Another of my Teachers
Continuing with my theme of Teachers, I will today feature Mr. Edwards my English/Drama teacher.
A diminutive Welshman, Mr.Edwards was very theatrical but not in the ‘ducky’ sense more in the Producer/ Director mould. Although of diminutive build he had presence and a powerful melodious voice, he was rather like a Richard Burton mini – me. His major vice was smoking, he must have sat in the Staff – Room chain-smoking all through lunch, his breath and clothing reeked of stale tobacco fumes.
Due to his diminutive size, he was smaller than the majority of his pupils. Some clown in his wisdom christened him ‘ Stretch’ and from then on that was what he became, teenagers can be so cruel and thoughtless.
I have to thank or blame, depending on how my performances were viewed, this man for my forays in to the world of Dramatic Art. My first role was in Julius Caesar, I was cast as a spear holder or to be politically correct should that read pilum. My next role was in The Tempest as Trinculo, one of Prospero’s servants, and a light comedy part, which went well. The final role I was offered was the role of Banquo in Macbeth, this was a major part, which I believe I was offered as much for my height and build as my acting ability. When I auditioned for the part one of my major bits went ‘Oh, Horror, Horror, Horror! my version was more akin to ‘Oo, orrer, orrer, orrer’ needless to say I didn’t play Banquo, but a more subordinate role, where I could do less damage. I often look back on this and find it hard to supress a smile!