10-11 Percy Street
London W1T 1DA
|Playing Age||50 - 70 Years|
Sidney was born in Hackney East London at a time when the East End was still a series of Bomb sites and populated by pre-fab housing. At the tender age of two weeks he was rushed to Great Ormand Street Childrens Hospital as it was noticed his feet did not look quite right. Therein began a long fight, 13 years, hard work, dedication and determination from his parents (John & Bettina), the doctors (Dr Lister) and not least of all Sidney himself. The constant visits to Great Ormand Street and the internship at Queen Mary's Hospital Carshalton, the six operations, took up most of his early life, thus where most young boys were out playing football or cricket because of his footware Sidney could only watch, with the determination that one day he too would be able to play. That determination was rewarded when at the age of 13 he was disharged from Great Ormand Street with the words, "We are pleased to say that there is so much improvement that he no longer needs to come to us." With this the surgical boots were thrown away and instantly replaced by a pair of football boots. This of course was not without it's hazards, as opposing teams discovered Sidney's weakness they took full advantage by deliberately kicking his feet. He joined the Alexander Boys club in Stoke Newington and ended up as their five a side goalkeeper. For which he was, by Alex, offered a trial for Fulham. This he turned down as he thought with his feet he would not be able to cope with the constant pressure.
He discovered acting when at school in 1965, a teacher, Mr Phillips, took his class to see The Arms & The Man, at the then Mountview Theatre School, a play they were doing for exams. On leaving, he and others noticed a poster for Hamlet, a student production and decided that watching men in tights would be a better laugh than the play they had just witnessed. It was at this performance that he was enthralled and whilst his friends were laughing he had made a resolve that this is what he wanted to do. The actor playing Hamlet was a very young Leigh Lawson.
On going home that evening he told his parents that that is what he wanted. They were not too pleased as at that time it was unheard of for a boy from an East End working class family to become and Actor!
Sidney decided he would have to pay for the training himself. One Saturday morning he got up early 5am and walked the length of the local market, Ridley Road, going from stall to stall asking if anyone needed help! It was near the end of the market when a gentleman by the name of Len asked Sidney why he wanted the job. On finding out why Len employed him immediately. Thus began a year and a half at Mountview Theatre School, in Crouch End, run by the then founder and principle Peter Coxhead.
Still at school Sidney attended a careers officer meeting, where he was told in no uncertain terms that he could not get a job as an actor and would have to settle for a career in a solicitors office.
In the two years that followed he never gave up the hope of becoming an actor, til one day whilst working at Linklaters & Paines in the City he walked into the office of Mr H.E.Bates, not I hasten to add THE H.E.Bates. Mr Bates noticed that on that particular day Sidney was not happy. He burst out "You don't want to be here do you?" No, "You want to be an actor don't you?" Yes! "Well bloody well go and do it then!"
Sidney promptly went home, found out from Mountview what he needed to do to get contacts. Went to The Spotlight bought a copy of contacts and wrote seventy five letters, one coming back saying come and see us; the rest is History.
It is now forty years since that day and Sidney has been a professional actor ever since.
Role / Genre
|2010||Sky In Bloom||Tor Mien|
|July 2009||Doc Martin||Buffalo|
|April 2009 - June 2009||Books for Schools||Dynamic Audion|