Francesca Gonshaw

Francesca Gonshaw
Upper body shot of a woman. She has dark hair which is worn loose, and is wearing a dark top.
Francesca Gonshaw in 2014
Bornc. 1960
OccupationActress
Publishing executive
Curator
Years active1982–1990
Notable work
'Allo 'Allo!
Crossroads
Howards' Way

Francesca Gonshaw (born c. 1960) is an English former actress who appeared in television, theatre and cinema productions in the 1980s. From 1982 to 1987, she appeared as Maria Recamier in the BBC's 'Allo 'Allo! television situation comedy series set in occupied France during World War II.

After early roles in the BBC's Shades and Gesualdo the Prince, Gonshaw featured as Arsinoe in The Cleopatras in 1983. After leaving 'Allo 'Allo! for the role of Amanda Palmer in the drama Howard's Way, Gonshaw appeared in other productions including as Lisa Walters in the Central soap-opera Crossroads (1984–85), as Maria in the movie Biggles: Adventures in Time (1986) and in the Grammy-winning music video for Peter Gabriel's "Digging in the Dirt" (1992). On stage, she played Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream and Ophelia in Hamlet. After her acting career, she went on to work for Miramax Books, and then became curator of an art gallery.

Early life[]

Francesca Gonshaw's father came to England as a child with his parents as Russian White emigres fleeing from the Bolshevik Revolution.[1] She was born c. 1960,[2] and attended St Paul's Girls' School.[3] The family relocated from London to Marbella, Spain in 1976. At the age of 17, she returned to England to study for her A Levels in Cambridge,[4] and then Modern Languages at the University of London.[5] She also studied acting, but did not complete the course,[3] and was a model in a photo story for My Guy magazine.[6]

Television and film[]

In 1982, Gonshaw appeared in a BBC television play entitled Shades.[7] The following year, she was in Gesualdo the Prince, based on the true story of Carlo Gesualdo who murdered his wife and her lover after discovering them in bed together.[8]

She played Arsinoe in the 1983 BBC television classical Roman history drama series The Cleopatras.[9][10] That same year, she had a role in a film version of The Hound of the Baskervilles.[11] From 1984 to 1985, she was the character Lisa Walters in the Central soap opera Crossroads.[12][13] In February 1984, Hilary Kingsley of the Daily Mirror criticised Gonshaw's performance in Crossroads, saying that she "[spoke] her lines as though reading them from an optician's chart."[13]

From 1982 to 1987, she featured as waitress Maria Recamier in the BBC's 'Allo 'Allo! television situation comedy series set in occupied France during World War II.[14] The producers had wanted to cast Mary Stävin, but the Department of Employment refused permission, saying that they believed a British actress could be found for the role. Gonshaw was a subscriber to Production Casting Report, which published details of planned television projects, and had sent a letter and photograph seeking a role in the series, and was invited to attend an audition for the pilot, for which she travelled to London from Spain. Gonshaw had met and become an acquaintance of series co-creator Jeremy Lloyd in Marbella, and has said that she was surprised to meet him again at the audition. She was given the part.[15] The show satirised dramas such as Secret Army, and like other UK situation comedies of the time, contained double entendres, catchphrases, and running gags.[16] It ran for 85 episodes from 1982 to 1992, attracting as many as 17 million viewers per episode in the UK, and was sold to overseas markets including France and Germany.[15] Gonshaw was in 21 of the episodes, in the first three series.[17] She complained in a 1986 interview that "I wanted to be a serious actress. Now I seem to be known only as a bawdy waitress wearing stockings and suspenders."[18] Gonshaw declined the opportunity to appear in the popular stage version of 'Allo 'Allo!, and after three months out of work, embarked on a piano bar tour on the Costa del Sol, intending to perform three songs that she had written as part of the performances.[19] She left the cast of 'Allo 'Allo after its third series to take up the role of Amanda Parker in the third series of the BBC television drama series Howards' Way in 1987.[3] She also started attending the Byam Shaw School of Art, studying painting.[3]

