Ken Campbell: The Great Caper
Imprint: Nick Hern Books
Paperback, 288 pages ISBN: 9781848420762Publication Date:
1 Apr 2011
Size: 216mm x 140mm£14.99 £11.99You save £3.00 (20%)
Ebook, 288 pages ISBN: 9781788501965Publication Date:
24 Oct 2019
£14.99 £11.99You save £3.00 (20%)

Ken Campbell: The Great Caper

By Michael Coveney

Paperback £14.99£11.99

There is limited availability of this title. Please enquire before placing your order.

Ebook £14.99£11.99

The first, authorised biography of the anarchic comic genius, much cherished for his performances on stage and screen.

Ken Campbell (1941–2008) was a one-man whirlwind who tore through the British theatre establishment using well-rehearsed anarchy and a genius for surreal comedy. Starting out in rep at Stoke-on-Trent, he founded the Ken Campbell Road Show, whose members included the then-unknown Bob Hoskins and Sylvester McCoy, and which toured pubs and clubs with dramatised urban myths and shaggy-dog stories.

His later shows included Illuminatus! – the first show at the National Theatre's studio – and the 22-hour The Warp, the longest play in the world. On television he played corrupt lawyer Alex Gladwell in the 1970s series Law and Order, and was Alf Garnett's neighbour Fred Johnson in the sitcom In Sickness and in Health. He later found a devoted audience with his mesmerising one-man shows, which he toured worldwide.

Ken Campbell 'became a grand old man of the fringe, though without ever discarding his inner enfant terrible' Independent

Theatre critic Michael Coveney was given unrestricted access to Campbell's letters, notebooks and original scripts. From these and from interviews with Campbell's many devoted/bemused collaborators, he has chronicled the life of the anarchic and uncompromising genius that was Ken Campbell.

Alternately inspiring and jaw-dropping, The Great Caper is the story of a unique and inimitable talent in British theatre.

Press Quotes

'Delightful... brings Campbell affectionately, hilariously yet not uncritically, to life... top marks' 

The Times - Book of the Week


Daily Mail

'A delightful romp'

Fortean Times

'A long-serving dramatic critic, Coveney fully understands the theatrical traditions that sometimes produce uniqueness, and he brings knowledge and discernment as well as great affection to his subject.' 

John Stokes, TLS
Imprint: Nick Hern Books
Paperback,288 pages ISBN: 9781848420762Publication Date:
1 Apr 2011
Size: 216mm x 140mm£14.99 £11.99You save £3.00 (20%)
Ebook,288 pages ISBN: 9781788501965Publication Date:
24 Oct 2019
£14.99 £11.99You save £3.00 (20%)
Similar Titles
The collected 'essays and opinions' of the founder, director, playwright and star of New York's famous Ridiculous The...
A remarkably candid autobiography, utterly involving and often startlingly revelatory - an inspiration to young actor...
An unrivalled unofficial history of the rise – and partial fall – of fringe theatre, Mike Bradwell's deadpan account...
A truthful, personal and insightful exploration of the state of arts funding and carrying on in the face of adversity...
A fascinating account of the making of the Monty Python TV and stage shows, films, books and albums, drawn from Micha...
An alternative autobiography of the well-loved actor and man of the theatre, winner of the Sheridan Morley Prize for...