A TRIBUTE TO PETER CUSHING
Editor's note: Shortly after I received the first tribute from Hubert Gregg, I sent him a thank you letter which resulted in some more information provided by the wonderful Mr. Gregg. His photo can be accessed starting November 24th when the next series of 'Thanks for the Memories' programmes begins at the internet address: http://www.bbc.co.uk
Thank you for your letter. I'm delighted you liked my tribute to Peter but I confess the programme you enclosed had me completely bewildered. The first three names were quite new to me! Then memory got to work. It must be the programme that was issued for two weeks during 1945 when the London Company were given a compulsory, unpaid holiday and the touring company took over at the Globe. Peter was obviously playing Colbert on tour and was about to join us when Eugene Deckers left - either immediately or in the course of time.
Ronald Squire, the original Duke of Ayr and Sterling, and also the director who took over when film director Anthony Asquith admitted at the first rehearsal that he didn't know how to direct a play [He got the job because he was a friend of the manager, Binkie Beaumont] must have been brought in to polish up the cast and re-inject his own strong performance. Shelagh Fraser who is down as Mabel Crum did play the part at some - so did Gillian Raine, later the wife of Leonard Rossiter.
I remember that, when our enforced holiday was over, we went straight into the play without rehearsal. My dresser was caught out and caught me out too. He brought the touring Harpenden's naval uniform and laid it out for my quick change. I had about three minutes for this and was horrified to discover that my trousers were several inches above my boots. The touring Harpenden must have been rather short. There was no time to do anything about it so I played the long scene that followed looking like George Formby [a British comedian who might well have worn them for a laugh!]
One bonus for Peter. We were all chagrined to learn that, during our absence from the cast, the Prime Minister had been to see the play. So Peter played for Winston Churchill!
Letter from Peter Cushing to Hubert Gregg (January 20, 1994)
COPYRIGHT 2000, HUBERT GREGG & CHRISTOPHER GULLO