Gonshaw portrayed Maria, the girlfriend of Biggles in the historical/science fiction cinema film Biggles: Adventures in Time (1986),[11] and played the character of Senorita Rodriguez in the television film dramatization of the Barbara Cartland novel A Ghost in Monte Carlo (1990).[12] She made guest appearances on Blankety Blank,[20] and in The Russ Abbot Show.[3]

In 1992, she appeared in the pop music video for the Peter Gabriel single release "Digging in the Dirt", which won a Grammy for "Best Music Video – short form."[21][22]

Theatre[]

In 1982, Gonshaw played Kate in You Should See Us Now, by Peter Tinniswood, at the Greenwich Theatre; the cast also included Simon Cadell, Christopher Cazenove and Pauline Yates.[23][24] In the mid-1980s, she joined the New Shakespeare Company's tour of thirteen countries in the Middle East, portraying Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream,[25] then in 1988 she starred in a regional tour of The Cat and the Canary.[26][27] Two years later, Gonshaw played Ophelia in Hamlet at three venues – the Brixton Assembly Rooms, the Pentameters Theatre in Hampstead, and the Shaw Theatre.[28] The proceeds of this production went towards AIDS charities.[29] Her performances in both The Cat and the Canary and Hamlet received negative reviews in The Stage.[27][29]

Post-acting career[]

After studying art for a year, Gonshaw joined Miramax Books & Films and took up the post of Senior Vice-President of Acquisitions.[3][30] She was the orial director for a book of Robert Altman's Prêt-à-Porter, and compiled Love: ten poems of Pablo Neruda.[31][32] In 2001 she was a casting agent for the film The Goose Creek Story.[11] According to Gonshaw's own LinkedIn profile, she has been an artist since 2009.[33] She was also the curator of the 'She has a Space' gallery in London.[34][35] She exhibited at the 7–8 October 2009 Art for Youth event at the Mall Galleries.[36][37] Since 2011 she has occasionally appeared at memorabilia collectors conventions with the former cast of Allo Allo.[34][38][39]

Crs[]

Television

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1982 Shades Julie/Sue [11]
1982 The British Are Coming Maria Pilot episode for 'Allo 'Allo! [11]
1982 Gesualdo the Prince cast member [11]
1983 The Cleopatras Part 6 51 BC Arsinoe Mini-series [11]
1983 The Cleopatras Part 8 35 BC Arsinoe Mini-series [11]
1984–85 Crossroads Lisa Walters [12][13]
1984 Cold Warrior Amanda Episode: "Hook, Line and Sinker" [11][40]
1984–1987 'Allo 'Allo! Maria Recamier 21 episodes [11][17]
1986 Farrington of the F.O. Lolita Fernandez [41]
1987 Blankety Blank Herself guest [20]
1987 Howard's Way Amanda Howard Recurring [11]
1990 She-Wolf of London Judith Episode "Nice Girls Don't"[a] [42]

Film

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1986 Biggles Marie Movie [11]
1988 The Hound of the Baskervilles Young girl in mire television film[b] [11]
1990 A Ghost in Monte Carlo television film [12]

Theatre

Dates Title Role Venue Ref.
1983 You Should See Us Now Kate Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough; tour [12][43]
1983 Sailors' Dream Prince of Wales, London SW6 [44]
1985 Dear Janet Rosenberg, Dear Mr Kooning King's Head, Islington [45]
1985 A Midsummer Night's Dream Hermia New Shakespeare Company's tour of 13 countries in the Middle East [25]
1988 The Cat and the Canary Annabelle West regional tour [27][26]
1990 Hamlet Ophelia Brixton Assembly Rooms; Pentameters, Hampstead; Shaw Theatre [28]
1991 The Judgment Director (non-acting) London Ecology Centre [46]

