Next year is the 20th anniversary of BBC2’s dark, cult comedy the League of Gentlemen: the show that launched the careers of Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton, Jeremy Dyson and Reece Shearsmith. And, according to the latter, a reunion may be on the cards.
Speaking to Radio Times, Shearsmith said that a creative collaboration is in the works – but it might not necessarily take place in the home of Tubbs, Edward and wife-kidnapping horror that is Papa Lazarou.
“I think we will do something again,” he said. “We’ve started to talk about a thing. It might not be [League of Gentlemen setting] Royston Vasey, but just collaborating again would be great.”
Some League of Gentlemen actors have worked on projects before, of course. Shearsmith and Pemberton wrote 2009’s Psychoville, and teamed up again for this year’s anthology series Inside No.9. Whereas in 2012, Shearsmith, Permberton and Sherlock co-showrunner Mark Gatiss appeared on screen together in children’s sketch comedy show Horrible Histories. All four (including off-screen writing partner Dyson) are yet to sit down and write new material, however.
Shearsmith was talking to Radio Times to promote his new ITV crime drama Chasing Shadows, in which he plays a gifted, if socially awkward, policeman alongside Doctor Who’s Alex Kingston. It follows on from his chilling portrayal of real-lie killer Malcolm Webster in ITV’s The Widower.
“I think it’s occurred to people that I’m an actor. I was amazed to get The Widower. I didn’t think I would. It’s an ITV drama and there’s certain processes they’ll go through and I thought, ‘It won’t be me.'”
“But I’ve always wanted to do more straight acting roles. At the heart of a lot of my comedy, it has been quite straight. I know it’s funny, but we’ve never been comedians. We are acts that just had a bend towards comedy. People ask if it’s a stretch, and I just say: ‘It’s all I’ve ever been doing.’ Our things are deadly dramatic.”