Ithaca Greece - Biography of Actor John Stuart Anderson

John Stuart Anderson

1927  -  2002

"Anderson is a truly unique theatrical experience. One of the few British Actors to make his solo art the art of solo acting. He has evolved a highly original and ambitious approach to the 'One Man Show', vastly different from the usual recital or reading.  An acclaimed master of Solo Theatre, Anderson has delighted audiences the world over with a fascinating and varied repertoire drawn from Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, Greek legends, Tales of Gothic Horror, several striking sequences from the Bible and his own critically acclaimed writings."

John Stuart Anderson was born in Burma in 1927 to his Scottish father and Australian mother.  His early years were spent growing up in Cyprus before moving to the Highlands of Scotland. He attended St. Andrews University and served in the Royal British Air force before he began his theatrical career.

John Stuart Anderson  formed his own Mime Company and studied Ballet from the legendary Karsarvina who danced with the Diaghilev Ballet Company.  On BBC Television, John Stuart Anderson, appeared in a series of his own Mime Plays which proved invaluable as he began his career as a Solo Actor.

Through his early career, John joined a number of Repertory Theatre Groups and played roles ranging form psychopathic murderers to careless husbands.  Always interested in unusual forms of Theatre, John Stuart Anderson devised and eventually developed his own remarkable Solo performances.

In the early years, professional Theatre Companies showed little interest in his innovative and challenging performances.  When his idea to perform Bible Stories from the Old and the New Testament in churches came to fruition, and the Bishop of Chichester and Lord Elton, then a distinguished member of the House of Lords, took great interest in his plans, John Stuart Anderson soon began to attract large audiences to over 45 Cathedrals, parish churches and the leading Public Schools of Britain.  He was the first actor to appear in the new Coventry Cathedral and in the National Cathedral of Washington DC and then in the Shakespeare Festival Theatre in Stratford, Ontario Canada where he was invited to follow the Shakespeare Recital by Sir John Gielgud. 

"John Stuart Anderson is a man with a mission and a message. The mission  is to show that a man can live by the Living Word, and the message is to all people of good will who wish to live harmony with each other despite the disturbing and distracting influences which seek to divide them."

Randall Carlson Report

John Stuart Anderson took 'The Living Word' on tour through the United States and secured performances in 1962 for Paris and the South of France.  He added many classical and modern dramas to his repertoire, many written by himself, and portrayed a wide range of roles from Hamlet, Dracula, Tschaikowski, Lord Byron, Orpheo, King Arthur, MacBeth and even a Werewolf.

Columbia Records recorded four of his Gothic stories, The Werewolf, The Frankenstein Passion, The Devil and Dr. Glande and Stereorrific.

His remarkable Biblical programmes, Tyndale and  Daniel In Babylon, the latter of which made it's Premier at Coventry Cathedral, have also  been recorded on cassette, Lp and Cd.

John Stuart Anderson took 'Daniel In Babylon' through Europe, Britain and the United States to rave reviews.

"One of the most impressive solo performances I have seen."

The Guardian

"A superb piece of theatre...held his audience spellbound whilst he transported them into a new world of atmosphere and imagination."

The New York Times



Daniel In Babylon

A Monodrama with Music

Devised by John Stuart Anderson

Music by Dr. Francis Jackson