Transcript: Barry MacGregor | Mar 14, 1999

(Rhythmic string and wind music plays)

In animation, a word in pink slides by against a gray background as hands paint strokes using paintbrushes, play a piano, and touch as in a ballet performance.

The title of the show reads “Dialogue. With Barry MacGregor, Actor.”

Richard Ouzounian sits with a guest in a dark television studio.

Then, he appears facing the screen. He's in his late forties, clean-shaven, with short side-parted blond hair. He's wearing rounded glasses, a woollen gray suit, and a black t-shirt.

He says WELCOME TO
DIALOGUE.
I'M RICHARD OUZOUNIAN.
YOU KNOW, A LOVE AFFAIR
THAT LASTS FOR 50 YEARS
IS A WONDERFUL
THING, ESPECIALLY IF
IT'S RECIPROCATED
ON BOTH SIDES.
YOU'RE ABOUT TO MEET A
GENTLEMAN WHO'S BEEN INVOLVED
IN JUST SUCH A
LOVE AFFAIR.
SUNDAY, MARCH 14TH, 1999,
MARKS THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY
THAT MY GUEST FIRST
STEPPED ONTO A STAGE.
THIS
DIALOGUE
IS
WITH BARRY MACGREGOR.

Barry is in his fifties, clean-shaven, with short side-parted black hair graying at the temples. He’s wearing a blue denim shirt.

Richard continues SO, BARRY, THE
OBVIOUS QUESTION,
SEEING YOU SITTING HERE
IN THE BLOOM OF YOUTH,
AS IT WERE, IS, HOW OLD WERE
YOU WHEN YOU FIRST ACTED?

Barry says 12 and a half.

Richard says OKAY, CIRCUMSTANCES,
I'M DYING TO KNOW.
WHAT MADE YOU
A CHILD ACTOR?

A caption appears on screen. It reads “Barry MacGregor, Actor.”

Barry says I'M THE THIRD GENERATION
AND MY GRANDPARENTS,
MY FATHER'S PARENTS
WERE ACTORS,
AND MY FATHER BECAME AN
ACTOR AT THE AGE OF 14,
BUT I BEAT HIM BY 18 MONTHS,
AND I'M NEVER TOO SURE
WHETHER HE WAS VERY
PLEASED WITH THAT.
AND THEN HE DIED JUST AFTER
I STARTED, SO REALLY,
I CARRIED ON JUST WITHIN
TWO YEARS OF HIS DEATH.

Richard says DO YOU FEEL THIS WAS
LIKE A GENE THAT PASSED
THROUGH THE FAMILY,
KIND OF LIKE, YOU KNOW,
SHORTNESS OR BALDNESS?

[laughing]

Barry says WELL, SHORTNESS, POSSIBLY
OF SIGHT - NO, I'D SAY NO.

Richard says NO.

Barry says YOU'RE RIGHT, IT
IS A LOVE AFFAIR.
NO, I THINK IT'S GENETIC
BECAUSE I WANTED TO BE AN
ACTOR AT THE AGE OF 11 WHEN
I WAS AT BOARDING SCHOOL.
I DO HAVE TO ADMIT THAT I
WAS AT A TERRIBLE BOARDING
SCHOOL; THAT'S A VICIOUS
SYSTEM THE BRITISH HAVE
ANYWAY, AND LET'S
NOT GET INTO THAT,
BUT I DIDN'T
ENJOY IT THERE.
THE HEADMASTER DISLIKED
ME INTENSELY AND I SAID
THAT I WOULD LIKE
TO BE AN ACTOR.
MY FATHER SAID, WELL, YOU
KNOW HOW ROUGH IT IS AND
I'VE BEEN OUT OF WORK FOR
18 OR 20 MONTHS SINCE I
CAME BACK AFTER THE
WAR, ET CETERA.
SO IF YOU CAN HACK
IT, GO FOR IT.
IF YOU CAN'T, WELL,
YOU CAN ALWAYS GO AND
TRY SOMETHING ELSE.

Richard says WHAT KIND OF PERFORMER
WAS YOUR FATHER?

Barry says I REALLY DON'T REMEMBER
VERY VIVIDLY BECAUSE
I'VE ONLY JUST REALIZED THAT
I DIDN'T KNOW HIM VERY WELL,
BECAUSE HE WENT
AWAY IN 1940.
I WAS 4.
HE THEN CAME BACK IN 1946
WHEN I WAS 10 AND HE DIED
WHEN I WAS 15, SO THERE WAS
ONLY A FIVE-YEAR GAP WHERE
I WAS ACTUALLY WHAT I CALL IN
A COMMUNICATIVE SITUATION
WITH HIM IN THE SENSE I COULD
SPEAK AND TALK AND LISTEN.
AND HE PETRIFIED ME.
I MEAN, I WAS ABSOLUTELY
PETRIFIED OF HIM.

Richard says WHY?
WAS HE THAT STERN OR
IS IT JUST -

Barry says YES, HE WAS A DOUR SCOT
BUT I DO REMEMBER ABOUT
10 DAYS BEFORE HE DIED,
WE WERE WALKING DOWN
CLARENCE ROAD IN WINDSOR
IN ENGLAND AND THERE
WAS A VERY LOVELY PRINCESS
ALEXANDRA NURSE WALKING.
THIS WAS WHEN NURSES
WORE THE CROSS, WHITE,
WITH THE APRON, AND
THE RED-LINED CLOAK.
I MEAN, THEY LOOK
EXQUISITE.
AND I SAW THIS NURSE
COMING AND I WENT, PHEW,
OOH, JUST A QUICK
INTAKE OF BREATH,
WHICH WAS OBVIOUSLY THE
BEGINNING OF DO-DO.

Richard says RIGHT.

Barry says MY MALEHOOD COMING ALONG,
AND MY FATHER WENT, HMMM,
YOU'VE GOT MY TASTE,
AND THAT WAS LIKE,
EVERYTHING SHATTERED AND I
SUDDENLY SAW THIS PERSON
I'D NEVER SEEN BEFORE.
AND THEN, OF COURSE,
HE KICKED THE BUCKET,
SILLY TWIT, SO HIS
TIMING WAS PRETTY TACKY.
AS AN ACTOR, I DON'T KNOW; HE
HAD A PROBLEM WITH GESTURES.
I DO REMEMBER THAT.
HE'D GO TO MAKE A GESTURE
AND THEN HE'D SEE THIS HAND
AND HAVE TO PULL IT IN,
AND IF HE WAS IN TIGHTS,
AND YOU HAD NOWHERE TO PUT
THE DAMN THING, YOU KNOW?

Richard says HE WAS A CLASSICAL ACTOR.

