1930 – 2020
George Frederick Goodall was a stalwart of the New Era Players, Stoke-on-Trent Operatic Society and the Repertory Players.
George’s acting “career” began way back in 1945 at the tender age of fifteen. He was a gifted comic performer and trod the board at The Rep until well into his seventies. He also undertook many backstage roles and inspired the next generation to follow in his footsteps.
From “Spotlight on a Member” c2000
In his own words:
My very first role was with the Rotary Youth Club – a small part in Jane Eyre. I was then cast as Danny in Night Must Fall by Emlyn Williams – at sixteen, exactly the right age for the part – and this gave me the ‘acting bug’. Joining the New Era Players, I played several important, enjoyable roles – particularly George Gibbs in Our Town by Thornton Wilder. We were invited to the Victoria Theatre, where I palyed Biff in Arthur Miller’s Death Of A Salesman – a very moving experience.
For the Stoke-on-Trent Operatic Society, I took major roles in The Merry Widow, Oklahoma!, La Vie Parisienne, Kiss me Kate and, in 1974 at The Regent, The Mikado, playing Koko. In The White Horse Inn I had a wonderful comedy role as Ebenezer Grinkle (underwear, Oldham!)
In North Staffs Operatic Society’s Fiddler On The Roof, I played the Innkeeper – what a show!
Fortunate enough to play Frosch the jailer in Die Fledermaus at the Theatre Royal, with Newcastle Operatic Society, I had to improvise fifteen minutes of dialogue, inserted as a comic interlude – a frightening experience, but with good laughs from the ever-kind audience.
Now back to The Rep –
I was greatful to the late Peter Legge, who cast me as the Adjutant in Conduct Unbecoming – a terrific part. I asked, “Why me?”. He said “You’ve played a lot of comic parts, it’s time you did a serious one for once”. Then there was Deathtrap in which Derek Yeamans and I tried to kill each other for most of the play!
In The Happiest Days Of Your Life, as the headmaster, everything that could possibly goe wrong (on stage) did! But again the audience played its part extremely well – where would we be without you?. In Out of Order I was presumably ‘dead’ for the first act – thrown around and hung behind a door – with Vaseline in my nostrils to stop me from sneezing!
Lately, I have rendered some works by our Chairman, Peter Dutton, in Potteries dialect, and people still ask me to do ‘voice overs’ and short films. Over the years, I’ve made amny friends and, I hope, not many enemies. The crux of the matter is teamwork with fellow members to create a rapport with the audience and, once again … we thank you