Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Britain is no longer a country for and says "Goodbye" to its favourite voice of TV sports broadcasting, Tim Gudgin

Tim, who has died at the age of 88, worked with the greats of television sports broadcasting : David Coleman, Harry Carpenter, Frank Bough. His name may have been less familiar than theirs, but his voice was equally recognisable and he now occupies his place in their pantheon because millions remember a thousand Saturday teatimes when his was that voice that launched and then, almost always, dashed, their dreams of winning the football pools.

It was a time in Britain, when, until the Lottery replaced the pools as Britain’s favourite flutter, millions of punters would listen in excited anticipation while ticking the results off on their precious coupons. Home wins, away wins, draws and score draws. Most people stuck to the same numbers every week as with the lottery and rather than a game of skill, it became a game of chance and always with that voice a hint, a promise and that chance. Gary Lineker described him as "one of the most familiar voices in sport" and "a quintessential part of Saturday afternoons in this country."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pHzaD7OQfA&t=1m12s

Born in Croydon, Surrey in 1929 where his father worked for an insurance company. Tim was 10 years old when the Second World War broke out and with both his father and older brother Peter, serving in the Royal Tank Regiment based at the Bovington Camp in Dorset, the family moved and he attended the local school and recalled that his brother would turn up with the latest big band records to listen to and even at that young age he "loved all those old records, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Ted Heath and I knew then, that what I wanted to do, was play them on the radio."

In fact, Peter, as a Lieutenant, was posted overseas in the War to join the 7th Armoured Division in the North African desert and was involved in the tough fighting that followed in Tunisia in 1943 and in the subsequent Italian campaign. It's possible that he may have recounted, to the fourteen year old Tim, that leading an attack on German positions his Churchill tank was "hit by a shell from a German Tiger which passed through the front plate, through the fighting compartment and into the engine, setting it ablaze” and that he and his crew then faced machine fire before escaping with minor injuries.

At the age of 10, Tim won a scholarship to the old, independent and prestigious boys' grammar school, Whitgift School in South Croydon, London with its motto, 'Vincit qui patitur,'  'He who perseveres, conquers,' where he received no encouragement to fulfil his ambition : "I always wanted to get into radio with the BBC, but my careers master at school said ‘‘not a hope Gudgin, not a hope. You will need a first class honours degree from Oxford or Cambridge to work for the BBC and you won’t get it’’. Of course, he was quite right about the Oxbridge thing, but I was absolutely determined to make it." In fact, a schoolboy predecessor at the school, also blessed with a distinctive voice, Robert Dougall, had also not attended university and he had risen to the position of senior announcer and his was the voice that announced to the world Britain's declaration of war on Germany in September 1939.

Having left school Tim started his two year's National Service in the Royal Tank Regiment in 1947 and rose to the rank of captain and posted to Hohne, he successfully auditioned along with 200 other hopefuls for the job of announcer with the British Forces Network. At the BFN he was trained by Robin Boyle, with whom he would later work with at the BBC and became involved with the Drama Club, alongside another future BBC man, Don Moss. Working for the BFN in Hamburg and later Trieste, Tim presented programmes such as 'Morning Story' and 'Early Bird.'

After returning to civilian life back in Blightey, Tim joined the BBC at the age of 23 in 1952 on the 'European Service' as studio manager and news reader. It was now that, tuning into their radio sets, a wider audience heard Tim's voice for the first time. He then moved to the 'Light Programme' and 'Home Service' and subsequently Radio 2.

Tim was completely self-effacing about his unique voice when he said : "A musical ear helps, to get the inflection right. My guiding light was John Webster, a man who used to read the results when Eamonn Andrews was presenting Sports Report on the radio in the 1950s." In the 24 years from then until he joined Grandstand in 1976, he, and his voice, hosted a wide variety of no less than 22 radio programmes, which ranged from the music selection in 'Housewive's Choice' to the school's competition, 'Top of the Form' and introductions to 'Hancock’s Half-Hour.' He worked on no less than 22 programmes in these years, having also joined Radio 2 and it is not surprising that he confessed that : "Apparently, I once presented a programme called Question Time on the radio, similar to the one on television, but I have no memory of it at all."