Barry says HE HAD DONE CLASSICAL
WORK AND EVERYTHING.
HE HAD BEEN UNDER CONTRACT
AT GAINSBOROUGH PICTURES
BEFORE THE WAR AS A LEADING
MAN, BUT UNFORTUNATELY,
BECAUSE OF THE WAR, HE HAD
THE MOST DREADFUL RHEUMATIC
FEVER IN TOPICS AND SO THAT
AGED HIM QUITE VIOLENTLY,
SO WHEN HE CAME BACK, THE
CONTRACT WAS NULL AND VOID.
I THINK IT WOULD HAVE
PROBABLY BEEN NULL AND VOID
ANYWAY BECAUSE EVERYTHING
CHANGED AFTER THE WAR.
IT WAS LIKE
PEOPLE SAID, WELL,
LET'S START AFRESH
AND THEY DID.

Richard says NOW, BEFORE WE GET TO YOU,
GO BACK A GENERATION.
YOU SAID YOUR
GRANDPARENTS WERE ACTORS.

Barry says I DIDN'T KNOW THEM.
MY GRANDFATHER DIED
SOMEWHERE IN THE EARLY '30s
AND MY GRANDMOTHER -
MY FATHER'S PARENTS,
THESE WERE, DIED IN
'33, AT THE SAME
MY MOTHER'S MOTHER DIED.
SO I ONLY REALLY KNEW
MY MOTHER'S FATHER,
WHICH WAS GRANDPA
ERNEST, MY MIDDLE NAME.
I'VE NEVER USED IT BECAUSE...
BUT IT HAPPENS TO BE
MY FAVOURITE PLAY,
THE
IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST.

Richard says THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING BARRY
DOESN'T QUITE SOUND THE SAME.

Barry says IT SOUNDS TACKY.
IT SOUNDS VERY TACKY.

Richard says SO, YOU DID COME BY
ALL OF THIS HONESTLY.

Barry says I BELIEVE SO, IF ONE CAN
CALL THE BUSINESS HONEST.

Richard says WELL, YES.
THE PEOPLE IN IT CAN BE HONEST
EVEN IF THE BUSINESS ISN'T.

Barry says TRUE.

Richard says NOW, YOU KNEW YOU WANTED
TO BE AN ACTOR AT 11,
SO HOW DID THE OPPORTUNITY
COME UP SO SOON?
A YEAR AND A HALF AFTER YOU
DECIDE YOU WANT IT, YOU GET IT.
THAT'S RATHER RARE.

Barry says YES, IT IS, I THINK, BUT
POSSIBLY MY MOTHER AND
FATHER NEEDED
THE EXTRA MONEY,
HOPING I WAS GOING TO WORK,
BECAUSE THERE WAS A PERIOD
OF TIME WHEN I WAS ACTUALLY
EARNING ABOUT 170 pounds TO 220 pounds
A YEAR, WHICH IN
THOSE DAYS WAS A FORTUNE.

Richard says YEAH.

Barry says AND MY FATHER
WASN'T WORKING.
I FOUND ALL THIS
OUT AFTER HE'D DIED,
BUT WHAT IS IRONIC
IS THAT HE FOUND,
WHEN HIS MOTHER DIED, A
BUNCH OF TICKETS FROM
THE PAWN BROKERS IN THE
BOTTOM OF A DRAWER.
SO OBVIOUSLY THEY'D BEEN
HAVING DIFFICULTIES.
SO IN A WAY IT KIND OF
WAS SHOWING ITSELF UP
WHICH IS PRETTY GHASTLY
TO THINK ABOUT.

Richard says YEAH.
SO THIS FIRST
JOB, WHAT WAS IT?

Barry says IT WAS WINDSOR REPERTORY,
RUN BY JOHN COUNSELL
AND IT WAS THE
LIFE WITH
FATHER
BY CLARENCE DAY,
AND I PLAYED THE
YOUNGEST BOY,
AND I THINK THEY'RE
ALL CALLED CLARENCE,
IF I REMEMBER CORRECTLY.

Richard says OR DAY OR SOMETHING.

Barry says SOMETHING LIKE THAT.
AND THEN BEFORE I WENT
IN THE ARMY IN '55,
I PLAYED THE OLDEST BOY, SO
I HAD A KIND OF PERIOD
OF GOING FROM
ONE TO OTHER.
NOW I WANT TO
PLAY THE FATHER.

Richard says NOW, IF I REMEMBER
CORRECTLY,
THEY'RE ALL SUPPOSED
TO HAVE RED HAIR.

Barry says THEY ARE, AND I
WORE A DREADFUL WIG,
A VERY SCARY WIG, WHICH IN
THOSE DAYS WAS NOT NETTING.
IT WAS THAT KIND OF AWFUL
CANVAS THAT YOU HAD
ACROSS YOUR FOREHEAD.
YOU HAD TO SCRAPE OFF THE
PREVIOUS WEEK'S MAKEUP FROM THE
OTHER ACTOR BECAUSE IT CAME IN
A BOX ON THE MONDAY MORNING.
AND I DIDN'T KNOW
HOW TO PUT THIS DAMN
THING ON, AND MY FATHER
WAS IN THE BAR.
THIS WAS ON THE
FIRST NIGHT.
MY FATHER WAS IN THE BAR AND
HE WAS SENT FOR AND HE'D
OBVIOUSLY HAD A FEW SCOTCHES
BECAUSE HE WAS PETRIFIED
I WAS GOING TO LET DOWN
THE NAME OF MACGREGOR,
AND SO CAME AND STOOD
IN THE DOOR AND SAID,
AN ACTOR'S SON DOESN'T
KNOW HOW TO PUT ON A WIG?
I'LL SHOW YOU ONCE
AND ONCE ONLY,
AND HE CAME IN
AND THAT WAS IT,
AND I PUT IT ON AND
THERE I WAS CRYING.

Richard says AND YOU KNEW
FROM THEN ON.

Barry says I KNEW FROM THEN
ON I WAS ALL RIGHT.
I WANTED TO DO IT.

Richard says WHAT ABOUT ALL THE REST
OF THE STUFF, I MEAN,
THE LEARNING OF THE LINES,
THE REHEARSAL DISCIPLINE,
THE RE-CREATING
A PERFORMANCE,
DID IT JUST COME
NATURALLY?

Barry says YES, IT WAS FUN AND I HAVE
TO BE HONEST WITH YOU,
IT'S STILL FUN.
IT'S A LITTLE MORE
PAINFUL FUN, I THINK,
AS YOU GET OLDER, BECAUSE
YOUR VISION OF WHAT
YOU'RE DOING IS GREATER.
I THINK WHEN YOU'RE
JUST THAT AGE, IT'S FUN.
I CAN REMEMBER
ONLY ONE LINE,
SEE OH, ANACONI,
ANACONI, TAN TAN TEE,
AND AN OPAL AND A PURPLE
AND A CONSTANTINOPLE,
AND THAT'S IN THE THIRD
ACT WHICH I HAD TO SAY
IN FRONT OF THE VICAR.
[laughing]
AND THAT'S ALL I
CAN REMEMBER OF IT.

Richard says DID YOU GET REVIEWS?

