For most of their lives Clive and Sue Read have been involved in a love affair with local theatre.
It all started in 1946 when Clive, an impressionable eight year old, was taken by his father to see his very first stag show - The Big Bill Campbell Circus at Peterborough’s Embassy Theatre. The theatre has sadly long since gone, but Clive’s memories of his first encounter with the magical world of show business still lives on.
Over a span of nearly 70 years since that first visit, Clive’s busy involvement with his job of running the photographic department at Baker Perkins, and later his own production company, still allowed him to find time to follow the hobby he discovered as that eight year old.
Strangely though, his first venture on the stage didn’t happen until he was at the tender age of 40. It came about through one of his work colleagues, good friend, and talented and popular local thespian,who will be fondly remembered by local theatre goers, Graham Aubrey.
Westwood Works Musical Society decided that their next production would be Guys and Dolls, which would be staged at the same place that Clive first caught the theatrical bug - The Embassy Theatre. After much persuasion, Graham talked Clive, who had a strong baritone voice, into auditioning for the role of Nicely Nicely Johnson, the part played in the film by Stubby Kaye. Clive got the part and was delighted to sing the show stopping ‘Sit down, you’re rocking the boat’.
From then on he was hooked by the smell of the greasepaint and the roar of the crowd, appearing in numerous leading roles, including Curly in Oklahoma to his favourite Mack in Mack and Mabel.
It was while appearing in Lilac Time that Clive first met his wife to be, Sue Bates and for both of them it was love at first sight.
Sue’s introduction to the world of entertainment was at the age of seven when she joined the local Premier Ballet Academy run by Elizabeth Henson which eventually led her to dance professionally in Berlin.
Both Clive and Sue were heavily involved with the Peterborough Operatic & Dramatic Society, Westwood Works Musical Society and the Peterborough Revellers, which Clive is still a big part of.
Sue had also taken on the role of choreographer with March Operatic. Her favourite role to date was playing Roxie Hart in Chicago. Her favourite actor/actress is most definitely Dame Judi Dench and Clive plumps for two of the greatest stage and screen character actors, the late Alec Guinness and one of the many great talents to come out of Wales, Anthony Hopkins
As well as performing and directing Clive and Sue have become well known as Peterborough’s own playwrights, and to date have written 22 plays. The plays are continually being performed not only in this country but as far afield as Australia.
The latest in a long list of plays written by Clive is ‘WHO ME?’, a play which takes a humorous look back at the more than colourful life of a famous charismatic writer of scripts for the BBC and the West End Stage. His past comes back to haunt him with the appearance of an attractive and equally mysterious young lady.
The experienced cast is led by Mark Freeman with support of other revellers favourites, including Gill Gillfrieda, Stephen Gravett and Helen Naylor. The play, directed by Sue Read, is to be performed as one of the Revellers’ popular Supper Theatres, which includes fish and chips in the interval.
It will run from Tuesday, June 9 to Friday, June 12 at 7.30pm at the Peterborough Indoor Bowls Club in Burton Street.
To purchase tickets please contact 01733 560449.