration - Players Theatre.
Happy Families - Sadlers Wells.
A Song, a Frock and a Tinkle - Donmar Theatre & National Tour.
Dehli Belly - starring Michelle Fine, music video.