Barry says YES, I DID.
THE WORST REVIEW WAS AT THE
AGE OF 13, THAT CHRISTMAS,
AND THIS WAS IN
THE
OBSERVER,
A PAPER
I HAD RESPECT FOR UP UNTIL
THAT MOMENT, WHEN IT SAID,
Miss MARY MACGREGOR PLAYED THE
PART OF THE DRAGON ADEQUATELY.
THAT HURT.
PUBERTY WAS COMING
ON AND I JUST CRIED.
I THOUGHT THIS
IS TERRIFYING.

Richard says WAS IT YOUR PIPING
DRAGON VOICE?
PERHAPS YOU SWISHED
YOUR TAIL LOUDLY.

Barry says VERY BAD READING OF THE
PROGRAM BY THE REVIEWER.

Richard says SO OBVIOUSLY, IT SOUNDS
LIKE YOU STARTED TO KEEP
WORKING, SO IT WASN'T JUST
AN ISOLATED INCIDENT.

Barry says NO, IT WASN'T.
I STARTED IN THE MARCH
AT WINDSOR REP,
AND THEN WE WENT TO
CROYDON AND PENGE,
WHICH ARE TWO WONDERFUL
THEATRES IN SOUTH LONDON.
AND THEN I SUDDENLY GOT
MYSELF INTO THE BBC AND
TELEVISION, WHICH WAS LIVE ON
THOSE JUST ONE-LENS CAMERAS.
AND THE FIRST PLAY WAS...
CANADIAN.
YOUR CANADIAN PLAY, AND THEN
KNOWING ONE DAY I WOULD BE
HERE, LIVING HERE, AND HAVE
LIVED HERE NOW FOR 32 YEARS.
SO IT WAS ALL QUITE AMAZING
AND IT STARTED AND THEN
I JUST WENT INTO TELEVISION
AND RADIO AND FILMS AND BITS
AND PIECES, AND JUST
DIDN'T STOP WORKING.

Richard says AND DID YOU EVER GET TRAINING?

Barry says YES.
I WAS SORT OF OFFICIALLY
SUPPOSED TO TRAIN BETWEEN
9:00 AND 12:00,
THAT WAS THE LAW.

Richard says OH, OKAY.

Barry says MORNINGS WERE REHEARSAL AND
AFTERNOONS FOR EDUCATION.
SO IN A WAY, THEY
KIND OF BLENDED A BIT.

Richard says BUT AS FAR AS
THEATRICAL WORK, THOUGH,
YOU NEVER WENT TO
THEATRE SCHOOL.

Barry says I WAS AT A THEATRE SCHOOL
BECAUSE SHE WAS MY AGENT.

Richard says OH, OKAY.

Barry says AND ADA FOSTER
WAS HER NAME.
HER HUSBAND'S NAME WAS MARK
AND THEY WERE JEAN SIMMONS'
FIRST AGENTS, AND SO WHEN
YOU WENT INTO THE FOYER
OF THE SCHOOL, IT WAS
NOTHING BUT JEAN SIMMONS.

Richard says BIG PICTURES OF
HER AS OPHELIA.

Barry says THEY WERE WONDERFUL.
NO, SHE WAS GREAT.
WHEN MY FATHER DIED, SHE
REDUCED MY FEES FROM
28 GUINEAS A TERM TO 14,
WHICH I WAS - WELL,
SHE WAS MAKING QUITE A
BIT OF MONEY OUT OF ME,
I THINK, 10 PERCENT.

Richard says NOW, YOU WENT ON AND YOU
STARTED ACTING, AS WE SAID,
AT AN EARLY AGE,
AND KEPT DOING IT.
DO YOU EVER FEEL YOU
GOT, LIKE THEY SAY,
CHEATED OUT OF A
NORMAL CHILDHOOD?

Barry says I THINK PROBABLY I WAS
PUSHED INTO MATURITY MUCH
EARLIER AND I THINK THAT'S
A DANGER THAT HAPPENS
WITH KIDS IN THEATRE.
I KNOW I WAS PROTECTED IN
THE SENSE THAT YOU HAD
TO HAVE A CHAPERONE WITH
YOU UNTIL YOU WERE 15,
BUT AS SOON AS MY
15TH BIRTHDAY CAME,
I NEVER HAD A CHAPERONE AND
I THINK I KNEW ALL THE SWEAR
WORDS BY THEN, AND I KNEW
WHAT HOMOSEXUALITY WAS.
I KNEW ALL THAT
SORT OF THING.
IT WAS AMAZING BECAUSE THE
TIME I STARTED IN '49,
I WAS WORKING WITH ACTORS
WHO HAD COME BACK FROM THE
WAR, WHO'D WORKED IN ENGLAND
BEFORE THE WAR IN THE '20s
AND '30s, AND THEN I WAS
GROWING WITH A NEW GROUP
OF ACTORS, SO IN A WAY I
BRIDGED AN INCREDIBLE GAP
BECAUSE I LOOK AT FILMS IN
THE '30s NOW AND I GO, OH,
I WORKED WITH HIM, WORKED
WITH HER, WORKED WITH HIM,
WORKED WITH HER.

Richard says RIGHT.

Barry says MY WIFE GETS VERY BORED
WATCHING FILMS WITH ME,
AND I'M ALSO NOW
ABLE TO SAY, WELL,
I'VE WORKED WITH JUDI DENCH
AND OTHER PEOPLE LIKE THAT,
AND SO IT'S A FASCINATING
PERIOD OF TIME,
BECAUSE IT LINKS
SO MUCH, YOU KNOW?

Richard says BUT THERE WAS NEVER ANY
DESIRE TO BE SITTING THERE
WITH OTHER SPOTTY LITTLE
CHILDREN, YOU KNOW,
PLAYING RUGGER IN THE
STREETS OR STUFF?

Barry says NO, I WAS ALLOWED
TO RIDE A BICYCLE
BUT THERE WAS A CLAUSE
IN THE BBC CONTRACT
WHICH SAID THAT YOU MUST
NOT DO ANYTHING THAT CAN BE
HARMFUL TO YOUR BODY,
WHICH OF COURSE IS SPORTS
IN THE SENSE, IF IT
WAS CONTACT SPORTS.
SO IN A WAY, I DIDN'T DO
MUCH SPORTS UNTIL I WENT IN
THE ARMY, AND THEN I PLAYED
HOCKEY ON THE GRAVEL SQUARE,
SORT OF SADISM
THAT THEY HAD,
NOT ONLY JUST PUTTING
YOU IN THE ARMY,
BUT MAKING YOU
PLAY FIELD HOCKEY.
AND ALSO SOCCER.
SO, AND CRICKET, OF COURSE,
WHICH IS VERY BORING.

Richard says WHAT YOU JUST SAID, AM I
TO IMPLY THAT YOUR MILITARY
CAREER WAS NOT AMONG THE
MOST PLEASANT, OR WAS IT?

