There is an art to being a great writer and actor, there is an art to being a celebrity, and there is an art to longevity. Jonathan Guy Lewis was born on 20 May 1963 in Eltham, London, England. He is the famous author of the disabled-servicemen drama Our Boys, and also the co-writer and performer of I Found My Horn one-man show. His son, Abe, 19, was the inspiration for the drama and plays one of the leading roles.
He is a director, actor, and writer, who is famous for London's Burning (1988), Pickled (2015), and Coronation Street (1960). According to this art appreciation essay Jonathan was formerly married to the actress Miranda Foster with whom he has one son, Abe. He has since been in a relationship with Imogen Stubbs. Guy is a Son-in-law of Barry Foster and a brother-in-law of Joanna Foster.
Jonathan is best known for his award-winning 1993 play, Our Boys. The play was based on his own experience spending time in a military hospital after he was invalided out of the army. In his formative years, the theatre and the military were parallel great points of interest for him. They were the only two things in which he excelled in at school.
He used to run the St Dunstan's Combined Cadet Force, and he loved acting in school plays. Both roles involve putting on a show and dressing up. After finishing his university studies, he started training as an officer but was invalided out within days with a rare back injury.
Contrary to being fast-tracked up the hierarchy of the military, in Woolwich and for a month, he ended up in a soldiers' hospital; this gave him a unique insight into the young veterans' mindset around him.
Jonathan was later discharged from the army at 22, implementing a Plan B of becoming an actor, and therefore taking himself to drama school. Drama and military continued to coalesce after landing a leading role in the television series Soldier Soldier.
Jonathan effectively used this soldier experience when to play Sergeant Chris McCleod’s part in Soldier Soldier (1991). More recently, he has also landed in his work in Business with RADA, where he has taught top military brass on communication skills.
Jonathan’s play Our Boys opened to universally good reviews in 1991. His one-person show I Found My Horn toured the UK, and then played the Hampstead Theatre before he transferred in 2014 to the Trafalgar Studios in London's West End.
Jonathan's first major acting role was that of Sgt. Chris McCleod in Soldier Soldier, with his most recent TV series roles being Endeavour and Skins. Jonathan’s most notable work as a writer is ‘Our Boys’ which is an award-winning play. The play was staged in 1995 at the Donmar Warehouse and was revived in 2012 at the Duchess Theatre. Lewis has worked as a director and writer. In 2015, Lewis co-starred in the revival of Arthur Miller's View from a Bridge.
Jonathan’s Television works
Some of Jonathan’s Television Works include;
- Soldier Soldier 1996-97 as Sgt Chris McLeod in which he performed 17 episodes
- Coronation Street 1999 as Ian Bentley in which he played 4 episodes
- London's Burning 1998-2001 as Chris Hammond where he performed in 25 episodes
- Holby City 2003 as Anthony Woods where he acted in 3 episodes Trivia (3)
This is a two acts play which was written by Lewis and is credited under Jonathan Lewis’s nom de plume. Our Boys play was first performed in London on 13 May 1993 at the Cockpit Theatre. It was then subsequently revived in a production which originated at Derby Playhouse (now Derby Theatre) and later on transferred to Donmar Warehouse, where it ran from 11 April-13 May 1995.
This production resulted in the play winning award as the Best Fringe Play in the Writers' Guild of Great Britain Awards. Samuel French published the play, and it remains in print. In October 2012, the play was revived in the West End.
Ever since Our Boys, Jonathan has been engaged deeply with the dilemma of soldiers having to return from active duty with psychological and physical scars. Lewis has actively been involved with the Soldiers’ Arts Academy, which is a veterans group which meets once in a week in Fulham, a community center.
With this being a chance for people attending to experiment, play and let go, and explore; some veterans have grown to be actors. The company of Soldier On was composed of half actors and half soldiers. It was important for Jonathan to provide wrap-around care for the company and build trust as the director.