Publications[]

Year Title Crs Publisher ISBN Ref.
1994 Robert Altman's Prêt-à-Porter Script by Robert Altman, Barbara Shulgasser, and Brian D. Leitch; introductions and interviews by Brian D. Leitch; art direction: Fabian Baron; design: Malin Ericson; orial director: Francesca Gonshaw Hyperion ISBN 9780786881031 [47]
1995 Love: ten poems of Pablo Neruda translated by Stephen Tapscott and others; compiled by Francesca Gonshaw Miramax Books ISBN 9780786881482 [48]

Notes[]

  1. ^ cred as Franchesca Gonshaw
  2. ^ BFI has date as 1988, some other sources say 1983

References[]

  1. ^ "Francesca says 'allo allo,'". Reading Evening Post. 17 November 1986. p. 2.
  2. ^ "Bailiff shock for actress". Liverpool Echo. 16 May 1992. p. 9. 31-year-old actress
  3. ^ a b c d e f Webber, Richard (2012). "The waitresses". 'Allo 'Allo 30th Anniversary: the Inside Story of the Hit TV Show (Kindle). London: Welbeck Publishing. ISBN 9781780972077.
  4. ^ "Francesca says 'allo allo,'". Reading Evening Post. 17 November 1986. p. 2.
  5. ^ Rossiter, Huw (2 September 1987). "New temptress". Aberdeen Press and Journal. p. 4.
  6. ^ "Seventies teen mag My Guy gets one-off relaunch". London Evening Standard. London. 23 October 2006. Archived from the original on 6 July 2019. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  7. ^ "Shades (1982)". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 5 July 2019. Retrieved 27 June 2021.
  8. ^ Dowling, Ted (2 April 1983). "Echo Television: BBC2". Liverpool Echo. p. 2.
  9. ^ "The Cleopatras Part 6 51 BC (1983)". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 5 July 2019. Retrieved 27 June 2021.
  10. ^ "The Cleopatras Part 8 35 BC (1983)". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 27 April 2019. Retrieved 27 June 2021.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Francesca Gonshaw". bfi.org.uk/. British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 5 July 2019. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  12. ^ a b c d e Hayward, Anthony (1990). Who's Who on Television (5 ed.). Boxtree. p. 80. ISBN 1852831057.
  13. ^ a b c Kingsley, Hilary (18 February 1984). "Leave it out, Lisa". Daily Mirror. p. 13.
  14. ^ Cornell, Paul; Day, Martin; Topping, Keith (1996). The Guinness Book of Classic British TV (2 ed.). Guinness World Records Limited. p. 122. ISBN 9780851126289.
  15. ^ a b Webber, Richard (2012). "Listen very carefully, I will tell you the history only once". 'Allo 'Allo 30th Anniversary: the Inside Story of the Hit TV Show (Kindle). London: Welbeck Publishing. ISBN 9781780972077.
  16. ^ Jeffries, Stuart (23 January 2017). "Gorden Kaye obituary". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 16 March 2017. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  17. ^ a b Webber, Richard (2012). "Number of Appearances". 'Allo 'Allo 30th Anniversary: the Inside Story of the Hit TV Show (Kindle). London: Welbeck Publishing. ISBN 9781780972077.
  18. ^ Gould, Judy (11 May 1986). "'Allo, 'Allo: I need a leetle loving". Sunday Mirror. p. 27.
  19. ^ Rimmer, Bryan (19 December 1986). "The goodbye girl". Daily Mirror. p. 15.
  20. ^ a b "Television listings". Aberdeen Evening Express. 6 March 1987. p. 2.
  21. ^ Bowman, Durrell (2 September 2016). Experiencing Peter Gabriel: A Listener's Companion. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 165. ISBN 9781442252004. Archived from the original on 27 June 2021. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  22. ^ "Winners – 35th Annual GRAMMY Awards (1992)". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 30 June 2017. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  23. ^ You Should See Us Now by Peter Tinniswood Archived 5 July 2019 at the Wayback Machine www.chaseside.org.uk Retrieved 5 July 2019