Barry says NO, I'D BEEN ACTING FROM
THE AGE OF 12 and a half TO 19
WHEN I WENT IN THE ARMY,
AND THEN THERE WERE
THESE TWO YEARS.
I WAS THINKING, WHAT
AM I DOING HERE?
I'M ONLY HERE BECAUSE THE
GOVERNMENT AT SOME TIME
OR ANOTHER STARTED NATIONAL
SERVICE CONSCRIPTION.
AND SO WHAT I DID WAS, I
LEARNT ABOUT SEVEN OR EIGHT
NEW DIALECTS BECAUSE I MET
PEOPLE I HAD NEVER MET.
I WOULD NEVER MEET IN
THE THEATRE WHO WERE
IN A TOTALLY DIFFERENT
SOCIAL WORLD AND THING,
AND THEY WERE MARVELLOUS.
THERE WERE A LOT OF
YORKSHIRE PEOPLE, SCOTS,
AND MOSTLY FROM THE NORTH
BECAUSE WE WERE STATIONED
IN CATTERICK IN YORKSHIRE.
AND SO IT WAS
BENEFICIAL IN A SENSE,
BUT IT WAS REALLY A DREADFUL
WASTE OF TIME BECAUSE
I WAS CHAMPING TO GET
BACK INTO THE THEATRE.
I REMEMBER THE
ENTERTAINMENT'S OFFICER
COMING UP TO ME AND
SAYING, OH, MACGREGOR,
I'VE GOT A GROUP COMING
IN TO DO
WE'RE NO ANGELS.
DO YOU THINK YOU COULD
MEET THEM BECAUSE,
HOW DO YOU TALK TO
PEOPLE IN THE THEATRE?
IT WAS AS THOUGH THEY
WERE SOME STRANGE GROUP,
AND THEY CAME IN A VOLKSWAGEN
BUS, PUT THE SET UP
OF BAMBOO AND DID THE
SHOW IN THE BOXING RING.
IT WAS GREAT.

Richard says WHERE WERE YOU
STATIONED?
I WAS STATIONED AT CATTERICK
AND THEN WE MOVED TO LINCOLN
BECAUSE THE WAR OFFICE
SUDDENLY THOUGHT THAT
POSSIBLY THE ENEMY MIGHT
DROP A BOMB AND GET RID
OF 10,000 CHAPS, SO
THEY TOOK AWAY 1,000,
PUT US DOWN INTO LINCOLN,
AND THEN PUT ANOTHER
1,000 IN FROM
SOMEWHERE ELSE.
SO REALLY, THEY
KEPT THE 10,000.
DREADFUL PLACE,
CATTERICK.
UNBELIEVABLE.
HELL'S HOLE.

Barry says YOU GET OUT OF
THIS HELLHOLE.
HAD YOU LOST
VALUABLE TIME?
WAS IT HARD TO REGAIN
THE GROUND YOU HAD?

Richard says HAD TO START AGAIN.
YOU HAD TO START AGAIN.
I MEAN, I HAD CONTACTS
BECAUSE I REMEMBERED
THE PEOPLE I'D
WORKED WITH,
AND WHEN I LEFT THE ARMY,
YOU WERE GIVEN AN INTERVIEW
WITH THE COLONEL
AND HE SAID, NOW,
YOU'RE GOING INTO CIVVY
STREET, I GATHER,
ARE YOU, MACGREGOR.
I SAID, YES, SIR.
DON'T WANT TO SIGN ON
ANOTHER THREE YEARS?
DAMN GOOD LIFE,
YOU KNOW.
I SAID, NO, THANK YOU.
SO, WHAT ARE
YOU GOING TO DO?
I SAID, I'M GOING
TO BE AN ACTOR.
AH, YES, I HAVE AN
AUNT WHO'S HEAD OF BBC
CASTING IN TV, AND
I WENT, WHAT?!
AND HE SAID,
UNFORTUNATELY,
SHE RETIRED A COUPLE
OF MONTHS AGO.
SO THAT WAS THAT.
BUT HOWEVER, I MANAGED TO
GET BACK AGAIN AND I WALKED
ON IN A
TREASURE ISLAND
WITH
BERNARD MILES AND THAT'S
WHEN THE PARROT LEFT HIS
SHOULDER, LIVE PARROT,
AND FLEW AND SAT ON THE
LIGHTS IN THE STUDIO AND
BURNED ITS LEGS AND FELL
DOWN, WE THOUGHT, DEAD,
AND WE THOUGHT THEN THAT
MILES WAS GOING TO DIE
BECAUSE OF THIS,
BUT HOWEVER,
HE PLAYED
TREASURE
ISLAND
ALL THE TIME.
AND SO I GOT BACK INTO THE
SWING OF THOSE THINGS,
INTO TV, INTO THE
STUDIOS.

Richard says NOW, WAS THIS A GOLDEN
AGE OF TELEVISION?
IN AMERICA THEY OFTEN THEY
TO MAKE IT SOUND LIKE
IT WAS A WONDERFUL
TIME FOR TV.
WHAT WAS THE TV LIKE
THEN IN ENGLAND?

Barry says WELL, WHEN I
STARTED IN '49,
THERE WERE THREE CAMERAS AND
THEY PNEUMATIC TIRES AND
SOMETIMES YOU'D GET A FLAT
HALFWAY THROUGH THE SHOW,
SO THE CAMERA ON THAT LENS
WOULD ALWAYS BE SLIGHTLY
OFF, WHICHEVER WAY
THE FLAT TIRE WAS.

Richard says NOW IT WOULD BE CALLED
AN INTERESTING ANGLE.

Barry says YES, BUT IN THOSE
DAYS, IT WASN'T.
AND YOU DID
IT AS A PLAY.
YOU DID ACT I, THREE MINUTE
INTERMISSION WHERE
THEY SHOWED FISH IN A
TANK AND RAN A BELL.
THIS WAS FOR YOU TO GO AND
HAVE A PEE IN THE JOHN.
THEN THEY SHOWED ACT II AND
IT WAS JUST LITERALLY
A TV PRESENTATION
OF A STAGE PLAY,
ONLY THE SET WAS DONE
OBVIOUSLY IN THE STUDIO.
THE STUDIOS WERE ABOUT
THE SAME SIZE AS THIS
WITH FIVE OR
SEVEN SETS IN THEM.
I DON'T KNOW HOW
THINGS WERE DONE.
I REALLY DON'T.

Richard says AND WHAT HAPPENED IF
A DISASTER OCCURRED?

Barry says WELL, THERE
WERE A FEW TIMES,
JUST BEFORE 8:00 WHEN THE
TRANSMISSION WAS STARTING,
YOU'D SEE BITS OF CAMERA
ALL OVER THE FLOOR,
AND THESE WHERE CATHODE
RAY TUBES ABOUT THIS BIG,
HUGE THINGS, AND THE
PICTURE WAS UPSIDE DOWN
FOR THE CAMERAMAN.
SO IF AN ACTOR MOVED
LEFT AND HE WENT RIGHT,
WHICH IT WOULD
LOOK AS THOUGH,
YOU WENT THE WRONG WAY,
IT WAS VERY BIZARRE.