In 1966 when he was 37 he recalled : “I realised staff workers weren’t getting as much varied work as freelancers. So in 1966 I went freelance, which meant I could also do more commercial voice work. I remember doing the voice over for a TV ad and bought my first house mortgage-free with the proceeds.” He was referring to the fact that he "did an in-vision commercial for Square Deal Surf." 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNOzt0v9d6I

Then, at the age of 44 in 1973 he stepped back from broadcasting to work for 3 years as a public relations consultant in the Isle of Man before returning to mainland Britain and a sports programme 'Grandstand,' where he read out the horse racing and rugby results in the final score segment of the programme. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPr-af4XfQo&t=0m02s

It was during his time on the BBC’s flagship sports programme that he met Bing Crosby and recalled : "He was with us on the programme and Len Martin noticed there was a horse running called 'Uncle Bing.' We told Bing about this and being a very keen man on betting and horses he said : ‘‘Oh yes. Put something on for me. Let’s have £20 each way’’ and it went and won at 10/1."

It wasn't until he was 66 in 1995 and following the death of Len Martin, that he became only the second person to read out the football results for BBC television on Saturday afternoons. It was a slot he occupied until his retirement at the age of 82 in 2011. Having continued in his role when 'Final Score' became a separate programme in 2004. When it came to getting names right he said : "The Welsh ones can be a bit tricky, but I used to get help on those from the BBC pronunciation department." When it came to protecting his voice he said : “Well, I don’t bother gargling or warming up my vocal cords. Occasionally I’ll put drops up my nose if I’m feeling blocked, but that’s it."

When he retired Tim said : "It is a triple reason why I am going - age, distance - I am down on the south coast and the team is going to be up in Salford, and my granddaughter's wedding in Australia, which I have to be there for."  In fact, he was a little more critical than that when he said :  "They have splashed out £875 million on this Salford nonsense, even before you count the cost of transferring people. I don’t see what was wrong with Television Centre. I read that one of the men in suits said it wasn’t suitable for purpose, but a few million would bring it up to any standard you like." He was also philosophical :  "It will be emotional. I will miss it. It has been part of my life. But as far as I am concerned I will go in and do it and that will be it." 

In explaining his success Tim said that he had :

"A very recognisable voice, which has been my fortune. Whereas, with appearances, I would have gone down the drain."

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Britain is still a country where three of its four nations still refuse to apologise to old gay men for prosecuting them when they were young

Despite Scotland’s reputation today as one of the world’s most gay-friendly countries, the pace of reform of discrimination against gay people was initially very slow. It took until 1994 for the age of consent for gay men to be reduced from 21 to 18 and until 2001 for full legal equality to be granted when the age of consent was lowered to 16. A new law, introduced in the Scottish Parliament as : 'The Historical Sexual Offences (pardons and disregards) (Scotland) Bill', will now pardon men who were convicted under Scotland’s anti-gay legislation, which remained on the statute book until 1981, fourteen years after homosexuality was decriminalised in England and Wales.

The new Bill means that thousands of gay men in Scotland, many of whom are now old or very old, who were prosecuted for having sex up to 36 years ago, will be automatically pardoned by the new Bill, which will also allow many to get previous convictions removed from their records. Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, published the Bill at Holyrood on Tuesday and offered an 'Unqualified Apology' to those stigmatised and humiliated by the prosecutions and told Members of the Scottish Parliament  “Within the lifetime of this Parliament, this nation’s laws created suffering and perpetrated injustice. The legislation we have published today addresses this injustice. Until we live in a world where no young person faces hate, fear and prejudice simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, we still have work to do.”

The Bill mirrors moves to allow men in England and Wales, where an estimated 50,000 men were prosecuted, including 15,000 who are still alive, to request a pardon. In Scotland, pardons will be automatic, including posthumously and it goes beyond England and Wales with the issue of an apology which recognises for many old, gay men, whose lives were ruined by the British state, a pardon is not enough. Derek Ogg QC, a defence lawyer and expert in gay rights law, said : “When people apologise to you for doing something wrong to you it is rehabilitative. You feel vindicated. You can feel you have got your pride back.”