  24. ^ Coveney, Michael (2 February 1983). "You Should See Us Now/Greenwich". Financial Times. p. 11. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
  25. ^ a b Batrouni, Vanessa (24 October 1985). "An Elizabethan Dream That Travelled Well". The Jerusalem Star. p. 7 – via archive.org. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  26. ^ a b "Production of The Cat and the Canary". theatricalia.com. Archived from the original on 27 June 2021. Retrieved 11 June 2021.
  27. ^ a b c Harris, Eric (10 March 1988). "Stevenage: The Cat and the Canary". The Stage. London. p. 25.
  28. ^ a b Stanley Wells (28 November 2002). Shakespeare Survey. Cambridge University Press. p. 146. ISBN 9780521523844. Archived from the original on 27 June 2021. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  29. ^ a b Gould, Helen (9 August 1990). "Shaw Theatre: Hamlet". The Stage. London. p. 11.
  30. ^ Horn, John (17 July 1994). "Bookstores Nationwide Are Selling Screenplays". The State. Columbia SC). p. 21 – via NewsBank. Retrieved 12 July 2019. "Film has become the major art form, and everyone's more aware of how the process works," says Francesca Gonshaw, vice president of acquisitions for the newly launched Miramax Books, a division of the art film distributor.
  31. ^ Ready to Wear (Prêt-à-Porter) in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
  32. ^ Love: ten poems in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
  33. ^ "Francesca Gonshaw". uk.linkedin.com. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  34. ^ a b Windsor, Steve (March 2017). "Whatever happened to... Francesca Gonshaw". Best of British. No. 248. London: Diamond Publishing. p. 82.
  35. ^ "About". shehasaspace.com. Archived from the original on 16 January 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2021.
  36. ^ "Art for Youth and UK Youth". citywealthmag.com. Archived from the original on 17 June 2019. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  37. ^ "Raphael Pepper – Biography". raphaelpepper.com. Archived from the original on 25 July 2017. Retrieved 20 July 2019. 'Christmas Wish' curated by Francesca Gonshaw – She has a Space, London
  38. ^ "Latest Guest Announcement – Francesca Gonshaw". showmasters.com. 30 November 2018. Archived from the original on 27 June 2021. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
  39. ^ "Francesca Gonshaw". filmandcomicconglasgow.com. Archived from the original on 11 June 2021. Retrieved 12 June 2021.
  40. ^ "31 October: BBC1". Radio Times. 25 October 1984. p. 70.
  41. ^ Myler, Thomas (4 March 1986). "Off screen". Evening Herald. Dublin. p. 42.
  42. ^ She-Wolf of London: Complete Series (DVD). Universal Pictures. 2010 [Broadcast 1990]. Judith: Franchesca Gonshaw" is in the closing crs for the episode "Nice Girls Don't
  43. ^ Peter Tinniswood (1983). You Should See Us Now: A Play. Samuel French. ISBN 9780573115127. Archived from the original on 9 November 2020. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  44. ^ "Theatre week". The Stage. 23 June 1983. p. 10.
  45. ^ "Production News". The Stage. 7 February 1985. p. 24.
  46. ^ "Production News". The Stage. 27 June 1991. p. 15.
  47. ^ "Robert Altman's Prêt à porter / script by Robert Altman, Barbara Shulgasser, and Brian D. Leitch ; introductions and interviews by Brian D. Leitch ; art direction by Fabian Baron ; design by Malin Ericson ; orial director, Francesca Gonshaw". University of Pennsylvania. Archived from the original on 18 July 2021. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  48. ^ "Love ten poems". worldcat.org. Archived from the original on 18 July 2021. Retrieved 18 July 2021.

External links[]