Richard says NOW, THAT'S A
TECHNICAL MISTAKE,
BUT WHAT ABOUT
ACTOR MISTAKES?
THEY TELL STORIES
IN THE EARLY DAYS
OF CANADIAN TV
ABOUT THE ACTORS.
ONE ACTOR PLAYING KING
LEAR ONCE SHOWING UP SO
INEBRIATED THAT THE SHOW WAS
SUPPOSED TO TAKE THREE HOURS
AND IT TOOK FOUR-AND-A-HALF
BECAUSE HE WAS TALKING
SO SLOWLY AND EVERYONE TALKED
LIKE HIM AFTER A WHILE.

[laughing]

Barry says YES,I REMEMBER ONE
HAMLET, THE OPENING SCENE
OF THE TWO MEN ON THE
BATTLEMENTS, AND THIS ACTOR,
JUST AS THE RED LIGHT
CAME ON THE CAMERA,
GRABBED HIS
PARTNER, HIS ARM,
AND LITERALLY LEFT ALMOST
HOLES IN THE FOREARM AND
PRESSED SO HARD WITH FEAR
THAT HE PUSHED THE OTHER
ACTOR BELOW THE BATTLEMENTS
WHILE THEY WERE
SAYING THEIR LINES.
IT WAS UNBELIEVABLE,
BECAUSE THERE'S NOTHING
ANYBODY COULD DO.

Richard says RIGHT.

Barry says NOBODY COULD PROMPT
BECAUSE, YOU KNOW,
THERE WAS NO WAY OF
CUTTING OUT THE SOUND.
THEY DID INVENT SOMETHING
TO STOP THE SYSTEM,
STOP THE SOUND
SYSTEM GOING OUT.
AND SO, YOU JUST
MADE IT UP.
THAT FIRST TELEVISION
I DID, JENNY PHIPPS,
WHO'S AT THE
SHAW WITH ME,
HER MOTHER AND HER GRANDMOTHER
WERE IN THAT SHOW.
GRANDMOTHER PLAYED THE
100-YEAR-OLD MATRIARCH
OF THE FAMILY.
AND WE DID IT
THE SECOND TIME.
YOU DID IT ON SUNDAY, THEN
YOU REPEATED IT ON THURSDAY.
AND ON THE THURSDAY,
WE THOUGHT SHE'D HAD
A HEART ATTACK IN THE
SECOND INTERMISSION.
IT WASN'T.
I DON'T KNOW WHAT
THE PROBLEM WAS,
BUT SHE GOT HOLD OF
MY ARM AND SHE SAID,
EVERY TIME THE CAMERA'S OFF...
SHE KNEW WHEN THE CAMERA
WAS OFF - SHE SAID, BARRY,
I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY.
SO AS THE CAMERA
CAME BACK ON,
I'D SAY HER LINES
AND THEN ANSWER THEM,
SO WE MADE IT UP.
WE GOT THROUGH IT AND I LEFT
THE STUDIO CRYING BECAUSE
I THOUGHT MY FATHER WILL
SEE WHAT I'VE DONE
AND MY LIFE IS RUINED.
I'M DEAD.
I'M FINISHED.
I'M GONE.
I'VE HAD IT.
AND FORTUNATELY, HE DIDN'T
EVEN KNOW, WHICH WAS GREAT,
AND HE WATCHED THROUGH A
LITTLE SCREEN ABOUT THIS BIG
WITH THE BIG MAGNIFYING
GLASS OVER THE FRONT SO
YOU COULD HAVE FOUR PEOPLE AT
AN ANGLE LOOKING AT IT.
VERY WEIRD.

Richard says WHAT WAS IT LIKE
FINANCIALLY AT THAT POINT?
WERE YOU MAKING ANY
KIND OF A LIVING?

Barry says OH, NO.
WELL, I SHOULDN'T
SAY NO.
I WAS MAKING A LIVING BUT
3 pounds A WEEK IN THE THEATRE,
SO THAT WOULD BE
ABOUT 4 dollars TO THE POUND,
SO IT WOULD BE
ABOUT 12 BUCKS.
AND TELEVISION WAS
10 GUINEAS, I THINK,
A REPEAT, AND 5 GUINEAS
FOR THE REPEAT
OF THE THURSDAY.

Richard says SO YOU'RE A YOUNG
MAN, EARLY 20s.
WHO ARE THE STARS
AT THIS POINT?
WHO HAD THE POSITIONS
THAT YOU WANTED?

Barry says I DON'T THINK I EVER
WANTED TO BE A STAR.
I DO HAVE TO SAY
THAT I THOUGHT,
IF I AM NOT A STAR BY 30,
I'LL LEAVE THE BUSINESS.
WELL, THAT WAS 32 YEARS AGO,
SO I'M STILL OBVIOUSLY
NOT GOING TO FOLLOW THAT
PARTICULAR RULE OF THUMB
BECAUSE I CAN'T
DO ANYTHING ELSE.

Richard says BUT WHO WOULD
IT HAVE BEEN?
WOULD IT HAVE
BEEN OLIVIER?

Barry says OH, VERY MUCH
OLIVIER, YES,
SCOFIELD, DAME PEGGY,
GWEN FRANK AND DAVIS,
DAME EDITH...
FLORA ROBSON, YOU KNOW, THERE
WAS A WHOLE SLEW OF PEOPLE.
AND A LOT OF
UP-AND-COMING PEOPLE.
I WAS DOING A TV SERIES WITH
STANLEY BAKER AND THE NEXT
DAY HE WASN'T THERE, AND
HE'D GONE OFF TO MAKE
HIS FIRST MAJOR FILM, WHICH
I DON'T THINK WAS
ZULU.
THAT'S THE ONE
THAT COMES TO MIND.
IT WAS SOMETHING ELSE.
AND SO ONE WAS WORKING WITH
PEOPLE WHO SUDDENLY BECAME
STARS OR WERE TAKEN UP
BY THE BRITISH INDUSTRY.
RANK WAS STILL WORKING,
J. ARTHUR RANK.
AND THE EALING
COMEDIES WERE GOING.
AND IT WAS AN
INTERESTING TIME
BECAUSE IT WAS JUST A
FLOWERBURST AFTER THE WAR.
THERE WAS A LONG PERIOD
WHERE NOTHING HAPPENED
AFTER THE WAR.
PEOPLE WERE TRYING TO
FIND WHERE THEY WERE,
WHAT THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO
BE DOING, IN ALL THE AREAS,
NOT JUST IN THE THEATRE.
AND THEN IN THE '52, '53, '54,
SOMEWHERE AROUND THERE,
JUST AFTER I STARTED,
IT BEGAN TO GROW,
AND THAT'S WHEN COMMERCIAL
TELEVISION STARTED, IN '55.

Richard says NOW, YOU OBVIOUSLY SHOWED
FROM THE STORY ABOUT
THE NURSE, IN AN EARLY
AGE YOU WERE SUSCEPTIBLE
TO FEMALE CHARMS.

