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Sept. 29, 2021

Ask René

Ask René

in Episode 6, Helen accompanies her daughter Janey to the Cheese Shop cafe to collect the illustrations for Janey’s children’s book.  René, the teenager who rescued Helen’s cheese in a previous episode, comes to the rescue again.

Scots actor Christopher McDougall returns to the programme for another episode as cheeky young René. He also manages a wee cameo as a customer in the cafe. As you know, there's still not a lot of paid work happening for professional actors, so if you could donate a cuppa. we'd all be most grateful. 

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Mark Bunyan (arranger, theme music) Profile Photo

Mark Bunyan (arranger, theme music)

Composer and Arranger

Mark Bunyan was an out gay cabaret performer to start with, then wrote a youth musical JUST GOOD FRIENDS which played to packed houses and was named Best Musical of 1982 by City Limits magazine. This led to various other musicals with various degrees of success. (The most recent, BEING COLONEL BARKER (www.beingcolonelbarker.com) and DEFINING DR MINOR (www.definingdrminor.com) were workshopped at the Royal Academy of Music and have their own websites. Websites will be soon available for www.emyntrudeandesmeralda.com, www.unburiedtreasures.com and www.trueromances.com.

His stage play, DINNER, won the international playwriting competition —and had a successful run—at the Warehouse Theatre, Croydon. In 1995, he was canonised by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, as St Mark of the Musical Tendency, for his contribution to gay liberation which included, in 1983, co-founding, with the late Brian Kennedy, the Pink Singers, now the oldest LGBT+ Choir in Europe.

A short documentary about him, MARK BUNYAN, VERY NEARLY ALMOST FAMOUS, was a selection at the San Francisco International Gay Film Festival in 2013 and is available to watch online for 99p (get some friends round and charge them 20p each) at https://vimeo.com/ondemand/mark.

Mark served as a local magistrate from 1995 to 2019, won two national gold medals for trampolining in the over-60s category for the British Gymnastics association and has recently started flying trapeze.

He lives with Andrew, his partner of 47 years and counting. As you can tell he’s probably a terrible big head but surprisingly approachable. His website www.markbunyan.com desperately needs updating but his YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3IgrRy7d7Aw5Z5yY9VSNew is better tended.

Christopher McDougall (René, Piotr, Charlie) Profile Photo

Christopher McDougall (René, Piotr, Charlie)

Christopher McDougall

Christopher graduated from East 15 Acting School in 2018 and has been working in various sectors of the industry since. He has much previous experience as an actor, as well as a singer, writer and musical director.

Recent acting credits include Aladdin in Aladdin, Dugdale Centre, Enfield; Davie McD/Sam/Tobias Grenfell in Tell Me A Story, produced by Kibo Productions for Zoom; Squire Bogey (and others) in Jack and the Beanstalk, with M&M Theatrical Productions; God in It’s Aboot Adam, at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe; Various characters in The Sherlock Holmes Experience, at Madame Tussaud’s, London; and Fairy G/Sugar Plum in Bad Cinderella, at the Cockpit Theatre, in December 2018.

In April 2021, alongside fellow producer Mark Hunter, he co-wrote, co-directed and was Musical Director on Robin Hood: A Virtual Pantomime, which took place on Zoom, and was very well received.

Christopher has also written a new musical – Star Streaker: The Musical – which he hopes to revive in the not so distant future.