Film ID:
NEFA 21833



Visitor Tabs


Tyne Tees Television reporter Brian Shallcross interviews Brian Shelton, the Artistic Director of the Forum Theatre, Billingham, and director of a new production of ‘The Clandestine Marriage’. The story continues with an interview with actress Michelle Dotrice who is performing in the play about her role, her career and her famous farther Roy Dotrice. This report was transmitted 6 April 1971.

The report open on an interview with Brian Shelton about a new production of ‘The Clandestine Marriage’ being performed at the Forum Theatre in Billingham. It is a gentle comedy that looks very, very beautiful. The 18th century costumes are superb. This period of time was marvellous for both men and women.

The film cuts to Michelle Dotrice who is wearing her 18th century costume in the play and is interviewed from a balcony inside the theatre. Basically, she says, the play is a farce with a lot of complicated mistakes. It is quite exhausting with a lot of running about even though her character is supposed to be pregnant.  She is enjoying herself. This is a different role than she is used to. Usually she plays ‘serious young ladies’.

Michelle advises that before coming to Billingham she had been in ‘Three Sisters’ by Chekhov on television and ‘Emma by Mercer’. She did a couple of films last year including Jane Eyre, which was filmed in the area.  ‘It’s nice to be back’ she says.

Roy Dotrice is her famous father and his name has helped Michelle in the business. They get on well as people, and he is her best friend. He is a marvellous critic and adviser. Following him into the theatre was what she describes as ‘Hobson’s Choice’. She started at an early age. Brian Shallcross adds that this is ‘a real traditional showbiz story’. Her parents never pushed her into the business and backed her on whatever decision she made. For this, she finishes, she is very grateful.