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ARTS: ENTERTAINMENT Marc's Lads on a little earner.

WALLASEY writer Marc Gee, delighted to be nominated for an ECHO Entertainment Award for his movie Al's Lads, looks like enjoying a special bonus for his hard work.

Al's Lads, starring Ralf Little (the Royle Family's Anthony) as one of three Liverpool merchant seamen who went to America in the 1920s to work for gangster Al Capone, had the distinction of opening the recent Commonwealth Games Film Festival.

It caused such a stir that another of Marc's feature scripts, Freedonia (inspired by the fictional country in the Marx Brothers' film Duck Soup) is now likely to earn development funding.

There's even talk of recent Summer Pops star Bryan Adams doing the music and appearing in the film.

Meanwhile, the man who is up on screen everywhere - aka Ricky Tomlinson - has yet another movie premiere looming.

The head of the Royle Family, presently in town filming a new feature, The Virgin of Liverpool, will once more walk the red carpet at the Odeon cinema, London Road, on September 5.

It's part of the national roadshow for FilmFour's Once Upon A Time In The Midlands, the story of what happens when a live-in lover proposes marriage on national TV.

Also starring with Ricky in the film are Robert Carlyle and Rhys Ifans (they all worked together in The 51st State) as well as leading actress Kathy Burke.

The comedy is directed by co-writer Shane Meadows, whose first feature TwentyFourSeven, starring Bob Hoskins, won a top prize at the 1997 Venice Film Festival.

CAPTION(S):

STIR: Scriptwriter Marc Gee; ROLE: Ralf Little was in Al's Lads
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 16, 2002
Words:263
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