Northern Ireland remains the only part of Britain where pardons for historic offences have yet to be granted.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Britain is finally a country for and says "Sorry" to old, gay campaigner called George Montague

http://britainisnocountryforoldmen.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/britain-is-finally-country-for-and-says.html

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Britain is a country which says "Farewell" to Cinematographer, Walter Lassally, who held a mirror to its face and briefly captured it on film in the 1950s and 60s

Walter who has died at the age of 90 was born in Berlin in 1926, where he recalled :

"My father was German and my mother was Polish and we lived in a flat in Berlin where my father also had an animation desk because he was in the film industry. He was trained as an engineer and he used film as an adjunct to his engineering work for studying mechanical processes and he had his own company making these films which were anything from 20 seconds to 2 hours long. It started in the silent days around about 1924/25 and went on into the sound period." 

"Around 6 or 7 or 8, I was allowed to help by cranking the handle. So that was fun and that was my first contact with the cinema, but I don't think it was that which led me to my career choices, it was rather, seeing films in the cinema and I got quite fond of going to the cinema fairly early on and I remember I had a little badge made up from a trade journal of the company UFA, 'Universal Film Aktiengesellschaft', which was the MGM of Berlin. I had a little badge made up and wore it in the playground when I went to school."
https://www.webofstories.com/play/walter.lassally/1

When Walter was seven in 1933 and with the coming to power of Hitler and the Nazis, his father, because he was classified as 'non-Aryan,' was debarred from his profession and his making of industrial and training films came to an end, the authorities having ascertained that there were Jewish Grandparents in the family and beyond. He later reflected : "We didn't think of ourselves as Jews. We went to a Protestant church for Easter and Christmas and we thought of ourselves as Christians but for Hitler 'Jewishness' wasn't a religion, it was a race."  In fact, having seen local Jewish shops attacked on Kristallnacht when he was 8 years old in 1934, he felt most aggrieved, that his family were being stigmatised as Jews for no good reason.

Just before the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, his parents decided to leave Germany for Britain. Young Walter was thirteen and later recalled : "We got on a train in Berlin to Ostend to catch the boat for Dover It was a train which, in theory, connected to a train to England, but in Aachen they pulled us off the train and made us wait in the waiting room while they went -through the papers - just a deliberate thing to make you miss the ferry. So we spent the night on the floor of the waiting room in Aachen, then we were put on some other train. But, with hindsight, the good thing was that, at least, we all got out alive, because I'm an only child. My father's two sisters weren't so lucky and they were definitely killed in one of the concentration camps."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-WWvVW9oXQ

"There was moment when I cried. "Oh no. I don't want to go to a country where I don't speak the language. What an I going to do about English?" And all that they said : "It's going to be alright. And of course it was alright and because I'd learnt English, by rote, in the second term of the first year in an English school, I came second in English because all the others thought : "We don't have to study that. We know it anyway."
https://www.webofstories.com/play/walter.lassally/2

After arrival in Britain, the family found themselves very much on their own. As Walter later said : they were "Jewish enough to be thrown out of Germany by Hitler, but we weren't quite Jewish enough to be accepted by Jewish relief organisations in England." He said : "My first memories of London are, opposite Victoria Station there's a little cinema which was showing 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,' which was banned in Germany, because Disney was a Jew. So we all went to the cinema even before we went into our hotel."

Having settled in Richmond upon Thames, South-West London, by the age of 15, he knew he wanted to be a film cameraman. For Walter, as a teenager, 'going to the pictures' was his way of consciously preparing for his career in films : "I had many happy memories of going to Odeon or Premier Cinemas in Richmond. There were three cinemas in Richmond at that time and I went two or three times a week and while the War was still on they used to flash a thing up on the screen which said 'AIR RAID WARNING.' " https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3zgiua8uDQ&t=1m0s

On leaving school at the age of 18, in 1944, he wrote to every film studio asking for a job as a 'clapper boy.' Meanwhile, he found work at a stills studio and then as a general dogsbody with a company making 16mm documentaries and medical films. In 1946, through the intervention of his father, now, once again, working in the film industry, he was taken on as a clapper boy at Riverside Studios, working on a film called 'Dancing with Crime' in 1947, with Richard Attenborough in his first starring part.

