Dennis Quaid’s Backstage Ukulele Band

By Greg Olwell

Cast members on the sets of movies and TV shows are known for bonding together backstage. While some antics are notable for legendary stories of intemperance, the backstage exploits of a British crew sounds a lot more adorable.

Richard Dormer, one of the stars of Sky Atlantic’s mystery drama Fortitude revealed that several cast members created a ukulele band. Speaking at the Edinburgh Television Festival, Dormer said that it started out when he picked up his ukulele to join Dennis Quaid as he played guitar.

“Within weeks, six other cast members had bought ukuleles,” he told the audience. “So we just had this little ukulele band—the King Crabs.”


Quaid joined the cast of the mystery show for its second season, which debuts in October, and brought along a guitar.

This isn’t the first time that ukulele playing has become a thing backstage. Several actors, including Emmy-award winner William H. Macy, use downtime on the set to work on playing.