from the Central School of Speech and Drama where he studied acting
winning the John Gielgud Award in 1974.
career started at the Royal Shakespeare Company and, as a serious
actor,( who could also
sing,) was cast by Jim
Sharman as Riff Raff in the original production of "THE ROCKY HORROR
SHOW" at the Essoldo King's Road.
"ROCKY" taught Robert everything in terms of his becoming a creator of
musicals, (his second string,),)and, after
opening fringe venues like THE OLD RED LION, the THEATRE SPACE in Camden
Lock and the CORONET THEATRE in Clapham, (now Jongleurs,) he created
many madcap entertainments for his actor friends to play in and his
schoolgirl version of Melville's classic "MOBY DICK-A WHALE OF A TALE"
miraculously made it to the West End where he directed it for Cameron
“This maybe the absolutely the funniest show I have ever seen, at least
I cannot recall when I laughed for two hours straight..... It is an
extraordinary evening at the theatre that produces fun at such a frantic
pace, it will leave you breathless at times. Be prepared to join in the
standing ovation at the end.”
Dick Derekes. Entertaining U Jacksonville.
the stage, Robert joined the Young Vic (ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE
DEAD) , The American Repertory (IN THE BOOM BOOM ROOM, SUNDANCE),
Chichester Festival Theatre (MAJOR BARBARA) and Berkoff's original
London Theatre Group where he created the role of "Mum" in "EAST."
an attempt to stop himself being caged as a musical theatre person,
Robert appeared in various movies "SELLING HITLER,"" AGATHA,"" ADOLPH
HITLER, MY PART IN HIS DOWNFALL,"" DECADENCE," and," SPY-MASTER," and
dramas which still play today including "DICKENS OF LONDON" (as Phiz the
illustrator,) Plater's THE BEIDERBECKE TRILOGY (Mr. Pitt), DANGER UXB.
(Sapper Copping,), he starred as a shy youth in love with an older
woman in Barstow's "COST OF LOVING," (in the B.F.I,) and featured in
"THE GENTLE TOUCH" giving a "a tremendous performance as a manic
depressive abandoned by his wife to bring up his child alone and the
victim of a neighborhood hate campaign." He appeared in "THE BRETTS,""
KIDS," countless AGATHA CHRISTIE TV. movies,
("WHY DIDN'T THEY ASK EVANS? ""SEVEN DIAL'S MYSTERY,") a regular in the
first" WOOD AND WALTERS," sketch show, a gynecologist in "FOOTBALLERS
WIVES TV," eccentric antiques dealer in "DOWN TO EARTH," asylum boss in
"BLUE MURDER," obese man being slowly poisoned by wife,
(Maureen Lipman,) in "CASUALTY," and a care in the community odd
ball obsessed with UFOs in a recent "DOCTORS."
Seasoned musical theatre performer, Robert was cast by Bert Shevolove as
the mad Chicago cop killer in a musical version of "The Front Page " re-titled
" WINDY CITY,"
“Robert Longden, as
the murderer around whose hanging the journalists have gathered,
manages, in he first scene to establish that he is likeable and too mad
to be hung but capable of killing again. He does this with ease and
picks up some laughs as well, in a remarkable performance which enables
a faint whiff of the original sourness to be retained. A nice if
pathetic fellow looks like dying in the middle of all these jokes. Helen
Hayes, named the first lady of American Theatre (and wife of co-writer
Charles MacArthur) sat behind me. I know who's dressing room she will be
knocking on.” Mark Amory. Spectator.
Robert sang and tapped through "THE SUN HAS GOT HIS HAT ON" in Mike
Ockrent's production of " ME AND MY GIRL ," which won the Olivier award
for best musical against "Les Miserables"
as a priceless silly ass, looks like he strayed from a Donald McGill
won the Olivier Award 1985.) He also played Mr. Cellophane in an early
version of "CHICAGO," and played the lead in the National Tour of "SALAD
DAYS," directed by Ned Sherrin.
"Most of the other members of the cast
take on several roles and none enjoy their task more than Robert
Longden. He gives a marvelous series of star turns, including a stuffy
diplomat, a be-skirted Don, a camp boutique manager, a night club MC and
an eccentric scientist, deliberately stealing every scene and making the
audience love him for it. “ He was
directed by Antonia Bird in "SMALL ADDS " at the Young Vic, "Outstanding
is Robert Longden as Douglas, a gauche , myopic, baggy trousered
incompetent ,suffering from an anti social affliction of the intestines,
who was put off sex at an early age by a grammar school master who
wiggled his willy in the chlorine of the
school pool. Longden is an actor who found a character- I hope we see
him again," Jewish Chronicle. "The movements of his fingers, his hands,
his arms, are astonishingly expressive and his voice , though it only
rises above mezzo-forte when he is singing Gilbert and Sullivan
preparatory to getting into bed with his girlfriend contains a
remarkable range of feeling" Financial Times. B.A.
YOUNG, Roger Smith directed him, (opposite
David Tomlinson,) in "OUTSIDE BROADCAST,
"My man of the evening is Robert Longden as the bewigged, bemused
and bewildered BBC director, Hilary Maddox-Brown attempting to direct
Tomlinson's "Wolfit" led dinosaur in the every first television outside
broadcast. His performance is inspiration in itself. “John Peters.
Robert is unique for his radio ("LEGAL, DECENT, HONEST AND TRUTHFUL,"
and SEMI CIRCLES, "THE MACHINE STOPS") voice
over and commercial work making featured appearances in commercials
opposite comic legends such as Leonard Rossiter and Peter Sellers. His
last commercial for "BUTTERKIST" became a regular feature in Disney's
"THE FUNNIEST COMMERCIALS YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN!"
Robert presented and wrote two documentaries “THE GRAND” for Southern
Television about Brighton's famous hotel,
(before the bomb,) and “THE SMALL AVAILABLE JOYS” for Granada. He was
honored to take part in two Royal Variety Performances, three OLIVIERS
as well as being a guest on the BBC chat show WOGAN which devoted a full
hour to his cult school girl musical; “Moby Dick,." He was commissioned
to write a musical of “THE FLY” followed by “BEACHBALL” (Neil Sedaka
He has just played Julius Caesar in Robert
Armstrong's movie "DRUID'S."
Show Reel of Longden Highlights