Actor David Fleeshman - Keeping it in the family

PUBLISHED: 00:15 25 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:58 20 February 2013

David Fleeshman

David Fleeshman

Cheshire actor David Fleeshman is happy sharing the limelight with his nearest and dearest but he gets rather angry when you mention cold callers...

A warning to cold-callers. You may one day find Cheshire actor David Fleeshman on the other end of the telephone.

David, currently appearing in David Mamet's sweary saga of sweaty salesman, Glengarry Glenn Ross at the Library Theatre, says he'd 'run a mile' from any kind of job where he'd have to pressurise people into buying something they never thought they'd want. But of course, on stage it's another story.

'I occasionally get cold-call phone calls and I get very cheesed off,'

'With that job you're browbeating gullible people and vulnerable people because they're the ones that are often targeted. It's quite nice actually to play these characters because I don't have a great deal of sympathy for them and I have no desire to be like them.

'They're lacking any real conscience, he adds, warming to the theme.
' I mean it's often those people who can't afford it, they're actually closing a deal on, they're putting their life savings into something they don't really benefit from.'

With all the practise he's now getting on stage he reckons that he's quite prepared to take on any pushy salesman and you get the impression he'd rather relish it.

'I love it when I get people calling. They go Hello how are you today? The minute they start that I'm on their case. I know where they're coming from. They don't know where I'm coming from.'

And all this from one of the play's more sympathetic characters! It's the role played by Jack Lemmon in the movie, a performance David admires greatly.

But, there are quite a few differences in the play, which David reminds us was the film's source.
'With film, you expand it you open it out. You bring in an extra character, he explains.

'The character of Alec Baldwin in the film is to signpost to the audience what's going to happen. He comes from head office to tell them one's going to get the Cadillac; the second gets the steak knife and the third and fourth are going to get fired.

'Another difference is act one in the play takes place in the Chinese restaurant again to widen it out. But a lot of it is very much the same text.'

And it's a text not for the faint-hearted. 'Warn your readers,' he advises.

'They have to really be immune to David Mamet's peppering of four-letter words and they are constant. From everyone. They become virtually poetic. They become part of the musicality of the speech and if you can't tune into that I really wouldn't advise seeing the show.'

It was four years ago that David last starred at the Library Theatre in Arthur Miller's The Price, although he's been closely associated with the theatre both acting and directing there since the 1980s.

In 1978, he married his wife Sue Jenkins who was initially in Coronation Street and then spent 11 years in Brookside and with a growing family of three children, he says ' there was no incentive to move away' from Manchester.

He has no regrets though.
'I've been fortunate,' he says.
'I've not been on the world stage, OK but there are very few roles apart from King Lear that I haven't played. And now I get more and more excited about directing.

'I think theatre is as big and as lively as it could ever be and with the demise of television I think audiences have become to realise if you want drama now you go to two places, you go and watch a really good movie or you go to the theatre.'

With wife Sue in the business, his Soapstar Superstar-winner son Richard touring with Elton John and his two daughters also dipping their toes in the acting world he admits that people often say they're a Cheshire acting dynasty.

'I don't see us as that,' he says, modestly
'I am content to sit back and watch my youngsters take over and see how well they do.

'Richard my son is currently focusing on his music career and touring with Elton John and my two daughtersdabble. My eldest daughter worked professionally with me here (at the Library Theatre). Yes I'm just fascinated to see what they're going to do and take a back seat.'
He could be in for an exciting ride.

'Richard still lives at home when he's up here but he's in London because he's signed to Universal and the studios and his manager's down there. London and Los Angeles.

'He's not made a movie yet,' he reveals
'But that shouldn't be too long and when that probably happens I'm sure he'll invite us over to be there for the premiere.'

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