The Catacombs Catacombs Credits Guide
Anton Phillips

Interview with Steve Eramo and Karen Robinson from Alpha Newsletter, 1979.

You decide to become an actor what were some of things you did before your acting career?

I first studied at the RCA Institute in New York, learning radio announcing, directing and such. I returned to Jamaica after this and instead of going into radio I joined an advertising agency, where I wrote a lot of material for radio advertising.

I vent to England in 1964 and worked various jobs there. I worked for British Actors Equity Association, The Jamaican High Commission (Jamaican Embassy) and also did some play writing.

Next I did an audition and was accepted into a drama school in Kent, England; The Rose Buford College, which within the profession, is considered one of the beet drama schools. My first jot after I left Rose Buford wag in "Theatre In Education", which I have a very high regard for, very rewarding. I was ideally qualified for this because at drama school they taught you everything; we vent into all aspects of theatre. The first year was acting classes and a high concentration on speech and movement. At the same time we had to learn to sew, to make costumes, learn how to make a paint a set. Carpentry, how to stage manage a show; you have to learn all aspects of theatre. In addition to this there was also a teaching course that you had to satisfy. So we had student teaching practice as well; we went out into school and taught during the three years we were there

Then I went on to stage to do a version of Othello in which played Iago. A tremendous success, a very exciting show. I continued doing other stage work and plays, one of which Michael Barnes, from Space, saw me in and that led to my role in Space: 1999.

Was the majority of your work between Othello and Space on stage?

Yes, which was good because you learn your business on stage, acting, in front of people. You take advantage of what's being taught in drama school, you learn your techniques from acting school and then use what you've learned on stage in front or people

How long did Othello run?

It ran for sixteen weeks in London, which was a very long time for fringe repertory company. We also did two performances in Germany at a theatre festival.

What research do you do into the nature of the character you will portray?

I work from the script basically. I look at what the character says about himself in the script; what other people gay about the character in the script; I try to find out what the author thinks about the character in the script and I finally come to a decision on what I think about the character. Then talk about and discuss these things with your fellow artists. You have three or four weeks to rehearse the play and develop that character

Was Iago your most challenging role?

The Iago role was a very very challenging role. Yes, it probably was the most challenging role.

What have done since Space: 1999?

The part in the British version of General Hospital is something I've done over a period a couple of years. I played the part of "Dr Wilson" which I enjoyed doing very much. It's a very highly rated show. It's not being done any more in Britain, they had seven good years out Of it and wanted to end while they ahead.

I also played the role of the treasurer on a local committee in several episodes of the British series The Crezz.

There's also a children's program I've been doing for the past three years. You And Me is a children's show I present for the BBC. It's directed at three, four and five year olds; and I do it with three or four children. We go out to different places, a farm for example. We'd look at the animals, talk about the animals and get the kids to respond to questions about the animals. It's a short program, only takes two days to film. It's very very hard work but great fun and rewarding. I make two or three programmes every summer and they're shown during the autumn and winter. It's a very widely watched program, it's watched in schools as well as homes.

I also do two or three radio programmes for the BBC yearly. That's really nice work, because that's instant acting. You're sent the script and you read it at hone. Then you come to the studio and read it once to get the correct microphone levels, etc. Then have a rehearsal and then they record it. Radio acting is all voice but you have to make the people see what's happening; it's a different type of acting and great fun to do.

What's your favourite Space episode?

The first episode, Breakaway, I suppose, was my favourite because it was the exciting one for me. Death's Other Dominion I also liked because the sets were so sensational. The one with Ian McShane, Force Of Life, I thought was very well written. The images of certain scenes, like with him pulling the safe open and walking into it was such a terrific image. I also liked Troubled Spirit, Black Sun and War Games.

What particular places in Europe do you enjoy going to?

I love to France, I love Paris and love the French. Brussels I quite liked, it's a little city that's quite charming.

Do any you have any hobbies?

My work for one. I also like reading, science fiction in particular but other subjects as well.