Waen Shepherd

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Waen Shepherd
Gary Le Strange (Waen Shepherd) (439274727).jpg
Waen Shepherd as Gary le Strange
Born Waen Origen Shepherd
(1971-10-23) 23 October 1971 (age 44)
Castleford, Yorkshire, England, UK
Occupation Comic actor, musical/character comedian, writer, electronic music composer
Years active 1992–present
Spouse(s) Katy Darby

Waen Shepherd (born 1971) is an English actor and comedian. Originally from Yorkshire, England, he now lives in London.


Following his days as a stand-up poet and fringe actor ("Supple-limbed… expressive … effortless" What's On[1]), Waen started out performing bizarre experimental monologues at the early Cluub Zarathustra, touring with spoof techno band and Edinburgh sell-out The Pod ("The future of techno comedy" Guardian;[2] "The musical comedy event of the festival" NME),[3] hosting the underground cabaret Gritty Fingers and smashing up Cornish pasties in the guise of ranting Northern madman William Whicker.

He graduated from Oxford University in 1993, with a degree in Philosophy and Psychology.

Waen went on to co-write and narrate award-winning animation The Wolfman (screened on Channel 4[4] and subsequently transformed into a "Third place" ad for the Sony[5] Playstation), before writing, directing and starring in his own animation Origen's Wake[6] for Channel 4's Comedy Lab series.

Since then, Waen concentrated on building an arsenal of comedy characters on stage, partly through his work as one half of Shepherd & Farnaby ("Brilliant" Comedy Lounge;[7] "Pleasingly surreal, Theatre of the Absurd as scripted by Vic and Bob" Evening Standard[8]) in their shows Animal Pie and Peterford Golf Club ("Waen Shepherd's Peterford Golf Club chairman, tin-tray head-beating Stuart Ogilvie, is a comedy legend in the making" Fringe Report[9]), and partly through his solo work on the comedy circuit, notably at clubs such as The Comedy Store,[10] Jongleurs, The Stand Comedy Club (Edinburgh),[11] The Comedy Box (Bristol) and The Stoke Pub in Guildford.

In 2003 Waen created a deluded monster in the form of Gary Le Strange, melding his love of composing ("Bombastic… difficult to ignore" Sound on Sound[12]) with his natural ability to create truly original comedy characters. He went on to win the Perrier Award[13] Best Newcomer (2003) for that debut performance.

He has achieved cult success, with many worldwide fans owning his albums and attending "Club Le Strange" at The Albany[14] in London, an evening hosted by Gary Le Strange and boasting the cream of British left-wing, alternative comedy talent.

Waen enjoys portraying exaggerated or absurd characters, and he can be seen in two series of BBC2's science fiction comedy, Hyperdrive, as Captain Helix.

He can be heard on BBC Radio 2[15] on Saturday's Out to Lunch programme.

In 2007, Waen appeared in a short film by Tim Plester entitled World of Wrestling,[16] in which he played 'Exotic' Adrian Street, a wrestler with the flamboyance of a drag queen. He also has had two roles in Series 1 of We Are Klang as 'The Juggler' and a Hungarian prince. Waen played the role of deluded teacher, Mr "Paedo" Kennedy, in the award-winning second and third series of The Inbetweeners.[17]

Waen has been cited as one of the Top 50 British comedians by The Times[18] and he is included as one of the Top 50 Cult Comedian Icons in the Rough Guide[19] series of books. Waen's dedication to British comedy has been honoured by the inclusion of his name on the famous Comedy Carpet at Blackpool, under the guise of Gary Le Strange.

Waen is a talented electronic composer and has written several theme tunes and music for television and radio. He is the series composer for Crackanory and Murder in Successville, both produced by Tiger Aspect.

Waen has composed music for several films, including the 2015 feature-film "The Ghoul" – starring Tom Meeten, directed by Gareth Tunley.


  • Polaroid Suitcase
  • Face Academy
  • Glamoronica
  • Beef Scarecrow

TV credits[edit]

Film credits[edit]

  • Aaaaaaaah! (Lincoln Studios, 2015)
  • The Ghoul (Gareth Tunley, 2015)
  • World of Wrestling (Ben Gregor 2007)
  • The Incredibly Strange People Show (Powercage Films, 2001)

Radio credits[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ What's On
  2. ^ The Guardian
  3. ^ NME
  4. ^ Channel4
  5. ^ Sony
  6. ^ Origen's Wake
  7. ^ Comedy Lounge
  8. ^ Evening Standard
  9. ^ Fringe Report
  10. ^ The Comedy Store
  11. ^ The Stand Comedy Club
  12. ^ Sound on Sound
  13. ^ Perrier Award 2003
  14. ^ The Albany
  15. ^ BBC Radio
  16. ^ World of Wreastling
  17. ^ The Inbetweeners
  18. ^ The Times
  19. ^ Rough Guide