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The Gilbert and Sullivan Archive   An Interview with John Reed

Produced by Daved Kay

Facilities by Radio Doom Ltd.

John Reed as Bunthorne in Patience.

John Reed joined the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company in 1951, understudying the principal comic baritone roles. He assumed them in his own right in 1959 and continued to play them until he left the company in 1979. He continued to make guest appearances with the company until it closed in 1982.

Daved Kay writes:

On September 28th, 1973 a few of us met with John Reed at Agnes' house in New Brighton, Merseyside, which is where he always stayed when playing Liverpool. We had agreed with John to tape record his experiences and thoughts about his job as a "strolling player".

These recordings are copyright © 1973, Daved Kay, and may not be used commercially or for financial gain.

John begins by talking about the film of HMS Pinafore that the D'Oyly Carte company were about to make.

  1 Pinafore and Mikado films...Going to America. 1.21Mb 2' 39"
2 American and British Audiences...Fan letters. 2.12Mb 4' 38"
3 Auditioning for the company...Early days with the company...
3.15Mb 6' 54"
4 Nervousness...Bringing happiness to people...Nicknames...
The company is like a family.
4.16Mb 9' 07"
5 Beti-Lloyd Jones, stage mother... Assuming the principal roles... Working with Kenneth Sandford. 2.83Mb 6' 12"
6 Peggy Ann Jones... Criticism...Critics. 2.51Mb 5' 30"
7 Audiences and theatres. 3.05Mb 6' 41"
8 Playing Jack Point...Timing...John Wellington Wells. 4.35Mb 9' 31"
9 The Sorcerer... Repertory... Understudies... Wardrobe... Katisha... The Mikado... King Gama. 4.33Mb 9' 28"
10 More King Gama...Recordings. 1.76Mb 3' 52"
11 More about encores and critics...Home life. 3.51Mb 7' 41"
12 "The Bag family"...Stage names. 2.35Mb 5' 09"