Category Archives: Short Thoughts

RIAS insurers – Ridiculous, Insulting And Silly

A few years ago, I was comparing quotes for house and contents insurance. One company called RIAS seemed to be a good deal – it specialised in insurance for the over 50s – but fell at the last fence as it couldn’t provide the minimum level of financial cover I required for one area. They […]

An Early Morning Walk

This is my favourite time of the year. The countryside round where I live in deepest rural Essex is vibrant with greens and yellows and whites, and for once the farmers have not given the verges the severe haircut they usually do, so there is plenty of cow parsley and buttercups on show. I wish […]

Three Men and a Pianist Adrift in a Boat

THREE MEN IN A BOAT adapted by Craig Gilbert from Jerome K Jerome Arts Theatre, Cambridge – matinée 22 January 2015 Cast: J – David Partridge George – Michael Rouse Harris – Tom Hackney Nelly – Anna Westlake Director – Craig Gilbert A co-production by The Original Theatre and The Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds […]

Ferrero Rocher – me and their golden balls

Michelle Rocher died yesterday, Valentine’s Day. I never met him but I wish I had. I would have liked to thank him for giving me, in a roundabout way, some of the best paid jobs I ever had as an actor. In January 1982 I was just completing my four months run of Three Men […]

Donald Sinden

Don at my 60th birthday party Another nonagenarian actor friend has passed away. I first saw Donald Sinden when I was a schoolboy. He was playing York in the Wars of the Roses at Stratford for the RSC. I didn’t meet him until 25 years later when I was playing Lord Goring in a production […]

Our Dora

I was shocked to hear that Dora Bryan had died. I suppose I shouldn’t have been because when I worked with her in 1974/75 she was then in her early fifties. She looked a good ten years younger, amazingly spry and youthful, ready to do a high-kick at the drop of a hat. ‘Dora Bryan dies […]

Birmingham Rejuvenated

I went up to Birmingham on Sunday. I had been invited to an organ recital in the Town Hall to celebrate the 30th anniversary of my friend Thomas Trotter becoming the City Organist. I first came across TT in 1987 when I was doing Crossroads (just down the road from the Town Hall in the […]

Downturn for the Abbey

We watched the last two episodes of Downton back to back last night. The only way to watch the programme is via a recording so that you can fast forward through the interminable adverts. The scripts for the fourth series are better than for the third which were better than the ludicrous second, but goodness […]

Air-head ‘celebrity’

  It often amazes me how often people in the media are promoted way above the level of their ability. How did they do it? one asks. The BBC are particularly adept at giving a high profile job to someone of minimal talent. One thinks of Fiona Bruce, the gabbling newsreader who seems to fancy […]

‘Viscious’ – vacuous viewing

There is a gap in the market for a sit-com about a couple of old queens. ‘Viscious’ has all the right ingredients: a failed actor and his long-term partner straight out of Grace Brothers’ department store (‘Suit you, sir’) living in a run-down, faded flat. For stereotype neighbours we have a randy single lady of a […]