Barry says AFRAID SO, YES.

Richard says BUT WHAT DOES A YOUNG MAN,
NOT MAKING A LOT OF MONEY, DO?
DOES HE SETTLE DOWN?
DOES HE MARRY?
DOES HE HAVE
THOUGHTS OF A FAMILY?
WHAT HAPPENS?

Barry says WELL, I CAME OUT OF THE
ARMY AND I STARTED AGAIN
IN THE BUSINESS, AND I USED
TO WORK EVERY CHRISTMAS
AS A STAGEHAND AT THE PANTOMIME,
AND SO THAT WAS ALWAYS
GREAT FUN BECAUSE WE DID
12 SHOWS A WEEK.
THAT WAS 3 pounds A WEEK
AS A STAGEHAND.

Richard says WAS IT BETTER TO
BE A STAGEHAND?

Barry says YEAH, BECAUSE YOU'D
LET THEM SING WHILE
YOU WATCHED THE CHORUS.

Richard says OKAY.

Barry says AND SANG THE
SONGS WITH THEM.
ONE GIRL, I REMEMBER
THE YOUNG GIRL PLAYING
THE LEAD WAS SIX
MONTHS PREGNANT AND THEY'D
MANAGED TO MAKE IT NOT
LOOK AS THOUGH SHE WAS
SIX MONTHS PREGNANT,
BEING A CHILDREN'S SHOW,
AND SHE WAS AT A HIGH
NOTE AND THE BABY MOVED,
HIT THE DIAPHRAGM AND
THE SOUND JUST WENT,
AND SHE TURNED AND SO THE
WHOLE CREW AND EVERYBODY
IN THE PIT WHO WASN'T
PLAYING A WIND INSTRUMENT
WAS SINGING THE
SONG WITH HER.
I GOT MARRIED
WHEN I WAS 24,
I GUESS, OR 25, 24?
'61 AND THAT UNFORTUNATELY
FINISHED IN '77,
AND FROM THAT CAME TWO
CHILDREN, FIONA AND JUSTIN,
AND THEN I REMARRIED
IN '81, SO.

Richard says DO YOU FIND HAVING HAD
A LIFE-LONG CAREER
IN SHOW BUSINESS,
DOES IT MITIGATE AGAINST
HAVING A STABLE
PERSONAL LIFE?

Barry says I DON'T THINK
IT DOES.
I THINK YOU CAN HAVE A
STABLE PERSONAL LIFE,
AS LONG AS YOU REALIZE THAT
YOU - AND IT'S HARD BECAUSE
YOU KNOW YOURSELF THAT
ACTORS TAKE THE SHOW HOME
WITH THEM BECAUSE THEY'RE
STUDYING LINES IF THEY'RE
IN A REHEARSAL
MODE, ANYWAY.
AND THAT IF YOU CAN
LEAVE THAT AT THE DOOR.
I LEARNT SOMETHING VERY
INTERESTING THAT WHEN
I WAS IN VICTORIA AS ARTISTIC
DIRECTOR OUT THERE,
THAT THIS THING CAME THROUGH
THE MAIL AND IT SAID,
AS YOU DRIVE HOME, WIND
YOUR WINDOW DOWN AND THROW
YOUR TROUBLES OUT.
AND I DID.
IT WAS AMAZING.
I WAS THROWING THEM OUT AND
BY THE TIME I GOT HOME,
THEY'D - WELL,
SOME OF THEM...
SOME OF THEM ANYWAY.
YOU CAN'T COMPLETELY
GET RID OF THEM.
I THINK IT IS.
YOU DO NEED A PARTNER
WHO UNDERSTANDS AND
I THINK THAT'S A VERY
IMPORTANT THING.

Richard says NOW, YOU OBVIOUSLY HAD YOUR
FIRST WIFE AND YOUR CHILDREN
WITH YOU WHEN YOU DECIDED
TO MAKE THE MOVE TO CANADA.
WHAT PROMPTED ALL THAT?

Barry says OH, WELL THAT WAS A
COCKTAIL PARTY IN NEW YORK,
1964, THE ROYAL SHAKESPEARE
HAD DONE A HUGE TOUR
OF ALL THE COMMUNIST
COUNTRIES FOR EIGHT WEEKS,
AND THEN DID A TOUR OF THE
STATES AND THE EASTERN
SEABOARD FOR EIGHT WEEKS TO
COMMEMORATE SHAKESPEARE'S
400TH BIRTHDAY.
AND I WAS IN NEW YORK AND I
WAS INVITED TO THIS PARTY
SOMEWHERE AROUND 56TH
STREET, I THINK,
AND I WAS CHATTING AWAY TO
SOME PEOPLE AND THIS MAN
CAME UP TO AND SAID,
Mr. BALL WOULD LIKE
TO SPEAK TO YOU.
I SAID, PARDON?
HE SAID, Mr. BALL,
COME ALONG.
SO I WENT AND FOLLOWED HIM
ACROSS THE ROOM AND THERE
WAS A MAN IN THE CORNER WITH
HIS LITTLE ACOLYTES AROUND
HIM AND IT WAS HIS SPANISH
HAT PERIOD BEHIND HIS HEAD.
WILLIAM BALL.

Richard says WILLIAM BALL.

Barry says YEAH, HE WAS GREAT.
HE WAS MAD BUT GREAT.

Richard says THE AMERICAN
CONSERVATORY THEATRE.

Barry says YES, ABSOLUTELY.
WELL, HE WAS DIRECTING
SOMETHING AT STRATFORD
AND HE'D JUST SEEN
THE COMEDY
OF ERRORS
AND HE SAID TO ME,
CAN YOU SING?
I SAID, YES, OH, YES,
BECAUSE MY FATHER TOLD ME,
ALWAYS SAY YES UNTIL
YOU'VE SIGNED THE CONTRACT
THEN YOU WORRY.
SO THEY SAID, FINE, AND
I GOT A CALL THAT EVENING
AFTER THE PARTY SAYING,
PLEASE BE AT SUCH AND SUCH
A HOTEL IN COLUMBUS CIRCLE AT
3:00 TOMORROW AFTERNOON
AND BRING A
SONG WITH YOU.
WELL, GOD ALMIGHTY, I HAD
NEVER SUNG IN MY LIFE.
SO I WENT TO DOUBLEDAY'S AND
GOT ALL THE WORKS OF G and S
BECAUSE I'D FOUND THAT MUCH
OUT, THAT IT WAS A G and S.
LEARNT “TIT WILLOW” ON AN
ENVELOPE AND ANYWAY WENT TO
THIS ROOM WHERE HE WAS
SITTING AT THE END OF
THE ROOM WITH HIS TWO MEN
EITHER SIDE OF HIM,
AND I STARTED TO
SING “TIT WILLOW.”
AND WHEN I'D FINISHED, I
LOOKED UP AND HE SAID,
I DIDN'T HEAR A WORD,
AND SO I LEFT THE ROOM.
I MEAN, AS FAR AS I WAS
CONCERNED, THAT WAS IT.
SO THAT NIGHT, AFTER THE
SHOW THERE WAS A PHONE CALL
WAITING FOR ME AT
THE HOTEL SAYING,
YOU HAVE A MUSIC LESSON AT
3:00 WITH A MAN - NOW,
YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO HELP ME
HERE - NOT PUTTING YOU ON
THE SPOT - WHO PLAYED THE
LEAD IN
MOST HAPPY FELLA.

