Me, Myself, I
David Bradshawe was born and grew up in the Black Country town of Wednesbury. He graduated from the Birmingham School of Speech Training and Dramatic Art in 1978 after making his professional acting debut at Northampton Repertory Theatre in Noel Cowards classic comedy Present Laughter.
He moved to London in 1978 and quickly made his TV debut in Only A Game followed by a period as a member of the BBC Radio Drama Company where he was involved in the classic broadcast of The Lord Of The Rings and the Sci-Fi cult classic Earthsearch. David made his West End debut at the Arts Theatre in 1982 playing the lead in the American play, The Boy Who Talked to Whales. Another contract with the BBC Radio School’s Rep followed as well as theatre roles in London in comedies such as Laugh? I Nearly Went To Miami and tours of musicals such as Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
David took a short sabbatical from the business in the late 80’s and began travelling around the world. He worked for an American Charter Airline Company called Trans International Airlines working out of New York as initially a flight attendant before gaining promotion as a Flight Service Manager. He then joined P&O Cruises (Southampton) as an Entertainment Officer where he enjoyed writing and devising his own shows such as Breakfast With Bradshawe, Bradshawe After Dark and the comedy characters Janet and Nessie as well as performing in musicals such as Oklahoma, My Fair Lady and Show Of Shows.
Upon returning to London in the mid-90’s he began teaching and directing at several Performing Arts Colleges including, Boden Studios, Italia Conti Academy, Laine Theatre Arts, CPA Studios and the London Studio Centre.
As an actor David’s work has been diverse; plaudits for his role of the Marquis De Sade in The Arcola Theatre production of Marat/ Sade, Antipholus of Syracuse in Shakespeare’s A Comedy Of Errors, Toad in a national tour of Wind In The Willows, Sam Byck in Sondheim’s Assassins , The Baker in Into The Woods and Wiggins the Butler and Gendarme in Martin Charnin’s Bless The Bride at the King’s Head Theatre.
David directed A Chorus Line at the Queen’s Theatre in Hornchurch and a new play Cold Feet as part of the Covent Garden Theatre Festival. He appeared for one episode in the popular “soap” Eastenders as the real ale enthusiast Baggy and soon afterwards worked with Tim Molyneux in Nashville as part of his Repertory Theatre At Sea company onboard Crystal Cruises. As a consequence of this work he was invited to re-start his previous career as an Entertainment Officer as part of the inaugural entertainment team onboard the Queen Mary 2 and eventually become her fourth Cruise Director. In 2006 he was honoured to have been made a Warden of his Church, The Actors Church, St.Paul’s Church, Covent Garden and in September of the same year was invited to become Cruise Director for Thomson Cruises for their seasons in the Med and Red Sea. Shortly after completing this contract he was contacted by Princess Cruises and invited to re-join the company he first worked for in 1993 upon the same ship, The Regal Princess as Cruise Director some fourteen years after leaving. David remained a Cruise Director for Princess Cruises for over 7 years before leaving for more adventures with other luxury cruise lines. He is proud to have personally written and initiated the successful Dancing With The Stripes which continues to be a part of their entertainment product. David moved to Canada in 2009 and became a Permanent Resident in 2016. He has also returned to his first love of acting and has performed in several Musical Theatre productions including Herr Schultz in Cabaret, Mr.Banks in Mary Poppins and Grandpa Joe in Willy Wonka as well as appearances in TV series such as Suits, Designated Survivor and Schitts Creek. He remains free for Bar Mitzvahs, Birthdays and weddings.
I was an extra in the TV soap “Crossroads” gaining valuable filming experience while at Drama School. We filmed at the ATV studios in Birmingham and I’m here to tell you that the apocryphal stories about the Motel set were absolutely true. My character entered the reception area and my arm gently brushed against the side of the door-frame which started rocking back and forth independently of it’s own accord. I and the director took no notice and carried on in the scene as if this was perfectly normal behaviour for a door-frame .
My agent called me and told me that she had got me an audition for the role of the romantic lead, Freddy Einsford-Hill, in a tour and consequent West End production of My Fair Lady. I was to audition at the Albery Theatre which at the time was presenting the Cameron Macintosh production of Oliver. I followed many handsome and tall leading men for this role in the waiting area and as I strode to the front of the stage I was met by Cameron Macintosh himself. I apologized immediately for my totally inappropriate casting nomination and instead of berating me was met by a total understanding and compassion. He asked me to sing and perform for him and I did so with energy and gusto. He was impressed. “What do you want to do in the business?” he asked. “I want to be a serious Classical actor and perform in Shakespeare”. He shook his head and said emphatically “No”. “You have a good voice and movement skills. You are made for Musical Theatre”. Surprised and humbled by this emphatic remark I thanked him and left the theatre full of the joys of Spring. He never rang back.
I was “challenged” to produce something new for the passengers by a certain Hotel General Manager. “They don’t like what you’re giving them and they want something different. You’re supposed to have been in entertainment a long time so let’s see if you can produce something they would like”. Thus began the invention and event that remains Dancing With The Stripes.
Upon returning to Princess Cruises after 14 years away I met some new entertainers who became good friends for the first time. One of them was comedian Dick Gold. Over the years Dick and his wife Pat became close friends and I enjoyed their company whenever we worked together. In my earnestness to do well with my “new” company I often closed a party, show and event with a short announcement about the evening’s entertainment. One particular event occurred on the same evening as a performance from Dick. I seized the moment to make my customary announcement to the assembled passengers about the evening’s performance and it went something like this. “Ladies and Gentlemen I’d like to invite you all to the intimate surroundings of the Adagio Piano Bar after the show tonight where comedian Dick Gold will be presenting his Mirth, Merriment and music cabaret starting from 9:30. So Ladies and Gentlemen a great intimate evening event in store where the word of the night will be “more and more”. So why not get intimate with Dick tonight in the Adagio Piano Bar”. To his great credit Dick never batted an eye-lid but my face was as bright as a belisha beacon.
I was stopped by an Immigration Officer once going through New York. The friendly Officer with a broad Bronx accent asked me what I did for a living. “I’m a Cruise Director” I said. “You look familiar” he replied, “Are you sure you’re not an actor?” Surprised and feeling proud by this comment I told him I used to be an actor. He looked at me for what seemed an age before stamping my passport. “Mr Bradshawe let me tell you something: Once an actor, always an actor! You have a nice day”.
Let Me Introduce Myself..
The Original Royal Princess