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”
Screenshot from https://www.instagram.com/p/BbFX1v8htW-/
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.
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
Picture from https://www.queens-theatre.co.uk/1987-con-oneil-and-robert-locke-blood-brothers-1987/
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 http://www.overthefootlights.co.uk/London_Musicals.html (2012-13)
Screenshot from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JjapGtowOE