Fringe Box



Letter: Congratulations For Today’s Young Guildford Actors From an Old Stager

Published on: 9 Jul, 2020
Updated on: 9 Jul, 2020

From Pearl Catlin

Ms Catlin is a retired actress/producer/director who also appeared in The Avengers (1961), Motive for Murder (1957) and Coronation Street (1960). Born 1929, she now lives in Shalford.

In response to: Challenging Radio Play By Guildford School Of Acting Is A Product Of Lockdown

Well.  What a very brave effort this is.  I am absolutely staggered at their ingenuity in going ahead with their production in this manner.  Such attractive youngsters they are too.  A credit to their teachers and their school. Watch out RADA.

As an old pro myself, my thoughts have been constantly with actors in the present dreadful scenario they find themselves in.  What on earth can they do to get through it?  The theatre has never been a sure thing for anyone at the best of times.  But now?

How different from the time when my generation was setting out.  We didn’t have any of the technology available today, no television, no videos, no massive film industry.

But we had “summer seasons” in repertory, touring companies keeping plays on the circuit for perhaps years.  Always with the hope of “being spotted” by a West End management.

We had reviews too, which have really gone out of fashion, but which provided a grand spotlight for singers and comedians.  And we were always bursting with hope.  We aimed for the best reps, Birmingham, Guildford, Liverpool, Dundee, there were so many of them then, any one of which might have been the next step to London. Or the Old Vic.

Lots of unknown authors found they were able to get their plays seen around the provinces.

But now?

Well, I reckon this new generation will find a way.  They won’t give up. No one ever said it was easy, so good luck to every one of them.

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