Chatteris man to celebrate 50 years in amateur dramatics by directing Anglian Players show

FOR half a century Simon Forbes-Fletcher has been treading the boards in amateur dramatics after failing to fulfil his dream of becoming a professional actor. His initial disappointment almost led to him giving up any ambition to be on the stage but his l

FOR half a century Simon Forbes-Fletcher has been treading the boards in amateur dramatics after failing to fulfil his dream of becoming a professional actor.

His initial disappointment almost led to him giving up any ambition to be on the stage but his love for theatre was so strong that amateur dramatics went on to become a huge part of his life.

At the age of 73 he will be directing and acting in the forthcoming production of Anglian Players See How they Run - the classic English comedy by Philip king.

It just happens that the play is an all-time favourite of his and it is the sixth time Simon has been involved in a production of it.

The production will also be Simon's 70th play and he said: "I will go onto the bitter end because I enjoy it so much."

Simon, who lives in Chatteris, comes from a family with an impressive theatre pedigree. He is the grandson of actor Norman Forbes-Robertson and his great uncle was Sir Johnston Forbes-Robertson. An actor and theatre manager hailed as one of the most individual and refined English actors, Sir Johnston Forbes-Robertson made his mark as the greatest interpreter of Hamlet in the 19th Century.

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Simon studied at the Rose Bruford Training College for Speech and Drama in Sidcup, Kent, aiming to become a professional actor. However, the need to earn money meant Simon was forced to seek other more reliable work.

He said: "I was very disappointed but I just had to get a job. I couldn't sit around at home waiting for agents to ring."

Work for Simon was as a member of the clerical staff at London's Savoy Hotel and later at Claridge's Hotel. He would also help out at banquets where he saw many of the rich and famous.

As well as becoming involved in amateur dramatics through several groups, his passion for acting also involved many theatre visits where he loved to watch stars such as Margaret Lockwood, Glynis Johns, John Mills and Dulcie Gray.

Simon's involvement with the Anglian Players stretches back 20 years when he moved to the Fens.

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