His employment at Riverside was short-lived : "The job only lasted ten months because the studio shut down. It was one of the perennial crisis of the industry.” Back in work at a bigger Studio, he got his first big break at the age of 24 : "I was given the chance to photograph my first documentary at the very end of 1950. That was a fire prevention film called 'Every Five Minutes.' "

It was in this period, from his mid twenties to his mid thirties that Walter honed his skills as the cinematographer in the Free Cinema documentaries of the 1950s in such films as the documentary shorts : 'Sunday by the Sea' in 1951 directed by Anthony Simmons and 'Power Signal Lineman' in 1953 and 'The Pleasure Garden' also 1953 directed by James Broughton and starring Lindsay Anderson.

Lindsay Anderson and Lorenza Mazzetti now founded the 'Free Cinema Movement' with its manifesto at a Charing Cross cafe called 'The Soup Kitchen.' It was based on the premise that as filmmakers they could make a virtue of their limitations and as Lindsay put it : "with a 16mm camera, and minimal resources, and no payment for your technicians, you cannot achieve very much - in commercial terms. You cannot make a feature film and your possibilities of experiment are severely limited. But you can use your eyes and your ears. You can give indications. You can make poetry."

Walter started to work for Lindsay as the young director who was only three years older than him, on the documentary 'Thursday’s Children' in 1954 about the Royal School for the Deaf in Margate which won an Oscar for Best Documentary Short' and and also the 1955 'Foot and Mouth' short.

In 1956 he worked on 'Momma Don’t Allow', directed by Tony Richardson and Karel Reisz, also aged 30 and like him, a Jewish refugee who had come to Britain, in his case, on a 'Winton Transport' from Czechoslovakia in 1938 and filmed at Wood Green Jazz Club in North London.

The following year he worked with Tony on the another documentary short : 'The Wakefield Express.'  It was at a time when Walter was consciously learning his trade and later reflected : "In the old days I shot quite a few films on this camera alone like 'Rufuge England', 'Momma does Love', all the 16mm films in the old days were certainly shot in Bolex which limits you to 23 seconds but that's quite good discipline."

In 1957 he worked on 'Every Day Except Christmas' directed by Lindsay and based on the traders at  Covent Garden Market and the following year with Karel over six weeks in the summer he worked him on his documentary :
'We Are the Lambeth Boys'. Both films took a sympathetic approach to an aspect of working-class life largely neglected by commercial British cinema. 'Lambeth Boys' attempted to deliver a positive portrait of the lives of ordinary teenagers, far from the usual violent 'Teddy Boy' stereotype and it also developed the theme initiated by Karel and in 'Momma Don't Allow' three years earlier. In his article on the film in 'Sight and Sound', sociologist Richard Hoggart talked of it as a 'film essay' rather than a documentary, because, as he claimed :
'it sets out to show, not the whole truth, but some aspects of the truth, wholly' and from that perspective, the film succeeded in embodying 'the strength and variety of these young people's vitality, their lively, tolerant and complex sense of community.'

'Lambeth Boys' won the 'Grand Prix' at the Tours Short Film Festival in France and represented Britain at the Venice film Festival, by that time, 1960, Karel had moved on to direct his first feature, 'Saturday Night and Sunday Morning.' It was in the following year that Walter started the first of his collaborations with Tony, as his Director of Photography. He didn't know it at the time, but he would look back on "the very brief period when I worked for Tony Richardson for Woodfall, I remember with affection. It was very productive, but it only lasted eighteen months. That produced three films, 'A Taste Of Honey', 'Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner' and 'Tom Jones'."

As a signed up member of the Free Cinema Movement and in the case of the first two films, Walter was "very conscious of the fact that in Daddy's Cinema, the British Cinema of the 1950s, working class characters didn't appear except as minor characters. There were very few working scenes and working class characters tended to be caricatures, like Bryan Forbes' many appearances as cabin boy and below deck characters in naval movies. So "yes," we were very much concerned with putting the reality of Britain on the screen and a considerable degree of cross-fertilisation between documentaries and features."

