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Chelsom, Peter (Anthony) 1956-

CHELSOM, Peter (Anthony) 1956-


PERSONAL: Born April 20, 1956 in Blackpool, England; son of Reginald (an antiques shop owner) and Kay (an antiques shop owner) Chelsom.


ADDRESSES: Agent—William Morris Agency, 151 South El Camino Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90212.


CAREER: Actor, director, and writer. Director of films, including Treacle (short film), 1988; Hear My Song, Miramax Films, 1991; (and producer) Funny Bones, Buena Vista, 1995; The Mighty, Miramax, 1998; Town and Country, New Line Cinema, 2001; Serendipity, Miramax, 2001; and Shall We Dance? 2004. Actor in films, including (as Mitchell) The American Success Company (also known as The Ringer, American Success, and Success), 1978; (as Nigel Playfayre) Christmas Present, 1985; and (as Oliver Sutherland) Indian Summer, 1987.

Actor in stage productions, including (as Edmund) Edward II, Royal Lyceum Theatre Company, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1978-79; All Ayre and Fire, Royal Lyceum Theatre Company, 1978-79; (as the son) Bingo, Royal Lyceum Theatre Company, 1978-79; (as Charley) Charley's Aunt, Royal Lyceum Theatre Company, 1978-79; (as title role) The Gingerbread Man, Leeds Playhouse Company, 1979-80; (as Harcourt), The Country Wife, Thorndike Theatre, Leatherhead, 1980; (as Nick Croucher) Television Times, Royal Shakespeare Company, London and Stratford, England, 1980-82; (as Florizel) The Winter's Tale, Royal Shakespeare Company, 1980-82; (as Valentine) Two Gentlemen of Verona, Royal Shakespeare Company, 1980-82; Titus Andronicus, Royal Shakespeare Company, 1980-82; All's Well That Ends Well, Royal Shakespeare Company, 1980-82; (as Ralph) The Accrington Pals, Royal Shakespeare Company, Warehouse Theatre, London, 1981; (as Black and Nicky Hutchinson) Our Friends in the North, Royal Shakespeare Company, 1982; and (as Joe Conran) Ourselves Alone, Royal Court Theatre, London, then Theatre Upstairs, London, 1985-86.

Actor in made-for-television movies, including (as young adult Bernard Wilsher) Cream in My Coffee, 1980; (as Kenny Winters) Not That Kind of People, 1982; (as Houseman) Intensive Care, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), 1982; (as Giles) An Englishman Abroad, BBC, 1983; and (as Alan) Time and the Conways, BBC. Actor in television miniseries, including (as Edwin Fairley) A Woman of Substance, 1983; and (as Christopher Sorrell) Sorrell and Son, Yorkshire TV, 1983. Actor in television shows, including BBC2 Playhouse: School Play, BBC2, 1979; (as Bryan Snow) "Star Quality," Noel Coward Stories, BBC, 1987, televised on Masterpiece Theatre, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), 1987; (as Cleante) "The Miser," Great Performances, PBS, 1988; and (as narrator) "Bill the Minder," Long Ago and Far Away, PBS, 1989. Guest star on television show Alcohol, Granada TV, 1979. Voice of Horatio in radio program A Hard Night in Elsinore, BBC, 1978-79.

WRITINGS:


screenplays


(With Adrian Dunbar) Hear My Song, Miramax Films, 1991.

(With Peter Flannery) Funny Bones, Buena Vista, 1995.


SIDELIGHTS: Although he is best known as a director in Hollywood and as an actor in his native Britain, Peter Chelsom has also written the screenplays for the films Hear My Song and Funny Bones. Chelsom wrote the former film, loosely based on real events, in collaboration with the movie's star, Adrian Dunbar. Dunbar plays Micky O'Neil, the manager of a Liverpool nightclub that survives (barely) on faux stars, such as "Franc Cinatra." He hopes for success when he books Mr. X, a man who may or may not be the legendary, real-life Irish tenor Josef Locke. (Locke has been hiding from the police for twenty-five years as a result of tax evasion charges.) Soon, Mr. X is exposed as just another imposter, but this sends O'Neil, with friend Fintan O'Donnell in tow, off to Ireland in search of the real Locke. Throughout the course of this "giddy pipedream," as Richard Alleva described the film in Commonweal, O'Neil and O'Donnell find themselves in numerous comic situations, including one "involving a cow and the deepest well in Ireland, that incorporates so many colliding elements of farce, fantasy, and downright terror that you don't know whether to laugh or rise screaming from your seat or do both simultaneously." Entertainment Weekly reviewer Owen Gleiberman also noted this mix of comedy and tragedy, calling the movie "an exuberant piece of blarney" but also noting that what "animates" it is "the unstated melancholy at its core."


