Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Spent last evening going through hundreds of programmes: theatre, opera, dance, music, UK, Continental, American, (I even have one South African one – Henry lV Part l, University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg) all the shows we have been to or been part of, almost fifty years worth, in order to separate mine from the rest. This is because there are actors in photographs which will go into my biography whose names I simply do not remember. Not only that but there are plays I don’t remember. For example, there is a photograph of me sitting on a couch with two ladies, one young and beautiful, one middle aged and, yes, to be gallant, still beautiful. Who were they? Over the years one has worked with so many many people it is impossible to remember them all. I did know the photograph was from when I was at The Theatre Royal, Northampton, but the play? Well I knew I would be reminded of it if I could see the programme and, yes, the play (though I still have no memory of it whatsoever) was “The Bride Comes Back” by Ronald Millar and the actresses on the couch with me were … yes … well now … One character was just called A Young Woman so that would have been Caroline Maud. I played the part of someone called Jason Kilpatrick but there are two female Kilpatricks in the cast so would the older actress be Janice Edgard or Judy Child? I honestly don’t know. Aha! Turning the page I discover a photo and yes, it was Judy Child playing Isabel so that sorts that out.

I see the next production advertised was “Cinderella” in which I played Baron Hardup, a good ten (David Lyn) and twenty (Lionel Hamilton) years younger than my two stepdaughters and really hardly old enough to have sired Cinderella but that was life in rep.

It was really interesting going through them all, stopping every now and again when curiosity took over; a whole lifetime of theatre working and theatre going and so many thespians who have since departed to join the heavenly hosts acting in the sky. I wonder if God gets house seats. Most of the critics of course will have gone to the other place and serve them right.

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