He recalled : "It was my idea, which came directly out of my experience on documentaries immediately prior to that on the Free Cinema documentaries, to shoot the film in three different film stocks, the idea was that one could give a location a certain look, not only by the lighting and the art direction and the dressing of the location, but also, by the choice of the film stock. So the early locations in the early part of 'A Taste of Honey' which were meant to look particularly gritty and the outdoor locations were in a more 'normal' and then there was an 'intermediate' film stock, which we used for the later locations and that was the revolutionary thing to do. Everybody advised me not to do it because in those days to use anything, but the Plus X was considered not the thing to do on a feature - might be OK on a documentary, or on a newsreel, but to use a grainy film stock for its grain that was a completely new concept."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwrxHAfmHF4&t=6m38s

Working on 'A Taste of Honey' he recalled : "That's probably the only time I've lit a scene using sand, because to get the silhouette of Rita leaning against the railway arch, to emphasise the fact that she's pregnant, only the top part of her body was against the land. The land was black with coal dust, so I had a lot of whiter sand put down so as to get the complete silhouette of her against a lighter background."

He also recalled : "In the flat where Dora Bryan lived with Rita Tushingham, which was supposed to be a bit of a slum, we had rather dreary wallpaper and we used this very grainy stock. We had in the bedroom one light reflecting off the ceiling in one place and another little light, a flat-fronted photoflood was used in reflected light mode. All the scenes in that flat, both the day scenes and the night scenes, are shot at a very low light level indeed."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yh6-Y5wxzGM&t=2m27s


For the next in the trio, 'The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner' in 1962, he recalled : "Each of Tom Courtnay's runs has a special character, there are three or four of them, if you count the final race  and one of them takes place at dawn and it was actually filmed at dawn and and there's a scene on Blackheath,somewhere around there, where the sun is just rising and in the top right hand corner of the picture is the crescent moon or the setting moon and some critic wrote something like : 'What consultation of ephemerides there must have been to capture that precious moment,' which only goes to show that critics don't know a great deal about how movies are made."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFHL4xqh4Ho&t=0m55s


With the exuberant 'Tom Jones' the same year, based on Henry Fielding’s picaresque novel and starring Albert Finney in the title role, Walter matched technically everything that Tony achieved artistically. “We didn’t want to make Tom Jones look like a Hollywood epic” he recalled, “so we agreed to incorporate the style of A Taste of Honey.” With staging, costumes and locations impeccably in period, Walter again applied state-of-the-art camera techniques, reprising the use of three hand-held cameras as well as filming overhead shots from a helicopter.

"The hunt itself was a combination of very low angle shots on a mini moke where you get the camera 2 foot or 2 foot six off the ground, which is very good. The scene where the horse bolts under Susannah York and he rescues her, that was filmed with one fixed camera on the back of this little truck and I was crouched in the front compartment in the passenger seat with another aeroflex with a long lens and it shakes an awful lot but that's fine because it goes with the scene and the moment he jumps on and they both fall on the ground it becomes steady again - Tripod - Blimp - Tripod - Dialogue. At that moment it changes. So the hunt itself is a mixture of that low little truck and helicopter work and sometimes it's so cleverly intercut you think you're running along the ground, then suddenly you're jumping over the bushes and rising into the air. That was a very effective technique and caused a lot of comment afterwards."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqKZ72cjZ9w&t=1m19s

"The other scene that's caused the most comment afterwards is the Eating Scene which was not in the script as such. In the script it was just that they became amorous towards each other and that's really all that was written. I don't remember any dialogue being written as indeed there isn't any dialogue in the scene and Albert and Joyce Redman developed that as they went along and it was very, very effective. It was very quickly done and it was entirely in the hands of the actors. Tony just set the scene, as he often did."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tezjznL9NzM

Although Walter went on to make over 40 films for a number of directors between 1964 and 2001, the most important being 'Zorba the Greek' in 1964, for which he won the 'Academy Award for Best Cinematography' in 1965, he would never again do something in Britain which said something significant about Britain at that point in time and in a manner of filming which, in itself, was a reflection of the ideas behind the 1950s Free Cinema Movement to which he belonged.

He once said :

"The important thing about 'A Taste of Honey' is that it is a poetic evocation of atmosphere. It isn't just a social document and therein lies its value : in the combination of the themes and the treatment."

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Britain is a country with a Health Authority called Medway where old men no longer lanquish longer than necessary in hospital

With winter looming and health and care teams in Britain faced with the usual prospect of old men and women being left stranded on hospital wards because of the lack of provision when they are discharged, there is one area where their prospect is much brighter : the Medway Towns in North Kent. Here, the Medway Foundation NHS Trust has shown what can be achieved with the right mindset.