Richard says ROBERT WEEDE.

Barry says THANK YOU.
THANK YOU.
ROBERT WEEDE, GET THAT
IN YOUR HEAD, MACGREGOR.
AND Mr. WEEDE, I WENT
TO HIS APARTMENT AND
HE WAS A WONDERFUL MAN.
GOSH, HE WAS GREAT.
ANYWAY, HE FOUND A
VOICE IN THREE LESSONS.
BILL BALL WAS PAYING
FOR THE LESSONS.
I DIDN'T KNOW THIS.

Richard says WOW.

Barry says BILL CAME TO THE THIRD
LESSON AND SUDDENLY THEY'D
FOUND SOME SINGING VOICE
IN THERE AND I CAME UP
TO STRATFORD TO
DO JACK POINT.

Richard says YEOMAN OF THE GUARD.

Barry says YEOMAN, YEAH.
THAT WAS IN '64.
THEN I WENT BACK TO ENGLAND
BECAUSE LANGHAM SAID, OH,
YOU'LL HAVE TO STAY HERE
AND SHOW THAT YOU WANT
TO LIVE HERE.
AND SO I WENT BACK TO
ENGLAND BECAUSE I COULDN'T
COME AND LIVE HERE.
I HAD COMMITMENTS
IN THE UK.
AND THEN IN NOVEMBER OF '65,
GOT THE CABLE FROM LANGHAM
SAYING, WOULD YOU PLEASE
COME AND JOIN THE COMPANY IN
WINNIPEG AND THEN WE
COULD DO THE SEASON
AT STRATFORD IN '66.
SO THAT WAS MY FIRST SEASON
AT THE BIG STAGE AND
I'D REALLY DONE ONE
IN '64 AT THE AVON.
SO THAT WAS A
TERRIFYING EXPERIENCE.
SINGING.

Richard says WHY?
THE SINGING OR MICHAEL
LANGHAM OR STRATFORD
OR WILLIAM BALL OR?

Richard says NO, MICHAEL
SCARED YOU, YES,
BUT NOT ANYMORE BECAUSE
YOU'RE OLD NOW.
YOU COULDN'T LOOK HIM
IN THE FACE, YEAH,
YOU SILLY OLD TOOT, WHAT
ARE YOU DOING TRYING
TO SCARE ME ANYMORE.
BUT I WAS SCARED OF
THE SINGING, I THINK.
I WENT OUT AND LOU
APPLEBAUM WAS IN THE PIT,
AND IF HE HADN'T BEEN, I
DON'T KNOW WHAT I'D HAVE DONE.
I WANTED TO SAY HELP INSTEAD
OF THE FIRST WORDS
OF THE SONG, BECAUSE I
REALLY WAS SCARED STIFF.
SCARED STIFF.

Richard says NOW, I NEVER, HAVING
SEEN YOU PLAY THAT PART,
THERE'S ALWAYS A DEBATE WHEN
HE DIES, IS IT A TRAGEDY?
IS IT A TRAGIC COMEDY?
'CAUSE IT'S THE JESTER AND
THE JESTER DIES AT THE END
OF THE PIECE OF
A BROKEN HEART?
OR WHAT?
HOW DID YOU PLAY IT?

Barry says AH, IT WAS VERY SIMPLE
BECAUSE I BELIEVE
IN SIMPLICITY AND IT
WAS JUST THAT HE SINGS,
“I HAVE A SONG TO
SING O TO HER AGAIN,”
WHICH IS A KIND OF
DECLARATION OF THE LOVE THAT
THEY HAVE AT THE BEGINNING,
OR HIS LOVE FOR HER.
I'M NOT SURE WHETHER
SHE HAS THAT RECIPROCAL
ARRANGEMENT TO HIM.
AND WHEN HE REALIZES
IT'S NOT POSSIBLE,
HE JUST CEASES TO EXIST.
HE JUST PASSES.
HE GOES.
HE LEAVES.
AND ALL I DID WAS JUST
FALL AND LIE ON THE STAGE.
PADDY CRANE SAW IT 17 TIMES
AND SAID THAT IT WAS -
HE ALWAYS FOUND THAT SIMPLISTIC
ASPECT ABSOLUTELY AMAZING,
AND WE PACKED THEM IN.
WE HAD A GREAT TIME.
THIS HAS NOTHING
TO DO WITH GUTHRIE.
THIS WAS THE FIRST
ONE AFTER THE GUTHRIE.
NO, NO, IT WAS THE LAST ONE
OF THE SERIES THEY DID
AFTER GUTHRIE STARTED
THEM AT THE AVON.

Richard says NOW, FOR A LOT OF NORTH
AMERICAN ACTORS COMING
TO WORK AT THE STRATFORD
FESTIVAL IS AN ENORMOUS
THING BECAUSE OF THE NATURE
OF THE REPERTORY THEATRE,
BUT YOU HAD COME FROM
ENGLAND WERE THERE WERE
REPERTORY THEATRES, SO WHY
DID YOU WANT TO COME
TO CANADA TO WORK REP?

Barry says WELL, I THINK I HAD JUST
DONE 3 and a half YEARS WITH THE
ROC, SO IN A WAY ONE WAS
IN THE REPERTORY SYSTEM,
AND IT IS IDEAL.
I WAS VERY TAKEN BY THE
STRATFORD STAGE WHEN I FIRST
SAW IT IN '64, AND I THOUGHT
IT WAS AN AMAZING, AMAZING
THEATRE, AND WHEN I FIRST
WALKED ONTO IT IN '66,
I MEAN, YOU'RE JUST
SCARED STIFF BECAUSE OF
THIS INCREDIBLE THING.
BUT HOWEVER, NO, I
THINK THAT WHAT I FOUND
SO EXCITING WAS THE WONDERFUL
OPENNESS OF THE AUDIENCES.
I'D COME FROM A COUNTRY
WHERE PEOPLE, OH,
SHAKESPEARE, LET'S GO
AND SEE SHAKESPEARE.
I KNOW THE STORY.
THIS IS WHERE LEAR
GETS - NO, NO, CORNWALL
TAKES SOMEBODY'S
EYES OUT?
YES, IT'S AWFUL
BORING LITTLE PIECE.
OH, YOU HE DID RATHER WELL,
I THOUGHT, AND SO ON,
AND HERE SUDDENLY WERE
AUDIENCES WHO PROBABLY NEVER
SEEN LEAR, WHO HAD NEVER
SEEN SOME OF THE PLAYS
WE WERE DOING, AND
IT WAS FASCINATING.
ESPECIALLY FOR THE KIDS.
IT WAS THOSE STUDENT
AUDIENCES IN THOSE DAYS
WERE ABSOLUTELY AMAZING,
WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL.