Funny Bones also centers around the world of show business. In this film, Oliver Platt stars as Tommy, an aspiring stand-up comedian who can't escape from the shadow of his father, famed funny man George Fawkes (played by real-life famed funny man Jerry Lewis). When Tommy's show bombs on its opening night in Las Vegas and his father takes over the contract from him, Tommy flees to the gone-to-seed seaside showbiz town of Blackpool, England, where he and his father lived until his father took his act to the United States when Tommy was six. There, Shawn Levy explained in Film Comment, Tommy "hopes to discover what's really funny—the ur-comedy with which his father was blessed by the showbiz gods." He succeeds in this, although not quite in the way he expected to; among other surprises, he discovers that his father plagiarized his material and that one of the best slapstick acts in town belongs to his mentally disturbed half-brother. "It's hard to imagine that anyone exposed to the slapstick in Funny Bones will contest Chelsom's claim that it's the superior comic art" when compared to the verbal humor of stand-up, Levy noted.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:


books


Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television, Volume 36, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2001.

Singer, Michael, editor Michael Singer's Film Directors, 9th international edition, Lone Eagle Publishing (Los Angeles, CA), 1992.


periodicals


Atlanta Journal-Constitution, October 16, 1998, Eleanor Ringel, review of The Mighty, p. P8.

Austin American-Statesman (Austin, TX), April 27, 2001, Alison Macor, review of Town and Country, p. F3.

Back Stage, February 9, 1990, Lisa Kent, "Peter Chelsom: A Little Treacle on the Set," pp. 40-41.

Boston Herald, October 16, 1998, James Verniere, review of The Mighty, p. S13.

Buffalo News (Buffalo, NY), October 16, 1998, Jeff Simon, review of The Mighty, p. G8; April 27, 2001, Jeff Simon, review of Town and Country, p. G5; October 5, 2001, Jean Westmore, review of Tempting the Fates, p. G4.

Christian Science Monitor, November 9, 1995, David Sterritt, review of Funny Bones, p. 10.

Commonweal, April 10, 1992, Richard Alleva, review of Hear My Song, p. 18.

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), October 16, 1998, Dann Gire, review of The Mighty, p. 32; October 5, 2001, Dann Gire, review of Serendipity, p. 41.

Daily News (Los Angeles, CA), April 27, 2001, Bob Strauss, review of Town and Country, p. L12.

Daily Telegraph (London, England), December 21, 2001, Tim Robey, review of Serendipity, p. 15.

Daily Telegraph (Surry Hills, New South Wales, Australia), January 17, 2002, Vicky Roach, review of Serendipity, p. T09.

Daily Variety, August 6, 2002, Michael Fleming, "Chelsom Asked to Dance," p. 2.

Entertainment Weekly, February 7, 1992, Owen Gleiberman, review of Hear My Song, p. 40; August 14, 1992, Lawrence O'Toole, review of Hear My Song, p. 66; March 31, 1995, Owen Gleiberman, review of Funny Bones, p. 45; May 11, 2001, Lisa Schwarzbaum, review of Town and Country, p. 53; October 12, 2001, Lisa Schwarzbaum, review of Serendipity, p. 60.

Evening Standard (London, England), June 28, 2001, Alexander Walker, review of Town and Country, p. 31; December 27, 2001, Alexander Walker, review of Serendipity, p. 45.

Evening Times (Glasgow, Scotland), December 20, 2001, Andy Dougan, review of Serendipity, p. 22.

Express on Sunday (London, England), December 31, 2001, Henry Fitzherbert, review of Serendipity, p. 71.

