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The man who gave the Beatles away


The man who gave The Beatles away

The Allan Williams Story


The play - written by Ronan Wilmot

Played in Dublin in October 2002

The older Allan Williams - Pearse Butler
The younger Allan Williams - Darren McHugh
Beryl Williams - Secret Huang
Astrid Kirich Herr - Martha Van der Bly
Klaus Voorman - Laurent Salaun
Bruno Koschmeider - Gary Jimmy Paddy Lynch
Barmaid - Aideen Roche

The Band
Damien Butler, Daragh Butler, Kevin Butler, Neil O'Farrell, Anthony Fox


Allan WilliamsIn l982 after seven productions spread over nearly three years with The Royal Shakespeare Company, I headed north to Liverpool to the Liverpool Playhouse to start rehearsals on Jimmy Mc Governs first play, “City Echoes”. The week prior, I rang the Playhouse to enquire about the accommodation situation. They supplied me with a list of telephone numbers. I rang the first one, stated that I was coming up the Saturday before Monday’s rehearsal began. This woman said, “Well, in that case, you can stay in our house until a flat is vacated.


I will meet you at the stage door at 10.15pm as Justin and Leah, my children are going to the ballet”. I had a few jars in The Grapes in Matthew Street where five lads were once told they could drink there but had to drink in the back room and to behave themselves. I spent a glorious weekend in their company and on Monday said, “if it’s alright with you, I’d like to stay on in Grove Park”. And so began an unbroken friendship with Beryl and Allan Williams.


Fast forward to early January 2002AD and I had been invited to spend New Year’s Eve in Grove Park where I had a fascinating few days including taking in An Evening with Ken Dodd at the Royal Philharmonic Hall. Shortly after I arrived home, I got a call from Pearse Butler (who I have known for 25 years since his band “Duffy” appeared in Alan Simpson’s wonderful production of “The Scattering” by James McKenna at The Abbey) suggesting Willy Russell’s play, “John, Paul, George, Ringo and Bert” for The New Theatre. I said, “Do you know that 48 hours ago, I was with Allan Williams, the first manager of The Beatles”.


Allan WilliamsDestiny had shown his hand. Research revealed that Willy Russell had withdrawn the play and on talking to Pearse, he suggested, “Why don’t you write Allan Williams story?” The boat was pushed out. Visits were made to Liverpool with photographer John Minihan and costume designer Therese Browne. Interviews completed, research and writing began with a four-month dead line to rehearsals.


Anthony Fox was the 2nd-one cast. Martha van Der Bly was acting in a play at The New Theatre. Therese suggested her friend Gary Jimmy Paddy Lynch whom I first met after watching him play a very high-class tennis match. Darren McHugh and I had acted together in RTE’s “Homeground”, Autumn 2002. Secret Huang came on board through her friend, a waitress in The Morrison. Laurent Salaun I have known for a coupe of years.


The band - Damien, Daragh and Kevin Butler are sons of Pearse and Neil O’Farrell is their best friend. Aideen Roche is making her stage debut. Victor Grennan, our stage designer, is spreading his wings after working in RTE, mostly on Fair City.

Therese Browne designed the costumes for me in Berlin in 1998 for H. Pinter’s “The Homecoming”. After 20 years work in opera, film and theatre in Berlin, she is making her opening statement in Ireland where she is from. Mannix McPhillips designed the lighting for “Of Mice and Men” at The New Theatre. Fiona Hurley and Maedhbh McCullough run the show and the theatre.


Carmel White publicises our shows at the New Theatre. Anthony Fox, who created The New Theatre, is the rock over which every-thing washes. His wife, Leanne Willars designed the poster. Eamon McDaid from the hills of Donegal constructed the set.


Eugene McCartan allowed the dream of The New Theatre to be realised and so the story of my lovely friends Allan and Beryl Williams reaches the stage. I thank you and I thank God for all the help. Slan agus beannacht.

Ronan Wilmot


The Allan Williams Story 

The World Premiere


Tuesday 8th, October 2002 saw Irish actor Ronan Wilmot stage his musical based on the life of the Beatles’ first prompter and Manager Allan Williams. At the New Theatre on East Essex Street, in Dublin’s Temple Bar.


This was infact it’s Premiere and played to a full house. Guest for the night were Allan Williams with his wife Beryl who had arrived from Liverpool the day before as guest’s of Mr. Wilmot.


On one of his trips to Liverpool, the digs where he stayed were run by Williams with his wife Beryl. Wilmot, a former Royal Shake­speare Company actor, said, “We have remained friends since that first visit. I thought Allan’s early days with the Beatles would make a good musical.” After contacting Williams and getting his approval, he began writing the show under the title The Man Who Gave The Beatles Away—The Allan Williams Story. It’s a play with music and the first act deals with the time in Liverpool with people like the late Lord Woodbine and everything that went on. The second act is set in Hamburg.


Ronan, said at the premiere “We will see what happens to it after tonight, but I would obviously love to bring it to Liverpool”.


CastPhoto from the show 'The man who gave The Beatles away'









Photos from the show 'The man who gave The Beatles away'


Photo from the show 'The man who gave The Beatles away'







Photos from the show 'The man who gave The Beatles away'


Photo from the show 'The man who gave The Beatles away'







The cast of 'The man who gave The Beatles away'


The cast of 'The man who gave The Beatles away'









The cast of 'The man who gave The Beatles away'


The cast of 'The man who gave The Beatles away'








Allan and Beryl williams with Ronan Wilmot



Allan and Beryl williams with Ronan Wilmot











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