Extract from The Stage:
A student at the Drama Centre in its earliest years, between 1963-5, Jack Shepherd was born in the Chapel Allerton area of Leeds. His family were “just about” working class, i.e. working class with the ambition to better themselves. His father loved the Liverpool comic Tommy Handley but loathed the notoriously vulgar Frank Randle. Now Shepherd has written “Only When I Laugh”, a play inspired by his love of music hall comedians. In it, Shepherd the writer examines the nature of working-class music hall heroes and the precarious relationship with the audience.