Richard says YOU'VE HAD SUCH AN
INTERESTING CAREER IN THAT
YOU'VE WORKING EQUALLY
ALMOST SINCE YOU'VE BEEN
HERE BETWEEN SHAW
AND STRATFORD,
AND YOU'VE GONE BACK AND
FORTH BETWEEN THE TWO
LIKE YOU'VE HAD THIS
VISA THAT LETS YOU PASS.
I'M NOT GOING TO ASK YOU
TO SAY WHICH YOU PREFER
BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE
NOT VERY POLITIC,
BUT WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE
TO YOU BETWEEN THE
TWO FESTIVALS, OTHER
THAN THE AUTHORS?
OTHER THAN
SHAKESPEARE AND SHAW,
HOW ARE THEY DIFFERENT?

Barry says WELL, I THINK THAT PROBABLY
10 OR 15 YEARS AGO,
OR MAYBE EVEN LONGER, I
WOULD HAVE SAID THAT THEY
WERE REALLY SIMILAR IN THE
SENSE THAT THEY WERE SUMMER
FESTIVALS THAT WERE
PRESENTING TWO DIFFERENT
CLASSICAL WRITERS.
BUT NOW, WHAT I THINK IS,
THAT I THINK THAT STRATFORD
HAS GOT A MANDATE THAT IS
REALLY NOT QUITE DEFINITE
A MANDATE AS MUCH
AS THE SHAW MANDATE
THAT IS THERE IS
VERY DEFINITE.

Richard says WHICH IS YOU HAVE PLAYS
WRITTEN DURING HIS LIFETIME.

Barry says EXACTLY, 1856 TO 1950,
THANK GOD HE LIVED.

Richard says THANK GOD HE WAS OLD.

[laughing]

Barry says WHICH IS A VERY RICH
PERIOD OF LITERATURE.
AND I THINK THAT BY
SPECIFYING THAT AS
THE MANDATE, IT HELPS THE
AUDIENCE WHEN THEY COME.
THEY KNOW THAT THEY'RE GOING
TO WHAT THEY'RE GOING TO SEE.
THAT'S WHY THEY
COME THERE.
BUT STRATFORD, I THINK,
IS A DIFFERENT FEELING.
I'VE DONE 17 SEASONS AT
STRATFORD AND 14 AT THE SHAW,
SO OUT OF THE
32 YEARS I'VE BEEN HERE,
IT'S BEEN ONE YEAR WHEN
I HAVEN'T AND THAT
WHEN I WAS IN VICTORIA.
I THINK REALLY THEY
ARE DIFFERENT BECAUSE
OF THAT MANDATE
OR NON MANDATE,
WHICH EVER WAY YOU
WANT TO LOOK AT IT,
AND I THINK STRATFORD
IS IN A PROCESS OF
POSSIBLY GROWING AGAIN.
I THINK EVERYTHING
CIRCULAR?
CYCLICAL?
RIGHT, GREAT,
WHAT DO YOU DO?
I'M AN ACTOR.
DO YOU SPEAK?
YES, OH, CYCLICAL.
AND IT'S LIKE
PIG FARMING.
IT'S THE SAME.
IT'S ALL HAM.
[laughing]
YOU HAVE A CYCLE WHERE
PIG FARMING IS GREAT,
THEN IT GOES WHOOMP, AND
YOU'RE ALL IN THE TROUGH,
AND THEN YOU COME
BACK UP AGAIN,
AND I THINK IT'S THE
SAME WITH THE THEATRE.

Richard says SO, YOU'VE BEEN PIG
FARMING 50 YEARS.

Barry says SO I HAVE.

Richard says IF THERE'S A YOUNG MAN OR
YOUNG WOMAN WATCHING
THIS SHOW WHO IS 12 and a half,
WHICH IS WHAT YOU WERE,
WHAT WOULD YOUR
ADVICE TO THEM BE?

Barry says I THINK THAT YOU MUST
ALWAYS FOLLOW WHAT YOU WANT
TO DO AND PRAY THAT YOU HAVE
PARENTS WHO, LIKE MINE,
WHO JUST SAID DO IT,
AND IF IT DOESN'T WORK,
YOU'LL FIND
SOMETHING ELSE.
THEY NEVER STOPPED ME, AND
FOR THAT - MY MOTHER
WAS STOPPED FROM DOING
WHAT SHE WANTED TO DO,
WHICH WAS BE A DANCING
TEACHER, BY MY GRANDFATHER,
BEING A LANCASTER
AND HE SAID, NO,
YOU'LL BE A SHORTHAND
TYPIST, PEGGY,
AND THAT'S IT,
AND THAT WAS IT.
I ALWAYS FELT A KIND
OF AGGRESSION FROM HER
TO HIM BECAUSE HE
TOOK THAT AWAY FROM HER.
NOW, I'VE SEEN THE
PHOTOGRAPHS OF PAVLOVA
THAT SHE HAD.
I REALIZED THAT
WAS HER LOVE.
BUT SHE NEVER STOPPED ME AND
MY FATHER NEVER STOPPED ME,
AND I WOULD HOPE THAT
YOU'D JUST DO IT.
IF IT DOESN'T WORK, FINE,
YOU CAN DO SOMETHING ELSE.
I MET A MAN IN DETROIT -
THAT SOUNDS LIKE THE OPENING
OF A SONG, DOESN'T IT?
AND HE WAS A LAWYER, BEEN A
VERY MAJOR PARTNER IN A
BIG LAW FIRM, ALWAYS WANTED
TO BE AN ACTOR AND HE WAS
TAKING SHAW AND SHAKESPEARE
CLASSES WITH ME
IN DETROIT AND HE WAS 63.
I'VE NEVER SEEN
ANYONE SO HAPPY.
HE'D ALWAYS WANTED TO BE AN
ACTOR BUT HE HAD FOLLOWED
HIS FATHER'S WISHES
AND BEEN A LAWYER.
AND THERE, SUDDENLY HE
WAS ACTING AND SO HAPPY.

Richard says WELL, HE SOUNDS
A LOT LIKE YOU.

Barry says WELL.

Richard says I MEAN, YOU'VE
BEEN FORTUNATE,
50 YEARS IN A PROFESSION
YOU LOVE THAT LOVES YOU.
BARRY MACGREGOR, 50
YEARS MORE, I'M HOPING.

Barry says OH, GOD, THANK YOU, RICHARD.

Richard says THANKS FOR BEING WITH US TODAY.

Barry says MY PLEASURE.

Richard faces the screen and says
FOR
DIALOGUE, I'M
RICHARD OUZOUNIAN.
GOODBYE FOR NOW.

Music plays as the end slate reads:
A production of TVOntario. Copyright 1998, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Barry MacGregor