Robert Locke (Blood Brothers actor)

In 2017, Con O’Neill posted this lovely picture to Instagram:

“A friend just sent this to me. Blood Brothers with the late great Robert Locke. Happy times x”

Con O'Neill and Robert Locke backstage at Blood Brothers

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I was a huge fan of Blood Brothers and listened to the original cast recording until the tape practically wore through, so I was very sad to hear that “Eddie” had died. I couldn’t find much information online, so I wanted to make sure anyone else looking could find this.

Robert Paul Locke was born in Derby on July 19, 1956, to James and Joan Locke. He died on July 15, 1992, four days before his 36th birthday.

Obituary: Robert Locke

The Stage, July 23, 1992

The actor ROBERT LOCKE died on July 15, aged 35. Robert started his career in the seventies on tour with two John Gale Productions, Hush And Hide and Ace In A Hole. He then appeared with the Oxford Stage Company, again on tour, in Macbeth and Psycho.

It was apparent that Robert's excellent singing voice was going to lead to a career in musicals and he subsequently appeared in the National Tour of Annie and in Jesus Christ Superstar at York and Norwich.

Robert played Charlie Brown in Snoopy in the original production at the Watermill, Newbury and also when the production transferred to the Duchess Theatre in London for a very successful run.

Snoopy the Musical at The Watermill Theatre Newbury

Picture by Laurence Burns / Performing Arts Images

Robert always enjoyed returning to Repertory and appeared at Northampton in Another Country and Seasons Greetings, at Leatherhead as Rolf in The Sound of Music and also the premiere of the new musical Too Young For Love in which he played Justin Brook. Robert premiered two other new productions at Worcester, Love Forever True and Portrait Of Elmbury, which was also broadcast for radio.

Although making a considerable name for himself as a singer, Robert loved to go back to the more classical side of theatre and last summer appeared as Flute in the highly successful production of A Midsummer Night's Dream in Cannizaro Park in Wimbledon, close to Robert's London home.

Throughout his career Robert's youthful looks enabled him to play young parts. This was particularly reflected by his role of Eddie in Blood Brothers. Robert first played Eddie at Northampton in a production that was so successful it returned to the Rep in the same year! Later, Robert went on to play Eddie in the Bill Kenwright production of Blood Brothers when it came into the West End in 1988.

Robert returned to Blood Brothers at The Phoenix last October and was performing the role of Eddie until March of this year, when he became too ill to continue working. It is for this role that Robert will best be remembered.

Robert died peacefully, surrounded by family and friends, at St Raphael's Hospice in Cheam.

The management and cast of Blood Brothers are holding a Midnight Matinee of the production in memory of Robert Locke and for research into PML (Multi-Focal Progressive Leukoencephalopathy) at the Phoenix Theatre on August 4.

- Joyce Rae and Sheila Mcintosh

Con O'Neill and Robert Locke in Blood Brothers

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By its closing night on November 10, 2012, Blood Brothers had become the third longest running musical in West End history.

“For the final performance, after the cast had taken their bows, a large screen was flown in. One by one pictures appeared of cast members who have performed at the Phoenix, until the end when the final three artists – the late Robert Locke, Carl Wayne and Stephanie Lawrence – appeared. This was accompanied by an acapella version of the final verse of “Tell Me It’s Not True”.”

From (2012-13)

Curtain call at final performance of Blood Brothers

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  • I only found out as late as Jan 2024 that Robert had passed Am so very sorry I could possibly have been told but my short term memory is not good But thank goodness for my long-term as I recall my good friend Pam Power being in Blood Brothers with Con & Warwick & Kiki So very luckily I got to see the show in London and on tour Bradford Brighton Greater London & in the West End in the late 80’s plus other events Like going with Con & Pam & Robert to see Kiki in concert So it was very lucky I got to see the show so many times with Robert playing Eddie I remember him as a really lovely man who looked like a boy and behaved like a gent My blessings to all Roberts Family & loved ones xxx Am so sorry

    Suzy Young
  • I’m so sorry for your loss, Philip.

    Jen Eggleston (author)
  • Robert and I were the best of friends throughout our grammar school years in Derby. We remained close as he embarked on his career in the theatre. I was devastated to hear of his passing and think of him a lot. I truly loved him and miss him dearly.

    Philip Eaton

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