The Green Room
Distinctive amateur drama
in Northampton since 1932
Registered Charity No. 294848
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MICHAEL GREEN remembered
by Rob Kendall, chair of Masque Theatre
Many of you will have meet Mike either as President, since 1987, and more recently as Vice- President of Masque Theatre and his visits to see both us and the MYT perform.
Equally, all of you will have aware that Mike was the author of The Art Of Coarse Acting, published just over 50-years-ago and another 14 titles in the same 'coarse' style.
The full strap-line that The Times gave in their obituary of Mike sums up very much his character for those who knew him: 'Eccentric author of the Art of Coarse Acting....who had a compulsion to do anything for a laugh'.
It was the success in particular of the 'Acting' book that encouraged Mike to take it to the Edinburgh Festival and then on tour, and as a tribute to Masque Mike also performed it for us as a club event at Northampton College a few years ago.
Both professional and amdramers will have taken heart from his descriptions of how to 'die' on stage, how to wear the ubiquitous tights in a Shakespeare role and, of course, if anything were to go wrong no-one in the audience would notice!
Although Mike was a professional actor and writer and had work performed in the West End, he was initially a cub reporter starting as a messenger for the Leicester Mercury, his home town newspaper, and transferring to The Chronicle & Echo in Northampton which is where he began his association with the Northampton Drama Club which morphed into Masque.
His first role was in the open-air Shakespeare production of Merchant of Venice (1948) where he fondly remembered the actor playing Launcelot Gobbo would pull his trousers on over his tights run across the park to The Abington down a couple of pints then run back for the final scene which Mike describes as being played with 'unusual vigour'!
Mike did acknowledge that much of the 'coarse' acting was inspired in part by Masque and his other amateur theatrical love, the Questors Theatre, in Ealing,where he met Christine who was to become his wife and who survives him.
When Mike was invited to become President, he was then living in Twickenham, but made a point of visiting us at least once a year, usually for the summer show as he and Christine have a holiday cottage in the county.
Mike also wrote the forward for Masque Theatre's millennium history Masque Theatre - A History In Six Acts, where he acknowledges that Masque has 'carved a unique niche in the life of Northampton'.
He was particularly pleased too to be invited by Ursula Wright to the groups 80th Celebrations at the 'Royal' in 2012 and tickled to see an extract from one of his 'coarse' sketches being 'delivered'.
Other than writing it might also come as a surprise for some of you to know that Mike also enjoyed playing tennis well into his 80's and had also recently revamped the 50th edition of the 'Acting' book.
Mike was a true champion of Masque and amdrammers everywhere and - as the man with his trousers over his tights and pint in hand would no doubt give him - on all our behalves a resounding 'cheers'.
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Page last updated: 28/02/2018 Masque Theatre © 2018