Working in partnership with 'Medway Clinical Commissioning Group', 'Medway Council' and 'Medway Community Healthcare,' the Trust has developed the 'Home First Initiative.' It provides support for patients who still require additional home support but, at the same time are medically fit to be discharged from hospital.

Since its introduction, 2,000 patients have been discharged under the seven-days-a-week scheme, which has four patient pathways, ranging from those needing little or no support, through to those with complex needs who may need intermediate care and may not be able to go home safely immediately. With this level of support in place, Medway has found that permanent admissions to care homes for the men and women 65 have halved since the introduction of the scheme which was implemented in April last year just a few weeks before a visit by inspectors from the Care Quality Commission. It used existing teams but removed historical 'territories' and created a single point of access for all coordination of a patient’s discharge. Under the new system patients have :

* transport arranged to their homes
* an assessment at home by an occupational therapist within two hours of leaving hospital
* a personal care plan for their therapy, goals, carer provision and any equipment they require
* if necessary, a care package which may involve 'telecare' and 'wraparound care', with people ringing to make sure medication is taken

Project lead Lisa Sladden of Medway Community Healthcare said :

"We know that most people would rather recover at home than in hospital and getting back to our lives and our routines is an essential part of that recovery. It helps us to regain independence, and allows us to receive care in a comfortable and familiar environment. 'Home First' aims to help patients do just that by working with community partners across Medway."

This is not the end of the story. Last year, before the Scheme was implemented, the number of days that patients, composing largely of elderly men and women, languished in hospital longer than was necessary was running at 774 days per month. That figure, after the implementation of the Scheme, has dropped to 475 days per month. Naturally, in an ideal world the figure would be zero, but Medway's 'Home First Initiative' has put its hospital patients way out in front in terms of speedy and supportive discharge from hospital in comparison with other parts of the country, where their counterparts continue to languish far too long in hospital beds.


Saturday, 21 October 2017

Is Britain no longer a country for an old Theatre Director called Max Stafford-Clark, ousted by inappropriate behaviour ?

Max Stafford-Clark, 76, has been a leading figure in theatre since the mid-1970s. He was the artistic director of the Royal Court from 1979 until 1993, when he set up the theatre company 'Out of Joint', where, abruptly, this summer and despite his advanced years, he stepped down to 'focus on his international freelance career.' Feted at the time as one the most successful theatre directors of his generation, it has now been revealed that, in reality, he was forced out after being accused of inappropriate, sexualised behaviour.

Twenty-nine year old Gina Abolins, told the Company Board in July, that he said to her : “Back in the day, I’d have been up you like a rat up a drainpipe but now I’m a reformed character. My disability means I’m practically a virgin again.” The "disability" he referred to was to damage sustained from three strokes in 2006, which left him using a walking stick and wheelchair and impaired his eyesight.

A statement by a spokesperson for Max said that he “wholeheartedly” apologised for “any inappropriate behaviour that made some former colleagues feel uncomfortable,” adding that it was never his intention to 'bully' or 'harass.' Apparently, he had suffered from 'pseudobulbar palsy' and “occasional disinhibition” since his stroke and his "occasional loss of the ability to inhibit urges results in him displaying disinhibited and compulsive behaviour and his usual, at times provocative, behaviour being magnified, often causing inappropriate social behaviour. Whilst this is an explanation it isn’t an attempt to dismiss his behaviour and he apologises for any offence caused.”

Gina, on the other hand, said her complaint referred to a number of incidents. She said that Max had previously asked her to try on a bikini she had bought and told her she should have casual sex and tell him about it. Having joined the Company in 2016 as its Education Officer, she said that she was left embarrassed and shocked after his "rat up a drainpipe" comment which subsequently prompted her complaint. “I didn’t know what to say and I felt really victimised actually. That was him exerting his power over me in a crude manner. I felt really bullied and objectified. To me, it felt that he was saying, "I’m going to tell you exactly what I would have done to you and there is nothing you can do about it". ”

Now, almost inevitably, other women have stepped forward to be heard. Twenty-five year old Steffi Holtz, who worked as his personal assistant in 2016, said he asked her about losing her virginity several times and told the 'Guardian' the Director had a reputation for always being “outrageous”, which allowed him to get away with making inappropriate comments. Like Gina, Steffi said Max had made comments about her appearance and on one occasion, as she was leaving his office, said : “You’ve got a really nice arse,” as he tapped her on her bottom. She also said : “The worst thing he said, I was sat at his desk and he said, "If you were sat on the desk there in front of me I would eat you out." Coming from a 75-year-old man, I was in absolute shock. You feel so uncomfortable...It makes me feel so uncomfortable to even say that.”

