Advocates: Caroline Smith

Caroline Smith is a director and actor with extensive experience in British theatre. She initially worked with Alan Ayckbourn at the Victoria Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent, in 1963 and 1964 acting and directing. In 1971, she was appointed the Associate Director of the Library Theatre, Scarborough, on Alan's suggestion.


A Chorus Of Approval (1999)
In 1999, the Stephen Joseph Theatre held a special event to mark Alan Ayckbourn's 60th birthday. This was accompanied by a publication including tributes from some of the people he has worked with. This is a complete transcript of the contribution.

"In those first years at the Victoria Theatre, Stoke on Trent, Alan Ayckbourn had, as well as directing, writing and being "Chief Technical Adviser", to do a great deal of acting. He was a very good actor giving wonderful performances as, for instance, one of the tramps in Waiting for Godot; Sir Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons and, alongside Heather Stoney, as Jerry in my first production Two for the Seesaw by William Gibson.

"The only problem with Alan’s acting was that he had a very low boredom threshold when it came to actually performing, and the only problem with the medium of the round is that you can’t turn upstage and hide the fact that you are corpsing. Alan seemed to delight in his ability to make remarks under his breath to his fellow actors and while they shook uncontrollably, he kept a straight face.

"For me, the most memorable of these incidents occurred on the first night of Anouilh's
The Rehearsal. Alan was playing the Count, I was the young innocent. I'd begged Alan not to kiss the palms of my hands as rehearsed because having been painting the stage cloth just prior to the performance I found I couldn't wash out the Prussian Blue. Of course on my very first entrance, he turned my hands over and to add insult to injury, uttered the words: " Typhoid, I fear". After that, all was a blur!"
Copyright: Caroline Smith. All research for this page by Simon Murgatroyd, please credit this website if reproduced.