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book by Michael Cashman

Review by Kev McEwen
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One of Them - Michael CashmanMichael Cashman's life has embraced so many interesting facets, from a childhood actor of the West End stage to a grown up actor thrust into the unwelcome tabloid limelight as part of the BBC's flagship soap of the 80's. Then political campaigner and founder of Stonewall the LGBT+ campaigning organisation, eventually turning into politics and a seat in the House of Lords. It has been as you can see, an incredible journey.

From a poor, post War childhood - growing up on a council estate in LimeHouse, London, on the edge of the River Thames, he captures the noise, excitement and danger of London's real East End now long gone. He tells his story with humour, warmth and candour.

Picked as a child star to join the chorus, then eventually the title role of Lionel Bart's smash hit West End musical “Oliver!” His life changes for ever with the acquisition of an agent and the years of abuse that followed and would haunt him into adulthood.

Later meeting actor Paul Cottingham who would become his partner and love of his live, theI romance is a whirlwind of a story and the first of our two brushes into the world of Rocky Horror. The second being Michaels time himself as The Narrator in the popular The New Rocky Horror Show with fan favourite Jason Donovan in 1998.

Paul toured as Eddie for the last two years of the Theatre Royal Hanley Tour in the 80s. Just as Michael was earning his place in television and social history as Colin, with the first same sex kiss in a British Soap opera. A simple peck on the forehead of the characters on screen boyfriend Barry brought the country to a stand still. A simple act but one of such visual importance and representation at the time.

In this memoir, we see the ups and downs of an actors life, but more than that, we see the glorious highs and desperate lows of a man's life, the love, the loss, the heartbreak, the every day and the extraordinary.

It's a love story, an adventure, heartbreaking, moving, inspirational and brave.

Out now in paperback priced £9.99

Thanks to Kev, we have a copy of the book to give away in the May 2021 competition.

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