Stephen Tompkinson begins touring stage premiere of new play in first show since he was cleared of GBH in trial hell
- Actor Stephen Tompkinson is starring in first show since being found not guilty
- Read more: Lost work and an award-winning acting career ‘on hold’
Actor Stephen Tompkinson has returned to his award-winning acting career, starring in new play Stumped, just weeks after a jury cleared him of inflicting grievous bodily harm.
The DCI Banks star was accused of punching a drunk man in the head, who fell to the ground and broke his skull, after finding him and a friend drinking and making noise at the bottom of his driveway in the early hours of May 30, 2021.
The 57-year-old was cleared by a jury of inflicting GBH earlier this month at Newcastle Crown Court.
The actor told jurors he only pushed Mr Poole away in self-defence and the contact ‘wasn’t enough to knock a sober man off his feet’.
Tompkinson has now begun touring with the Original Theatre company starring as Nobel prize winner and playwright Samuel Beckett opposite Andrew Lancel, who plays fellow Nobel prize winner and playwright Harold Pinter.
Stephen Tompkinson, 57, has now begun touring with the Original Theatre company starring as Nobel prize winner and playwright Samuel Beckett
Mr Tompkinson with Niall Tobin in Ballykissangel. The actor played a British priest adjusting to life in an Irish village
Beckett, who is best known for Waiting For Godot, was a cricketer before he became a playwright, while Pinter described the sport as ‘the greatest thing that God created on Earth’.
Shomit Dutta’s production of Stumped, directed by Guy Unsworth, explores the friendship between the two playwrights and has begun a string of performances at Theatre Royal Bath, before it moves to Cambridge Arts Theatre in June and Hampstead Theatre in July.
Tompkinson and Lancel starred in a shorter digital version of the play which Original Theatre streamed online last year.
Original Theatre’s artistic director Alastair Whatley said: ‘I’m delighted that Shomit Dutta’s new play Stumped will make the transition from a digital to live performance with a short tour and then a run at London’s Hampstead Theatre.
Stephen Tompkinson as playwright Samuel Beckett (left) and Andrew Lancel as Harold Pinter in Shomit Dutta’s production of Stumped
Actor Stephen Tompkinson leaves Newcastle Crown Court after he was found not guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm
‘Hampstead is just a short hop from Lord’s cricket ground where the show began its life last year.
‘This once again highlights the potential for digital work to seed and feed live performance.
‘After the success of our digital production, I cannot wait to finally see the show in front of live audiences in Bath, Cambridge and London.’
Earlier this month, a jury found Tompkinson not guilty of causing grievous bodily harm after deliberating for just under two hours.
The actor previously told chat show host Lorraine Kelly: ‘You have to wonder was it worth bringing (to court).
‘They were trying to prove a punch that never happened. There was no evidence on my hand, on the guy’s face. He was just incredibly drunk and he fell.’
Giving evidence, Mr Tompkinson detailed the crippling impact of the case on his professional life, with roles he already had taken away from him and any offers drying up.
Asked by his lawyer if he needed this acting work, the 57-year-old replied ‘yes, absolutely’ – suggesting the trial has had a damaging effect on his finances.
A photo released by prosecutors of Mr Tompkinson shortly after his arrest in 2021. This photo was shown to the jury during the trial
Other photos show the actor holding his two hands outstretched. One is bruised. These photos were shown to the jury during the trial
The photos were released by the Crown Prosecution Service
He let out a sigh of relief but showed no emotion as the jury at Newcastle Crown Court returned a not guilty verdict.
Mr Tompkinson’s defence drew on his showbiz career at moments in the trial, describing him as ‘acting royalty.’
His barrister, Nicholas Lumley, KC, said that in the industry ‘there may be hellraisers who wear their reputation as some sort of badge of honour and trade on it’ but his client had always been a true professional.
Comic Andy Hamilton, a writer on Drop the Dead Donkey comedy series which launched his career, appeared in person to testify to his good character.
Outlining his acting career in court, Mr Tompkinson said he got his big break of a seven-month contract with the BBC after winning a top student award when finishing drama school in 1987.
His first big hit was in the TV comedy series Drop the Dead Donkey and the TV series Ballykissangel was watched by 15 million viewers, he said.
Other hits included Wild at Heart and DCI Banks and he also starred in the film Brassed Off.
In 1984, he won the 1994 British Comedy Award for Best TV Comedy Actor.
Source: Read Full Article