To Irene Barr – the Drumfeld Gazette
I’m sorry for the late response: my father, I’m afraid, didn’t represent Ronald Bell – while I remember seeing him in various productions, there’s nothing I can offer toward a ‘personal picture’.
Looking through Dad’s files, I found the following, but, on reflection, it might not be a suitable tribute!
From the Archive – Hugh Walker writing about the late Ronald C. Bell.
“…Trouble at the Palace Theatre where the Drumfeld Players have started work on this year’s show. Should anyone be surprised that Ronald C Bell has a central role? The tempestuous stalwart has form for this sort of thing. In 2006, he reduced one actress to tears and insisted on the destruction of 300 programmes that failed to include his middle initial; twelve months later, he demanded an investigation into toilet graffiti that denounced him as a ‘blowhard and a ham’ (though a cursory examination indicated that the hand-writing was his own.) This year he’s coordinated a petition, protesting against the casting of a female Scrooge – Susannah French, last seen chewing the scenery as ‘Rizzo’ in Grease.
Speaking to Gus Barbour on the Breakfast Show, Mr Bell pooh-poohed the notion that he’d be discomfited by the abandonment of traditional genders. “We’ve had a woman in Downing Street, for goodness sake: why not a female Scrooge? All that matters is that the part goes to someone who can act...” At this caveat he paused, allowing the listener to recall any number of performances in which Ms French has struggled to communicate anything more nuanced than the syllables of her own name. “I’m not saying that Susannah can’t,” he finally added, satisfied that the sentient listener had reached that conclusion without any prompting, “but it’s a difficult role that requires an old hand….”