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Nick writes about Goldie

My old acting buddy Nick Rice has just written to me about Goldie. He too was in the production of Chekhov’s Three Sisters in 1979. Doing the very long show was heavy going – like marching through Siberia. Nick and I cheered each other up by going on stage before the show and singing at the tops of our lungs. He played his guitar, and we made up a song that went, “Oh I really don’t want/to do this show tonight.” That was the Nice Rice Band. He writes:

My two sweetest memories of Three Sisters (aside from the pre-show antics of the Nice Rice Band) are…

You comforted me in the dressing room one night. I was distraught, telling you I felt totally at sea. “Nicky-Nick,” you said, your eyes brimming with compassion, “what would Toozenbach really like to say to Irena at that point?” “Please,” I said, “touch my cheek.” Whereupon I burst into tears — knowing that with you it was safe to do so.

Then one night early in the run, I had been killed in a duel, and I was sitting in the dressing-room, doing the crossword with a kid I was convinced had no future in show-business (Colin Mochrie). Suddenly, just before she went out on stage to do her plaintive speech about the ‘happy birds’, Goldie came up behind me, put her arms around me, and said: “This is like hugging an old blanket when you know you have to go and do something scary.”


Has anyone ever said anything so sweet to me? Well, sure — every now and then, someone does — but oh G-d, how I wish I could have been there to soothe her in these last few weeks.

Goldie was right: Nick is like a warm blanket, one of the nicest men in show business. He’s been having his own health battles recently, getting through with his usual wry humour and grace. And Colin Mochrie, for those of you in Kuala Lumpur, is now one of the best-known improv comedians on the planet. I guess playing one of the young soldiers in Three Sisters with us was not one of his star moments.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.

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