Martin Alcock was born in Stoke on Trent, England,1961 and escaped from school unnoticed at the age of 16 in 1978 with two unimpressive O levels in English Language and Literature. Shortly after that, his mother frog-marched him into the offices of the local weekly newspaper, where he was taken on as a cub reporter. He remained there for 5 years, reporting on magistrates courts, cattle markets, lost cats, local amateur dramatic productions and taking names at funerals. He learnt to type on a cast iron Imperial typewriter from the 1940’s. He then moved into industry, writing press releases about industrial air conditioners. He lasted six months before being dismissed. For which he was very grateful.
After university and drama school and a brief career as an actor, Martin was finally persuaded to GROW UP AND GET A PROPER BLOODY JOB teaching Performing Arts at Stoke on Trent College. The 19 years he has spent doing this are easily the most satisfying, exciting, stimulating, frustrating, depressing and soul-destroying (sometimes all before 10am on the same day) years he has spent to date. Martin is currently looking to leave the British Education System while there still is one.
Martin has been writing for some years, mainly plays for his students to perform (of which he has written about 12). He has had some success in the grown up world too. In the prestigious Bruntwood/Manchester Royal Exchange competition in 2008, his play HERE I SIT ALL ALONE, I THINK I’LL PLAY MY XYLOPHONE made it through to the last 60 of 1600 submitted plays. His short play THE SMOKE FROM FAR SHUTT was selected as one of seven out of 170 submitted to be performed at the Arundel Festival Theatre Trail this August alongside a new play by Simon Brett. This last effort earned him a writers fee of £150 – his first paid work as a writer.
In 2009, as part of Anthony Gormley’s “One And Other” Project Martin was one of 1000 people chosen to spend an hour on the Fourth Plinth of Trafalgar Square. He chose to spend his hour as his comedy idol Tony Hancock (complete with homemade blue plaque).
This summer he can be seen in the Co-Operative British Youth Film Academy Feature Film “Olivia Twist”, an updated version of the Dickens Classic, as Bob Fagin (He has since got rid of the beard).