Robert Carlyle became involved in drama at Glasgow Arts Centre and Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama while taking acting lessons at the age of 21. In 1991 he, Alexander Morton, Caroline Patterson, Stuart Davies and one more friend founded a theatre company called “Rain Dog Theatre Company”. Named after song and album by one of Robert’s favorite artists, Tom Waits.
The idea behind this Glasgow theatre group was to take plays to local communities and later in 2002 it finally rolled in to the company 4Way Pictures which is a British film production company which Robert has together with Irvine Welsh, Mark Cousins and the now diseased director Antonia Bird. They
Rain Dog’s first production was the play One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1991), starring Alexander Morton as R.P McMurphy and it was received with great acclaim. Robert directed the play and he won “Best Director” award at the Mayfest Theatre Awards.
The stageplay was so popular that the theatre company produced another version two years later. Their third production, Macbeth, also starring Alexander Morton was equally successful. Robert Carlyle again won “Best Director” for his adaptation of Shakespeare’s most famous play.
Several plays and also some TV episodes was produced by Rain Dog and Robert directed and starred, sometimes both, in several theatre productions.
It’s said that it was Robert who convinced his friend Tommy Flanagan to begin working as an actor and Flanagan did several plays for Rain Dog and is today an acclaimed actor. Other actors such as Gary Lewis, Barbara Rafferty, Peter Mullan, Gavin Mitchell, Kevin McKidd, Caroline Paterson, A.J. Morton and Stuart Davids were also active members of the company.
Read Rain Dog’s 1997 information sheet.