The Long and the Short and the Tall

By Willis Hall
Directed by Anthony Page
1959 UK Tour

  • Original Cast:
    Michael Caine... Private C. 'Bammo' Bamforth
    Frank Finlay ... Sergeant R. 'Mitch' Mitchem
    Timothy Harley
    Harry Gwyn Davies
    Joe Brady
    Johnny Arlan
    David Sutton
    Roy Kinnear

    Extended Tour:
    Michael Caine... Private C. 'Bammo' Bamforth
    Frank Finlay ... Sergeant R. 'Mitch' Mitchem
    Terence Stamp ... Private Samuel 'Sammy' Whitaker

    The Long the Short and the Tall premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in London in January 1959; directed by Lindsay Anderson and starred Peter O'Toole and Robert Shaw. It was a success and transferred to the New Theatre in the West End. Michael Caine was O'Toole's understudy. Michael Caine took over the role for the UK tour as O'Toole was filming Laurence of Arabia.

    The tour was directed by Anthony Page who had been Anderson's assistant on the first production. Frank joined for the UK tour. At some point the tour was extended and parts were recast, Terence Stamp joined for the second half of the tour. "I had played the Radio Operator in the play at the Theatre On The Green, Richmond, so I knew the words, so I got the job. It was my second job out of drama school". Terence Stamp - The Scotsman.

    "We toured all over England, Scotland and Ireland and I learned so much, especially from a marvellous actor called Frank Finlay, who played the other male lead in the play. Frank never became a movie star so is not as widely known as he might be. However, when he played Iago to Laurence Olivier's Othello in the theatre, he almost stole the show from him - that's the calibre of actor he is.

    Michael Caine What's It All About P.146