Film Comment, May-June, 1995, Shawn Levy, "Dem Bones: Peter Chelsom's Sweet Cheats," pp. 2-4.

Film Journal International, November, 2001, David Noh, review of Serendipity, p. 101.

Fresno Bee (Fresno, CA), October 23, 1998, Kenneth Turan, review of The Mighty, p. E3; April 27, 2001, Donald Munro, review of Town and Country, p. E3; October 5, 2001, Donald Munro, review of Serendipity, p. E9.

Guardian (London, England), August 7, 1998, Teresa Reilly, "Big in . . . Giffoni: Peter Chelsom," p. 25; June 29, 2001, Peter Bradshaw, review of Town and Country, p. 13; December 21, 2001, Peter Bradshaw, review of Serendipity, p. 8.

Herald Sun (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), January 17, 2002, Leigh Paatsch, review of Serendipity, p. 38.

Hollywood Reporter, September 17, 2001, Kirk Honeycutt, review of Serendipity, p. 7.

Independent (London, England), December 24, 1998, Anthony Quinn, review of The Mighty, p. 9; June 29, 2001, Anthony Quinn, review of Town and Country, p. 10; December 15, 2001, Fiona Sturges, review of Town and Country, p. 34; December 21, 2001, Anthony Quinn, review of Serendipity, p. 10.

Interview, January, 1992, Graham Fuller and Preeti Chawla, review of Hear My Song, p. 22; May, 2001, Diane Baroni, review of Town and Country, p. 46.

Los Angeles Times, October 9, 1998, Kenneth Turan, review of The Mighty, p. 6; April 27, 2001, Kenneth Turan, review of Town and Country, p. F-1; October 5, 2001, Kenneth Turan, review of Serendipity, p. F-4.

Mail on Sunday (London, England), December 23, 2001, Matthew Bond, review of Serendipity.

Mirror (London, England), December 24, 1998, Simon Rose, review of The Mighty, p. 6.

Nation, July 5, 1986, Moira Hodgson, review of Pravda, pp. 26-27; November 5, 2001, Tim Appelo, review of Serendipity, p. 36.

National Review, March 30, 1992, John Simon, review of Hear My Song, pp. 43-44.

News of the World (London, England), December 27, 1998, Mariella Frostrup, review of The Mighty, p. 58.

New Statesman, September 11, 1981, Christopher Edwards, review of The Two Gentlemen of Verona, pp. 23-24; April 12, 1985, Hugo Williams, review of Time and the Conways, pp. 32-33; March 13, 1992, Anne Billson, review of Hear My Song, pp. 42-43; September 29, 1995, Jonathan Romney, review of Funny Bones, p. 49.

Newsweek, April 17, 1995, David Ansen, review of Funny Bones, pp. 66-67.

New York, December 14, 1987, John Leonard, review of Sorrell and Son, p. 92; February 10, 1992, David Denby, review of Hear My Song, p. 51.

New Yorker, May 14, 2001, David Denby, review of Town and Country, p. 113.

New York Post, January 28, 2001, review of Town andCountry, p. 26.

New York Times, March 28, 1987, John J. O'Connor, review of Star Quality, pp. 10, 50; January 19, 1992, Janet Maslin, review of Hear My Song, p. 20; January 26, 1992, Bruce Weber, review of Hear My Song, p. H11; August 27, 1992, Janet Maslin, review of Hear my Song, pp. B2, C22; March 24, 1995, Janet Maslin, review of Funny Bones, pp. B1, C3; October 9, 1998, Janet Maslin, review of The Mighty, p. B14; April 27, 2001, Stephen Holden, review of Town and Country, pp. B10, E10; October 5, 2001, Elvis Mitchell, review of Serendipity, p. E12.

Observer (London, England), December 20, 1998, Philip French, review of The Mighty, p. 7; July 1, 2001, Philip French, review of Town and Country, p. 7; December 23, 2001, Philip French, review of Serendipity, p. 15.

Palm Beach Post (West Palm Beach, FL), October 5, 2001, Hap Erstein, review of Serendipity, p. 10.

People, December 14, 1987, Don Merrill, review of Sorrell and Son, p. 56; April 3, 1995, Tom Gliatto, review of Funny Bones, pp. 17-18.

Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), April 27, 2001, Joanna Connors, review of Town and Country, p. 4; October 5, 2001, Joanna Connors, review of Serendipity, p. 7.

Post and Courier (Charleston, SC), October 7, 2001, Bill Thompson, review of Serendipity, p. 9.

Premiere, September, 1992, John Clark, review of Hear My Song, p. 140; December, 2000, June, 2001, review of Serendipity, p. 68; August, 2001, review of Serendipity, p. 92.

Record (Bergen County, NJ), October 23, 1998, Roger Ebert, review of The Mighty, p. 42; October 5, 2001, Roger Ebert, review of Serendipity, p. 4.

Rolling Stone, February 20, 1992, Peter Travers, review of Hear My Song, p. 50; June 7, 2001, Peter Travers, review of Town and Country, p. 120.

St. Petersburg Times (St. Petersburg, FL), October 4, 2001, Steve Persall, review of Serendipity, p. 8W.

San Francisco Chronicle, October 16, 1998, Ruthe Stein, review of The Mighty, p. C3; April 27, 2001, Wesley Morris, review of Town and Country, p. C3; October 5, 2001, Bob Graham, review of Serendipity, p. C3.

Sarasota Herald Tribune, October 23, 1998, Philip Booth, review of The Mighty, p. 22; April 27, 2001, Philip Booth, review of Town and Country, p. 24.

Scotsman (Edinburgh, Scotland), December 20, 2001, Steve Grant, review of Serendipity, p. 4.

Seattle Times, October 16, 1998, review of The Mighty, p. G5; October 5, 2001, Moira Macdonald, review of Serendipity, p. H27.

Sight and Sound, March, 1992, Tom Charity, review of Hear My Song, p. 47; October, 1995, Louise Gray, review of Funny Bones, p. 49; January, 1999, Charles Taylor, review of The Mighty, pp. 50-51; July, 2001, Edward Lawrenson, review of Town and Country, pp. 60-61; January, 2002, Geoffrey Macnab, review of Serendipity, p. 56.

Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ), October 12, 1998, Stephen Whitty, review of The Mighty, p. 32; April 27, 2001, review of Town and Country, p. 43; October 5, 2001, Bob Campbell, review of Serendipity, p. 41.

Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), October 18, 1998, Jeff Strickler, "Director Feels like Unknown: Peter Chelsom Hopes to Be Recognized," p. 10F.

Sun (London, England), June 30, 2001, Neil Roberts, review of Town and Country, p. 32.

Sunday Herald Sun (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), January 20, 2002, Clark Forbes, review of Serendipity, p. 86.

Sunday Mail (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia), January 20, 2002, Chris Bartlett, review of Serendipity, p. 64.

Times (London, England), December 20, 2001, James Christopher, review of Serendipity, p. 13.

TV Guide, December 12, 1987, Don Merrill, review of Sorrell and Son, p. 56.

Us, April, 1992, Lawrence Frascella, review of HearMy Song, p. 86.

US Weekly, May 21, 2001, Andrew Johnston, review of Town and Country, p. 64; October 15, 2001, Andrew Johnston, review of Serendipity, p. 54.

Variety, November 28, 1984, review of A Woman ofSubstance, pp. 59-60; July 25, 1990, review of Cream in My Coffee, pp. 45-46; January 30, 1995, Leonard Klady, review of Funny Bones, p. 48; May 25, 1998, Leonard Klady, review of The Mighty, p. 60; April 30, 2001, Todd McCarthy, review of Town and Country, p. 25; September 24, 2001, Todd McCarthy, review of Serendipity, p. 25.

Wall Street Journal, January 23, 1992, Julie Salamon, review of Hear My Song, pp. A14, A17; October 13, 1998, Joe Morgenstern, review of The Mighty, p. A20; October 5, 2001, Joe Morgenstern, review of Serendipity, p. W8.

Weekend Australian (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), January 19, 2002, David Stratton, review of Serendipity, p. R18.

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), October 26, 2001, "Life of Sellers," p. 15.

Winston-Salem Journal (Winston-Salem, NC), April 28, 2001, Mark Burger, review of Town and Country, p. B3; October 5, 2001, Mark Burger, review of Serendipity, p. E4.*

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