Roy Smiles is a playwright and singer songwriter from West London. He is also an occasional actor.
He is the author of twenty four produced stage plays. He has had plays staged in the UK, US, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Israel, Czech Republic and Sweden.
Six of his plays have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4: Memories of a Cad, Ying Tong - A Walk With The Goons, Good Evening (Behind The Beyond), Pythonesque, Dear Arthur - Love John and Goodnight From Him.
As a songwriter his first album Drunks & Dreamers was released by Red Admiral Records in March 2011. His second album Time's Moving On was released by Red Admiral Records in August 2012. His third album Seize The Day is to be released by Red Admiral Records in June 2013.
As an actor he played the character of Itzak Heller in Roman Polanski's Oscar winning film The Pianist.
He began his career as half of the comedy double act Smiles & Kemp (1985-1989).
As an actor he was in the original cast of A Slice Of Saturday Night staged at the Kings Head Theatre & transferring to The Arts Theatre in London's West End (1989-1991).
In 1992 his first produced play Schmucks, about a fictitious meeting between Groucho Marx and Lenny Bruce, was staged at the Battersea Arts Centre.
Other early plays include: Top Of The Town (Kings Head Theatre 1992), Roberto Calvi Is Alive & Well (Finborough Theatre 1992) Idiot's Waltz (Finborough Theatre 1993), Danny Boy (Etcetera Theatre 1994), The Boys Of Summer (Old Red Lion Theatre 1995), The Promised Land (Kings Head Theatre 1995), Get It While You Can - A Conversation With Janis Joplin (Etcetera Theatre 1996), The Exiles (Hen & Chickens Theatre 1997), Stand Up (Old Red Lion Theatre 1999), Bombing People (Jermyn Street Theatre 2000), Sick Dictators (Jermyn Street Theatre 2001) and Lunatics’ Tango (Hen & Chickens Theatre 2002).
During this time he supported himself with small acting roles in television shows such as Operation Good Guys, Frank Stubbs Promotes and Peak Practice. In the cinema he played a Jewish collaborator in Roman Polanski's Oscar winning film The Pianist (2002).
In 2000 he had a play writing attachment to the Royal National Theatre sponsored by playwright/director Terry Johnson.
In 2004 West Yorkshire Playhouse staged Ying Tong, his story of Spike Milligan's nervous breakdown whilst writing The Goon Show, which transferred to the New Ambassadors Theatre in London's West End in 2005, produced by Michael Codron. It was later staged in the US, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
In 2006 he played the lead in his play about his brief time on the comedy circuit: The Ho-Ho Club alongside Sally Lindsay at The Kings Head Theatre.
In 2007 Good Evening (Behind The Beyond), his story of the Beyond The Fringe team, had its world premier in South Africa.
In 2007 Ying Tong received its American premier at The Wilma Theatre in Philadelphia.
In 2008 Year Of The Rat, his story of George Orwell's attempts to write Nineteen Eighty Four, had its British premier at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.
In 2008 Schmucks had its American premier at The Wilma Theatre in Philadelphia.
Pythonesque, his play about Graham Chapman's time in the Monty Python team, had its British premier at the 2009 Edinburgh Festival.
His play about Kurt Cobain's suicide: Kurt & Sid which starred Shaun Evans as Kurt Cobain and Danny Dyer as Sid Vicious, was staged at the Trafalgar Studios in London in 2009.
Backstage, his screw-ball 1930's farce had its world premier at The Court Theatre in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2009.
His play about Robert F. Kennedy's doomed attempt to run for president in 1968: The Last Pilgrim was staged at The White Bear Theatre in 2010.
His musical Burlesque, co-written with Adam Megiddo, about the 1950's Communist witch-hunts in America, was staged at the Jermyn Street Theatre in 2011. It won Best Musical at the Off West End Awards in 2012.
The Lad Himself, his play about British radio and TV comedian Tony Hancock, was staged at the 2012 Edinburgh Festival.
Plum, a play about PG Wodehouse's infamous Berlin Broadcasts, had its world premiere at the Court Theatre in New Zealand in August 2014.
Reno, a two-hander about the implosion of the marriage between Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller during the making of the film The Misfits, had its UK premiere at The Rialto Theatre, Brighton, in December 2014. Monroe was played by Lauren Varnfield, and Miller by Robert Cohen.
Ying Tong, Year Of The Rat, Pythonesque and Kurt & Sid have all been published by Oberon Books. As is his book on comedic influences: Funny People.
Roy Smiles - Unstaged Plays
Slum Boy - the story of rotund Northern comic Les Dawson’s rise to riches from the bleak slums of Manchester to pug faced national treasure. Cast of one.
Ava - the young Ava Gardner confronts her older self about an uninhibited life, affairs with bullfighters & tempestuous, destructive marriage to Frank Sinatra. Cast of two.
Baghdad Boogie - two Western hostages, an American & Canadian, held in Iraq find their humanity while in chains. Cast of two.
Jewish Girls - two Jewish New Yorkers, a struggling singer and actress, bicker across years of struggle & fame. Cast of two.
Working For Mammon - a disillusioned teacher becomes embroiled in the 2011 London riots. Cast of three.
Waugh In Winter - acerbic right wing author Evelyn Waugh meets his match in a supposed BBC interviewer. Cast of three.
The Weight Of Days - Albert Camus & Jean-Paul Sartre’s infamous literary & personal feud in 1950’s Paris. Cast of four.
A Hard Night’s Day - the story of The Beatles told in the madcap style of Dick Lester's A Hard Day’s Night. Cast of four.
The VIP - Richard Burton, the Welsh movie star, fog bound at Heathrow, reflects on a life & talent wasted. Cast of four.
Reading Gaol - Oscar Wilde survives imprisonment, heartbreak & George Bernard Shaw. Cast of four.
John Wayne’s Walk - the spirit of John Wayne helps an agoraphobic find love, health and happiness. Cast of four.
What Kind Of Fool? - the story of cockney actor, musical composer & singer Anthony Newley’s incredible rise & fall. Cast of four.
Fallen Sparrow - the last night on earth of John Garfield, Hollywood actor, hounded to death by the Communist Witch-hunts. Cast of five.