A hugely entertaining, amusing and erudite story-teller. (Review by Keith Millar)
An old man, bent nearly double, makes his doddering way onto the stage of the Rhumbelow Theatre. He looks taken aback when he spots the audience. But then he breaks into a huge mischievous grin and asks “So - how many of you thought I was dead?”
This is the introduction to the charming and witty autobiographical one-man show, Warts and All presented by veteran South African stage, television, movie and radio actor Clive Scott.
Scott, or perhaps Ted Dixon if you were a fan of The Villagers, the massively popular television series of the 1970’s, is far from being dead or doddering. He is, in fact, a dapper and sprightly 79 year-old and a hugely entertaining, amusing and erudite story-teller.
He has the audience in stitches as he tells stories of his childhood, his youth, the years he spent in England learning his craft, his hilarious experiences as an actor and the many larger than life characters he has met along the way.
Scott was born in Johannesburg and spent his formative years in both that city and in Cape Town. He was an impish child and got involved in all sorts of scrapes such as setting fire to the local golf course and, along with his sister, tipping out a can of green paint in the family home, and then rolling about in it.
He also had his first acting role at this point. As a jam tin in a school play. He also played a weasel in Toad of Toad Hall.
After school, Scott worked in a bank before moving to England where he spent the next 12 years. During this time, he attended drama school. He gives a hilarious demonstration of how he was taught to walk, laugh and cry on stage. Thereafter, he spent years in repertory theatre. He also had a stint in the world’s longest running play The Mousetrap.
Scott then returned to South Africa where he made a big name for himself as the previously-mentioned Ted Dixon, the village fool in TV series, The Villagers, as well as in many other roles on stage, television and radio.
He also recalls many pranks played along with his great friend and legendary actor Gordon Mulholland.
Scott refers to himself as a drawing room comic and his easy and affable style affirms this. He is a master of many accents and he puts this skill to good use in his storytelling. The hour and quarter that this accomplished raconteur spent with his audience passed in a flash and all would have enjoyed him to carry on with more of his hilarious anecdotes. The old broadcasters and entertainers in the audience, and there were several, could have listened to his stories all night.
The good news is that Roland Stansell of the Rhumbelow Theatre in Umbilo intends bringing Warts and All back for another season soon. Keep your eyes open for this and don’t miss the opportunity to see this master storyteller at work. – Keith Millar