kids encyclopedia robot

Bill Homewood facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

Bill Homewood is an English television and stage actor and singer. He worked on several BBC Children's television series in the 1970s and 1980s, and was subsequently known for his work in the Royal Shakespeare Company, in the West End, on tour, and his recordings of audiobooks. He is also a published poet.

Early life

Homewood attended St Albans School, winning a scholarship to Gonville and Caius College Cambridge, but choosing to take up a scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music & Drama to study Opera and Spanish Guitar. He qualified in 1969 with two diplomas: AGSM in Singing, AGSM in Teaching.


Early career

After training, Homewood joined the Sadler's Wells New Opera Company of Sadler's Wells at the London Coliseum (later the English Opera Company) as a principal, playing opposite John Tomlinson as Historian in Elizabeth Lutyens's Time Off, and performed in concert and oratorio. He also travelled in solo cabaret (songs with guitar) across Britain and started his television career on BBC Children's Television where he became a regular in such shows as Watch, Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, Saturday Superstore, Rainbow and So You Want to be Top?. He was well known as "The Backwards Man", owing to his unusual ability to speak (and sing) backwards, demonstrated in his regular performance as Ron Gad in The Adventure Game for the BBC. Also for the BBC he played Blondel in The Talisman and Player King in Hamlet with Derek Jacobi in the title role.

Homewood also worked as Examiner in (Classical Spanish) Guitar at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and ran a Saturday guitar school in West London – even though his performing career was veering from Music towards Theatre.

Theatre directing

In 1990 he directed Romeo & Juliet starring Roland Gift at Hull Truck, which transferred to London (Shaw Theatre) and New York (Stony Brook Theatre). His other American directing credits include the musical Naughty Marietta at the Sundome in Phoenix, Arizona, the opera The Secret Marriage at the Eastman Theatre, NY and Noises Off at Florida Atlantic Theatre, Florida. In 2006/7 he directed Macbeth and Shakespeare: Les Feux, Les Artifices (in French) at the Conservatoire Nationale de France in Montpellier.

Radio and audiobooks

Homewood's radio drama credits include Captain Hook in Peter Pan (PBS Radio, US) and Saturday Night and Sunday Morning for BBC Radio. He has recorded several audiobook CDs for companies such as Naxos, including Les Misérables, The Three Musketeers, The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, The Man In The Iron Mask, Tom Jones, King Solomon's Mimes, She, Gargantua & Pantagruel, Shakespeare's Lovers (with Estelle Kohler) and the Zorro series. Homewood's Count Of Monte Cristo for Naxos is an evergreen audiobook best-seller.

In 2016 Ukemi Audiobooks released Great French Poems, a solo album in which Homewood performs 35 classics, delivering each poem first in French and then in his own English translation.

Visiting academic appointments

In 1979 Homewood was made Honorary Citizen of Austin, Texas. He has held several visiting appointments in conservatories and universities, including Visiting Fellow in Theatre at Lancaster University, Dean of the British American Drama Academy and has been twice Eminent Chair in Theatre at Florida Atlantic University.

In 1983 he founded the Shakespeare text course at RADA, London. In the 1980s Homewood founded and devised the Shakespeare On Stage (SOS) program in Missouri and Ohio, for Young Audiences Inc.. SOS was based in Kansas City and used actors from the Missouri Repertory Theatre for educational outreach work.

His many other guest academic appointments included: Temp Head of Music at Thomas Huxley College in Ealing, London; Acting Director of the Opera Department at the Eastman School of Music; New York, Visiting Professor of Shakespeare in Montpellier at both the Université Paul Valéry, and the Conservatoire National de France. Since 1980 Bill Homewood has taught occasional workshops in Shakespeare and Audition Technique at the London Actors Professional Centre.

Published credits

Homewood's publications include Theatrical Letters – 400 years of English-speaking Theatre History, in the words of the actors themselves; foreword by Sir John Gielgud, Marginalia Press 1995, Under The Blue – Selected Poems by Bill Homewood, Mimosa Books 2015 Poésies – Poèmes et Chansonnettes by Bill Homewood (in French), Mimosa Books 2017. Homewood's translation of St Exupéry's Terre Des Hommes (Land Of Men) was released in 2016 on Ukemi Audiobooks. His innumerable other writing credits include many commissioned screenplays and play scripts, including Kafka's The Trial, premiered at the Young Vic Theatre, London in 1993, starring James Wilby.


  • 2005 Independent Newspaper Audiobook of the Year for his recording of KING SOLOMON’S MINES for Naxos AudioBooks
  • 2010 Sunday Times Audiobook of the Year for his recording of THE RED & THE BLACK for Naxos AudioBooks
  • 2012 AudioFile Earpohones Award for his recording of SHE for Naxos AudioBooks


Title Role Production Company Director
Honour Among Thieves Como Gonzo Bros Films – Hollywood Jeff Hamilton
Spirit of 7 The Architect Jack Morton Worldwide Films Mark Aldridge
Dog Dog RCA Films Suzie Templeton
The Professionals Det Supt Leonard David Wickes TV/Carlton TV Chris King
The Renford Rejects Basil Stoker Nickelodeon/Channel 4 S Bawol/Joy Perino/