Gina also said Max had asked her and another woman about loosing their virginity during auditions for 'Rita, Sue and Bob Too', in which two 15-year-old girls have a sexual affair with a married man. In addition, the playwright Rachel De-Lahay said she was asked this question in reference to the play on a separate occasion and had : “found herself over-talking and rambling through this story” and later said she was angry “not because he asked me but because I had answered.”

Steffi, like Gina, said she wanted to speak out to help other women with similar experiences feel that they could come forward : “One of the most important things to me in my life is being a feminist, working towards equality and allowing women the same voice as men and to not have repercussions when they use that voice.” Gina said : “We are at an important time, where people are standing up and telling their stories. If more people can find the strength to speak out, hopefully we can make a real difference.”

Max, is by no means an 'evil' man but his reputation will now, no doubt suffer, both while he is alive and after he has gone, as intimated by Antony when he considered the death of Caesar :

"The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones."

When considering the 'good' that Max has done, it is worth remembering that he was born in 1941 in Cambridge, the son of the distinguished psychiatrist David Stafford-Clark and obtained his formative attitudes towards women and society from his family, his schools at Felsted in Essex and Riverdale Country School in New York City in the 1940s and 50s and his undergraduate years at Trinity College, Dublin in the mid 1960s.

In danger of being interred within his bones is his :

* work as the young Artistic Director of the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh from 1968–70

* work as Director of the Traverse Theatre Workshop Company from 1970 to 1974

* founding of the Joint Stock Theatre Company in 1974

*  service as the longest-serving Royal Court Theatre Artistic Director from 1979 to '93

* award of the 1981 London Circle Theatre Awards (Drama Theatre Awards) for Best Director of 1980 for The Seagull.

* founding his national and international touring theatre company 'Out of Joint' in 1993

* his award the Special Award at the 2003 London Evening Standard Theatre Awards.

* commissioning and directing the first productions of leading contemporary playwrights : Sebastian Barry, Caryl Churchill, David Hare, Mark Ravenhill and Timberlake Wertenbaker.

In addition and also, in danger of being lost, are the memories of the pleasure he gave to his audiences in his productions of : 



* 2000 : 'Rita, Sue and Bob Too / A State Affair'



* 2001 : 'Feelgood' and 'Sliding'








* 2002 : 'Hinterland', 'A Laughing Matter', 'She Stoops to Conquer'

* 2003 : 'The Breath of Life', 'Duck', 'The Permanent Way'
https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2002/oct/16/theatre.artsfeatures3



* 2004 : 'Macbeth'



* 2005 : 'Talking to Terrorists'

* 2006 : 'O Go My Man'
https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2006/jan/18/theatre

* 2006 : 'The Overwhelming'

* 2007 : 'King of Hearts'

* 2008 : 'The Convict's Opera'
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkzPa7xPK9c&list=RDCkzPa7xPK9c&t=67



* 2009 : 'Dreams of Violence', 'Mixed Up North'
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2VJ95mHUIo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wE6SfQYzJEk







* 2010 : 'Andersen's English', 'The Big Fellah'
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipPddbAMwF4



* 2011 : 'A Dish of Tea with Dr Johnson', 'Bang Bang Bang','Top Girls'




* 2012 : 'Our Country's Good'
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQL_dCoA7U4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDHhFiFRlk4

* 2014 : 'This May Hurt A Bit', 'Pitcairn'
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umWUPwFnl_A





* 2015 : 'Crouch, Touch, Pause, Engage'
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5us5dGnU-38&t=0m21s

★★★★★
“Brilliant. It wrenches the gut and makes the soul sing… Staggeringly moving”
The Times

★★★★
“Riveting… A cracking, heartfelt evening”
Mail on Sunday

★★★★
“Joyful”
Time Out