Gareth Russell was born in Belfast and attended Academy Primary School and then Down High Grammar School. In his final year at Down High, he wrote his first full-length play, All Those Who Suffered, a historical “what if” drama based on the disappearance of Louis XVII at the height of the French Revolution. The story revolved around a young man arriving in Paris twenty years later, claiming to be the French prince who had vanished after his parents were guillotined in 1793. The play was performed in Down County Gaol Museum, near the grave of Saint Patrick in Downpatrick. At Down High, his favourite subjects were History, Drama and English. He was a member of Rathkeltair house which, obviously, is the mightiest of Down High’s five houses. Fact.
After Down High, Gareth went on to read Modern History in Saint Peter’s College at the University of Oxford. Luckily, the college’s colours were the same as Down High’s – so, you know, scarves weren’t a problem.
Popular was updated and re-issued by MadeGlobal in November 2012, in time for the release of its sequel The Immaculate Deception. Popular was Ulster Tatler’s “Book of the Month” in September 2011 and it received rave reviews. In summer 2011 and spring 2012, it was adapted twice for the Belfast stage and sold-out both runs. There are also plans for an audio series, based on the books, and discussions about turning the series into a television show.