A Margeston/Phil Ox

Berkeley Square Colonel Beamish BBC Richard Holthouse
A Wing & A Prayer Chief Constable Towers Thames TV/Channel 5 Richard Laxton
London's Burning DS Edmunds LWT Frank Smith/Gerry Poulson
Snap Philip Kearney Cam Flix Films Kevin McMullen
The Nowhere Man The Other Man Monument Pictures Gina Scull
Casualty Gibbs BBC David Penn
Crocodile Shoes Boss Bailiff Big Boy/Red Rooster Films David Richards/Malcolm Mowbray
Coronation Street Monty Harris Granada TV David Penn/Romey Allison/Brian Mills
Wise Guy Mr Wise Guy BBC David McNab
The One DCI Lemon Revelation Films Gary Wicks
WOOF! Karsh Central/Carlton David Cobham
The Bill Jack Cox Thames Television Nick Mallett
Dalton Eyes John Dalton BBC Liz Tucker
Les Sons de la Vie Ivan Today Films – Brussels Alain Brunard
The Eleventh Hour M.le Gourmet BBC Richard Marson
The Bill Billy Guthrie Thames TV Alan Bell
The Sharp End Dr Spottiswoode BBC David Penn
Spy Trap Spycatcher BBC David Crichton
The Talisman Blondel BBC Richard Brammall
Hamlet Prologue/Player King BBC Rodney Bennett
The Adventure Game Ron Gad BBC Ian Oliver/Chris Tandy
Shakespeare Lady Pierce Butler PBS TV "Masterpiece" – NY Bill Homewood
Hyperspace Hotel Joshua Bulwark BBC Jane Tarleton/Rita Lynn
The Tribunal The Judge Coulter Films David Coulter
Little Fish Goldberg CAD Films/Thames TV Paul Gascoigne
Aladdin Himself BBC Alun Russell
Arfer's Monologues Arfer Loaf BBC Judy Whitfield

Theatre credits

From 1975 to 1995 Homewood worked regularly with the Royal Shakespeare Company, including The Hollow Crown (directed by John Barton) and Pleasure & Repentance (directed by Terry Hands) in London, Stratford-on-Avon and on tour in the US and Europe

Title Role RSC Production Director
Twelfth Night Feste USA Tour Patrick Stewart
Under Milk Wood Various USA/Israel Tour Edwin Richfield
The Hollow Crown 4 Hander Bermuda Fests/Several No1 International Tours

Aldwych/Stratford/Newcastle/New York

John Barton/Ian Judge
Pleasure & Repentance 4 Hander World Tour Terry Hands
Who's Afraid Of The Sonnets? One man show UK/USA/Israel Tours Bill Homewood
The Homecoming Lenny USA Tour The Company

Touring Theatre

Title Role Production Company Director
Dangerous Obsession John Barrett Theatre Royal – Windsor Mark Piper
Beneath The Visiting Moon Antony Bill Homewood/Janet Suzman Janet Suzman
The Birth Of Merlin The Devil Theatr Clwyd Denise Coffey
Will You Walk Into My Parlour Music Hall Royal Exchange Theatre Timothy West
Shakespeare & Love Shakespeare Romania/Hungary Tour Bill Homewood
Twelfth Night Malvolio Chester Gateway Theatre Phil Partridge
The Rivals Faulkland
The Teddy Bears' Picnic Beria
Next Time I'll Sing To You Rudge Yvonne Arnaud Theatre/UK Tour Chris Masters
Peter Pan Captain Hook Elks Opera House – Arizona Ron Newcomer
Fanny Pierce Butler Market Theatre – Johannesburg/

Official Edinburgh Festival/

3 USA No1 Tours

Bill Homewood

West End and London theatre

Title Role Production Company Director
A Midsummer Night's Dream Oberon Open Air Theatre – Regents Park Ian Talbot
Macbeth Banquo Bill Gaunt
Noises Off Lloyd Dallas Queens Theatre Toby Robertson
Jekyll Father Nicholson Apollo/Theatre Of Comedy Stephen Rayne
Comedy Of Errors Dromio Of Syracuse 400th Anniversary Production/Grays Inn Anthony Besch
The Winter's Tale Leontes Latchmere Theatre Michael Batz
The Song Of Songs Solomon National Theatre (Olivier/Lyttelton) Bill Homewood
The Road To Jerusalem Kenan Tricycle Theatre Andrew Pratt
Eastward Ho! Fangs Mermaid Theatre Robert Chetwyn
Vasco Caesar Finborough Theatre Wendy Leston
Easter Lime Bridge Lane Theatre Katherine Alonzo

West End Musical

Title Role Production Company Director
Phantom Of The Opera Firmin Her Majesty's Theatre/

Cameron Mackintosh

Harold Prince
Grand Hotel Zinnowitz Dominion Theatre Tommy Tune
Jesus Christ Superstar Pilate 20th Anniversary UK Tour Hugh Woolridge
The Boys From Syracuse Antipholus of Ephesus Open Air Theatre – Regent's Park Judi Dench
Oscar Marquess of Queensbury Kings Head Theatre Christopher Sandford
Hard Times Stephen Blackpool London Gala Productions/

Bill Kenwright

Christopher Tookey
The Man Of Feeling Title role Kings Head Theatre Andy Hines
The French Have A Song For It Revue John Heawood
kids search engine
Bill Homewood Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.