Andy Barrow

A message from Lian Barrow:

It is with great sadness that I inform you that Andy Barrow passed away on Saturday 31st October.

In more recent years many of you knew him as the “Grumpy Old Git” or other names not suitable for printing, but having joined the Thespians in 1990, he had been cast in a number of roles over the years.

Andy’s first outing with the Thespians was in the 1990 Adult Review in the grounds of The Georgian Hotel (at that time a regular hangout after rehearsals). This was swiftly followed by his first panto outing in what became a familiar role as one half of the funny men, initially paired with Howard Bicknell in the 1991 Dick Whittington followed by multiple partnerships with Steve Barnes and Tony Grant along with single outings with Ed Taylor-Gooby and Danny Rogers over the years. In January ’99 Andy answered an SOS midway through the rehearsal stage and stepped in to play his only Dame role as one of Cinder’s ugly sisters, a role he enjoyed but didn’t repeat. Those who shared a dressing room with him were all too familiar with eau-d’Andy, particularly after a curry the previous night, and on one memorable occasion, Andy caused an entire shipwreck scene to be cut short as the cast abandoned ship a page early as a result of the very strong wind!

Andy was a comedy actor and only went for comic roles by choice. He donned a brightly coloured punk wig and black leather trousers for the part of Jimmy in Antrobus & Galton’s When Did You Last see Your Trousers, provided a “welcome touch of absurdity” as Roland Maule in Noel Coward’s Present Laughter and as the jolly constable, delivered a dead pan string of hanging anecdotes whilst taking Tom to his doom in a rain drenched open air production of Tom Jones to name but a few. One of my favourite memories had to be when Andy and Tony Creasey got themselves caught in an unintentional extension of an intentional coarse acting loop during the award winning production of Elizabeth Commands at the ’93 Farnham Course Acting Festival. Such was the quality of the coarse acting, that the “Wither bound” audience were none the wiser, but the story was repeated to much laughter for many years afterwards.

Most recently Andy played one of the British airman in ‘Allo ‘Allo, but whilst he had withdrawn from the Thespians due to work commitments and health-related issues, he continued to have many friends within the society. There is a memorial page providing additional details at….

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