On crest of a wave
HE is most well-known for his comedy roles in Hi-de-Hi! and Keeping Up Appearances, but David Griffin shows the audience that there is a different side to his character in a new play. David Griffin will be starring in Ian Dicken s September Tide at the Go
HE is most well-known for his comedy roles in Hi-de-Hi! and Keeping Up Appearances, but David Griffin shows the audience that there is a different side to his character in a new play.
David Griffin will be starring in Ian Dicken's September Tide at the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage from February 13-17.
Set on a Cornish estuary in the 1940s, the play follows a widow who regularly rejects proposals of marriage from her neighbour Robert Hanson. But then finds herself attracted to her son-in-law and soon they are in love.
David said: "I'm the friendly neighbour who's known Stella for about 15 years. I propose at least two or three times a year, and get turned down every time, probably because I'm good old Mr Reliable and in some ways a bit dull and set in my ways."
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David, 63, describes the play as 'an old fashioned bitter-sweet romance'.
"In those days there was a different set of values, and divorce was frowned upon," he said.
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This is the 16th time David has worked with Dickens, but the first time he has joined a cast and not known anyone.
However, the production features an all-star cast, including international actress Kate O'Mara, Kim Tiddy, who played Honey Harman in The Bill, and Edward Baker-Duly, who has been in Emmerdale and Grange Hill.
"It's nice to have a fresh challenge. The audience can expect a cracking good story which is beautifully told," said David.
Originally from Richmond, Surrey, David wanted to be an actor from the age of 14.
However, his first job was unusual to say the least.
"I was an assistant in an ice skating chimpanzee show in Holiday On Ice in Bournemouth," he said.
"I could skate and fitted into the costume so they gave me the job.
"I was thrilled to bits! But a bit later on I discovered chimps can get bad tempered if they are made to do something. I still have the scars to prove it!"
David trained as an actor at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts but it was not until 1984 that he got his first big break in Hi-de-Hi!
He said: "If it had not been for Hi-de-Hi! I wouldn't be where I am now."
When David joined the cast as Squadron Leader Clive Dempster, the holiday camp-based comedy was already attracting 15million viewers per episode, so he was confident it was a good move.
Since then, he has remained firm friends with Su Pollard, and his career has gone from strength to strength, having starred in countless plays and television sitcoms such as Allo Allo! (1989), Keeping Up Appearances, and Educating Rita by Willy Russell, which he said he was most proud of.
"When I was involved with this play about four years ago, I said to myself that If I stopped work tomorrow it wouldn't matter, because I've played Frank."
However, David who now lives in Brighton, admits that if it had not been for playing Emmet Hawksworth in Keeping Up Appearances, he would not have been so privileged to have played Frank.
"These things have a knock-on effect," he said.
In the future David says he hopes to carry on doing things that interest him.
"It sounds like a cliche, but I like whatever is well written."
Tickets for September Tide are priced at £11.50-£16.50 and are available from the box office by calling 08700 131 030.
Performances start at 7.45pm and 2.30pm on Thursdays and Saturdays.
- Other plays which will be staged at the Gordon Craig this season are Sailor, Beware (February 20-24) and Signpost to Murder (February 27-March 3).
To take advantage of more than one play, the Gordon Craig is offering package plays.
Three plays £36 or 2 plays £25.