When and under what circumstances did you start taking part in dramatics?


I got involved in drama quite by accident. In my late twenties I was singing in a band and the rest of the band were all taking lessons, despite being excellent, and having played their instruments for many years. I felt I should do the same and found David Bourdon, a former professional opera singer. He got me involved in a concert group he was running. I was at my daughter's playgroup and started practising a song. Unbeknown to me, one of the staff was a member of the now defunct WODS group, and said they desperately needed men for South Pacific. I auditioned for the group and got offered the part of Stewpot.


Are or were any members of your immediate family involved in drama?


None of my family have ever, to my knowledge, been performers although both my parents had good singing voices.


Have you done any formal theatre or musical training?


No formal training at all. That said I did, in my early forties, go to Southampton Solent to study comedy writing.



Do you have any special skills, from juggling to speaking German, that have proved useful on stage?


No special skills or languages, although I did play a sex obsessed gay German in Coming Clean and as most of his dialogue was in German it did present a challenge.


Do you do any accents or impressions?


I used to do impressions as a child entertaining friends at school, and I followed that through into adulthood. I am blessed with a good ear for accents and was once mistaken for a genuine Irishman after a festival production of London Vertigo.


Which experience/role do you regard as the highlight of your time in the theatre?

I have so many happy memories connected with various parts. Winning the best actor award at the Southend Drama Festival for the part of Lomov in The Proposal. Lenny in Of Mice and Men. Rosencrantz in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Recently I played the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet, and that ranks alongside those others.


What was your most gratifying line of dialogue, and/or stage action, and/or lyric, in terms of laughter or other strong response from an audience?


One of the best responses from an audience were the tears after Lenny dies in Of Mice and Men. The laughter followed by the round of applause after the street scene in Romeo and Juliet will also long stay in my memory.



Who is the most inspirational person you have worked with/been taught by, in your stage career?

I have had the pleasure of working with some fabulous directors and performers, but I think I must doff my cap to one of the most talented, funny and skilled performers and that is Lee Jackson. A man who has an enviable sense of comic timing and could charm the birds off the trees.


When was your most embarrassing theatrical moment on or off stage?


I have never been embarrassed on stage, even appearing nude in Accrington Pals. I am more likely to turn red if someone gives me a compliment.


Ever corpsed on stage? What happened?


All actors have dried on stage or corpsed.  On one occasion I was in Don't Dress for Dinner with Jeremy Battersby and managed to get myself completely lost, alas Jeremy was unable to help me out as the dialogue didn't allow for him to say more than yes or no. I managed to eventually get back on track but not before multiple repeats of some dialogue. Jeremy looked panic stricken at the time but was very gracious afterwards.


What do you do for a living, when not acting?

I work in telesales selling advertising space in hospital patient guides.


Has your theatre career ever been useful in your day job, and/or have you ever drawn on your day job for any of your stage roles?

Sales is just an extension of acting. Empathy is the key. An actor’s greatest asset is the ability to build rapport with the audience and engage them in the shared journey.


Ever thought of going professional?

I have often thought about going professional, but have not had the confidence or self-belief to go for it. I only discovered in my early forties that I suffered from low self-esteem, and although I have done CBT to help the situation, it still plays at the back of my mind. I used to think that an audience member would stand up and say: 'You can't act. Get off the stage.' But that is probably another article in itself.



Which actor (s) do you most admire and why?

I have always admired the tonal quality of Richard Burton since I heard Under Milk Wood as a child. Richard Harris was another I admired along with Howard Keel in the musical genre.


What role would you most like to play and why?

I'd love to play the inspector in An Inspector Calls. Alistair Sim was mesmeric in the film.


What future roles have you got lined up?

I shall be auditioning for Lindisfarne's next production Our Country's Good, and we will see if I get a part in that one. Fingers crossed.


Any tips to pass on for learning your lines?

Line learning is hard especially if you do like I have just done and put yourself in two productions with only a week’s gap between them! I highlight my lines but also highlight my cue lines. I have a piece of paper over the page, slide it down to reveal the cues and that seems to help for me.


Any other tricks of the trade to pass on?

The only trick of the trade I can give you is to always be listening. To directors, fellow actors and most importantly the audience. You have two ears and one mouth, use them in that ratio.