Audio - There Used To Be a Me

Cover image - multiple portraits of Peter Sellers in character roles

Alfred Molina stars as the comic genius Peter Sellers in AUK Studios and Spiteful Puppet’s audio release, There Used To Be A Me, available to buy now...

"There used to be a me. But, I had it surgically removed". - Peter Sellers

Uncovering the mask behind Peter Sellers, this special audio adaption, written by Ian Billings and directed and produced by Barnaby Eaton-Jones, of There Used To Be A Me transports us into the mind of Peter Sellers and his characters, from his days starting on The Goon Show to his time as Inspector Clouseau. The audio play reveals a window that was shut for many years, which is opened as Molina narrates Sellers and his characters, taking us through a never-before-heard insight into Sellers' complicated mind and his work.

Writer Ian Billings said, “In There Used To Be a Me, I’ve attempted to examine the man and his work and peer into the mechanisms of his thinking, which, if contemporary reports are accurate, was sometimes wildly awry. Peter Hall said, 'You need the skill to control the skill.' Sellers had the first but possibly not the second.”

Peter Sellers was an iconic British comedian who shaped what we know to be comedy today, but do we really know Peter Sellers? He started his career alongside Spike Milligan, Harry Secombe, but it was in roles like, The Ladykillers (1955), The Pink Panther (1964) and Being There (1980) where he demonstrated his artistic range. Outside of work, Sellers was a complex mind who struggled with depression and mental illness, often claiming he had no identity outside of the roles he played. He lived a life of excess and indulgence that was fuelled by moodswings, and died suddenly in 1980 at the age of 54. He left no autobiography or record of his life or his feelings, and this audio play aims to fill that gap, constructing a fantasy image of Seller’s life through the magnificent Alfred Molina.

Molina said, “As a fan of the great Peter Sellers, any chance to inhabit his world through his movies, books, etc, then I grab at it. This project does something different. It tells a familiar story from a completely new perspective, that of Peter Sellers himself. The challenge to voice all the characters, Mr Sellers included, was too exciting to ignore. It’s a window into a soul.”

Alfred Molina is a master of voices, he is well-known for playing Dr Octopus in the 2004 film Spider-Man 2 and has also appeared in over 200 film, television and stage productions. He is now set to re-play Dr Octopus in this year’s Marvel film, Spider-Man: No Way Home.

There Used To Be A Me is written by comedian and writer Ian Billings and produced and directed by Barnaby Eaton-Jones. Barnaby is known for Screaming Queens, Jeepers Creepers, The Barren Autho and Passport to Oblivion [as well as writing excellent articles and interviews for us here at The DreamCage! - Ed].

Barnaby said, “I’ve been a fan of Peter Sellers, as an artist, since I was no higher than a giraffe with no legs and a broken neck. It was a happy coincidence that writer Ian Billings and I were working on co-current ideas for a new way to look back on Sellers life - without repeating other works - and, when we realised this, we opted for Ian’s more audio-friendly narrative in which Sellers is producing his own audio about his life; starring Sellers as everyone in it. It’s a complex and clever script, with pathos and humour; a deep dive into the life and career of Peter Sellers. To have another hero of mine, in the form of acting legend Alfred Molina, come on board to perform this one-man ‘show’, was the icing on the cake. He delivered it with such aplomb and really juggled the manic nature of switching between voices in a virtually live performance with no separation of recording each voice separately. It’s a tour-de-force. I’ve had a ball directing and producing this unique audio production.”

Listen to the trailer below:

Written by Ian Billings
Sound Design: Joseph Fox
Soundtrack: Abigail Fox
Artwork: Robert Hammond
Produced and directed by Barnaby Eaton-Jones

There Used To Be A Me is produced by AUK in association with Spiteful Puppet and is available now on  Audible: Google: Apple:

Image - AUK Studios

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